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March 24, 2022

My Best Restaurants in Paris!

Ok this is a heavy issue with Paris been a culinary delight and gastronomic excellence there ought to be a lot of differences of mind in choosing one restaurant. However, I emphasize this is most of the restaurants I have visited, so my list. I think that visiting the city every day , worked in it for 9 years , while living in royal Versailles put me in a good level to express an opinion on the subject. Of course, disclaimer as said tastes are very touchy issue ,we all have our favorites; and if you come and try one, it becomes your favorite no matter what. However, if you visit these you will be delighted. Therefore, let me update for you and me my best restaurants in Paris!

We step into the La Flamme 6 avenue de Wagram, It has a colorful ambiance in purple and red, with terrace and French traditional dishes. Right down from the Arc de Triomphe on Avenue de Wagram right hand side. The baroque period frames are bordering the TV screen  The service was very good and the place very cozy indeed even for a family to be quiet. More info here: https://laflammeparis.fr/

There is Pizza Pino. The pizzerias are very popular and found in several locations in Paris. My favs are in more the 57 bd de Montparnasse and the Place de la République. The Champs-Elysées location has closed. More here: https://www.pizzapino.fr/restaurant-italien/pizza-pino-montparnasse/

Café bar La Marine for a taste of some fish and chips with cold Carlsberg beers and a new taste of  IPA rather sweeter brew; just nice ,,,,as always. Great cozy tables and great sports match ambiance; more here:https://fr.restaurantguru.com/La-Marine-Paris-2

This is a chain where I have been to the Place de la République and Avenue du Maine locations. The  Indiana Café , great crowd, wonderful service and a great pastrami burger with a good Affligem beers. More info: http://www.indianacafe.fr/restaurants-clubs/46/republique.html

Café L’ Imperiale, 240 rue Rivoli, 75001. open from lunch and dinner long hours. Metro Concorde or Tuileries lines 1,8,12.  This was and is my stop for a quick meal, coffee or a drink with a magnificent location across from the jardin des tuileries. I used to work nearby so for an after lunch coffee or an after work quiet happy hour it is great. Quick meal on your way to the Louvre too. no web but cant missed it intersection of rue de Rivoli and rue Rouget de Lisle. More here: http://limperialrivoli.com/

I had my lunch and drinks at La Terrasse du 7éme resto on the place de l’école militaire, all there in the square is good and sublime. More info here: https://www.laterrassedu7.com/  

I can’t tell you enough about this place, I worked in management of the chain Intercontinental Hotels Group and they were and are attach to the Le Grand Hotel at Opéra. Historical, grand and magnificent meals to remember forever. The Café de la Paix webpage: https://www.cafedelapaix.fr/en/

I used to work by Montparnasse before moving to the Morbihan/Brittany and the  Cafe Montparnasse was tops More here https://www.cafemontparnasse.fr/

I was invited to an event at the Institut du Monde Arabe, 1 rue des Fossés Saint Bernard, 5éme; very nice views of Paris and the food is great too. The Zyriab Restaurant that is. More here: https://www.imarabe.org/en/practical-information/restaurants-and-cafe 

You entered the resto by avenue Winston-Churchill, pont Alexandre-III, the resto call the Mini Palais  inside the Grand Palais, with great views over the pont Alexandre III, more here: http://www.minipalais.com/?lang=en_us

Casa del Campo,  ironically the one I frequent the most was at the pl de la Republique and it closed to moved to Bercy Village at 55 Cours Saint Emilion, and tapas and cruzcampo beers ; went to pay a visit as well . More here: https://www.casadelcampo.fr/contact.php

The Bistro Saint Ferdinand is part of a group of Bistro run by Dorr ,(closed) and it is just around the corner from the Porte Maillot on 275 Bd Pereire. The concept is simple a fixe menu per person including sharing a bottle of wine for two, entrée, plat, and dessert, plus coffee. the price is ok for Paris , and the food has improved from my first visit here a few years back. More info: http://www.legrandbistro.fr/fr/restaurant-maillot-saint-ferdinand.php#restaurant-maillot-saint-ferdinand.php

The Moulin à Caffé ,  22 rue de Caumartin ; not far from the Grand department stores at Haussmann. Nice place indeed, recall one day took 10 of my colleagues here and was a bash!!! Very nice service ,great food, funny actics of the owner server, and the fun for everyone nice prices. More here: http://www.restaurant-lemoulinacaffe.fr/

We had to go out with a bunch of colleagues this time to introduce me to this gem, been over and over . The Au Petit Riche, 23 rue Le Peletier,9éme walking from the grand dept stores on Haussmann to rue Le Peletier left , and it was a great choice. We were on the second floor or 1er étage in France, nice view over the window on the street below, and away from the more noisy street level area. More here: https://www.restaurant-aupetitriche.com/en/

One local gem à la Americain with nutty entertainment to boot, usual sports bars and great service will do at the American Dream, 21 rue Daunou, 2éme . more here: http://www.american-dream.fr/

The a world beater of the Hard Rock Café , 14 boulevard Montmartre 9éme; good stuff food anywhere with live sports, music TV. More here: https://www.hardrockcafe.com/location/paris/

The Le Café des Musées, 49 Rue de Turenne. deco 1900, nice and good views ;1930’s look. more here: https://www.lecafedesmusees.fr/en/

Go high up the Tour Montparnasse and find the Ciel de Paris , entrance by 23 avenue du Maine, good food too and of course the best view of Paris… More here: http://www.cieldeparis.com/

Then, if you want a bit of Brittany in Paris go by the Little Brittany neighborhood and try Creperie Josselin, 67 rue du Montparnasse, metro edgar quinet line 6. Deco a la Breton, very popular its always full. More here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/La-Cr%C3%AAperie-de-Josselin/249926208460608?_rdr

Some exotic try a cigar and mojito ,and salsa at Cubana Cafe, 47 rue Vavin, metro Vavin, line 4 with webpage : https://www.cubanacafe.com/

The brasserie Chez Eugene is an old family favorite, my first meal ever at the Butte de Montmartre was here back in 1991! Still going strong… More here: https://chezeugene-paris.fr/en

O’Sullivans Pubs several all over like tried Cergy and St Germain en Laye (closed) ,however,my favorite is the one at the Grands Boulevards, 1 blvd Montmartre, metro grands boulevards lines 8 and 9. sports tv all over, even some music, best second floor up to your left in front of bar counter. More here: https://www.osullivans-pubs.com/en/irish-pub/grands-boulevards/

Le 7éme Vin restaurant,68 ave Bosquet, tel +33 01 45 51 15 97 .  This place rocks ,never a let down all handle by able friendly courteous service by the owner Olivier. Near école Militaire, more here: https://restaurant7emevin.fr/

Belushi’s Bar, The Americans in Paris, a chain with many in various cities in Europe. In Paris at 159 rue de Crimée,  inside the Christopher’s hostal 19éme. tel +33 01 40 34 34 40.Metro Crimée line 7 or Laumiére line 5. Five big screen TVs for all the action and great burgers, an American diner in Paris. Now by Gare du Nord as well. More here: http://www.belushis.com/bars/paris/canal

The Great Canadian Pub, 25 Quai des Grands Augustin, 6éme.tel +33 01 46 33 54 20.Metro St Michel line 4. Great ambiance very popular with expats get togethers in Paris.  More here: https://www.facebook.com/tgcparis/

One of the nice places to eat and dance is at Cuba Compagnie Bastille, 48 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 11éme. salsa ambiance, mojitos, and Cuba. More here: https://www.cubacompagnie.com/

Au Trappiste, 4 rue Saint Denis, 4éme.  metro Chatelet line 4,11. Here you are in Belgium with the monks; lots of good beer, simple good portions of food, moules or mussels and fries,and grill sausages. The first or ground floor is more noisy ,the second floor more calm and better views! of Chatelet. its just by the metro exit and rue Rivoli. Best way is the metro ,the RER is too crowded to get here. One of my all time favorites,many times here and great meetings of visiting and local friends over the years. More here: https://www.facebook.com/autrappisteparis/

Au Métro, 18 bd Pasteur, 15éme, Open from 7h until there is nobody in the place ! even Sundays during world cup plays. metro Pasteur lines 6,12. The cradle of rugby in Paris, if you like beers,and good fun, great ambiance,friendly people and can see a match of rugby than comes here you wont be disappointed. Always something happening.  Great for a start of your evening here and then go for more substantial restaurant or a very late night snack .More info here: https://restaurantguru.com/Au-Metro-Paris-3

La Perla, 26 rue François Miron, 4éme. metro hotel de ville line 1,11. behind the Hôtel de Ville de Paris. Tequila I found you in Paris, great bar, and fast texmex food, huge selection of cocktails and beers. A great chic crowd after work, and a fantastic place to start or end your day in Paris. More here: http://www.laperla-paris.com/

Le Comptoir du Relais, 9 carrefour de l’Odéon. Metro Odéon line 10 or Marbillon line 10. a great location ,great food and great service cant ask for more. People passing spectacle in a nice area; relax after a long walk in Paris or come after work. In the bottom of the excellent Relais Saint Germain hotel. More here:  https://www.hotel-paris-relais-saint-germain.com/restaurants/le-comptoir

Joe Allen, 30 rue Pierre Lescot,75001. Open  Sundays to Wednesdays from midday to 00h30 ,and Thursdays to Saturdays from midday to 01h. Tel +33 01 42 36 70 13. Metro Chatelet lines 11,4. The New York address in Paris and a great place to meet with me and other Americans in Paris. .Other locations in New York and London . More here: https://joeallenpariscommu.wixsite.com/websiteofficiel

The Villa Verdi Italian restaurant. Very friendly , got even to practice on my Italian a bit ::) Very nice indeed, and  good reviews by all; More on the restaurant here: https://www.villaverdi.fr/en/

At Au Dernier Metro is the work of a family from the always enterprising bistro tribe of the capital, the Basques. It was not born yesterday, since the Lafargue family, originally from Mauléon, (see post) have been in charge for thirty years. More here : https://auderniermetro.fr/en

The simple but chic  Berts right next Alma-Marceau metro line 9 exit off the Avenue du Président Wilson (closed)The Berts is a French chain of fast food restaurants proposing sandwiches and pastries etc à la Française of course. Webpage:  https://www.berts.fr/en/address-contact/

This place is so well placed that it can be reached by any means of transport. A smiling staff shows a high level of hospitality at this place. Friendly service is what guests love here. You can expect an attractive price in this steakhouse chain restaurant, Buffalo Grill République. More info : https://www.buffalo-grill.fr/restaurant/paris-republique

My favorite hangout in the area Le Café de l’Esplanade just off the side seeing all the canons of the army museum! great service and glorious food. More info : https://cafe-de-lesplanade.fr/informations/

We had a blast at Cafe du Commerce,51 rue du commerce,15éme. The service,the food and the wine was good ,More info here : https://www.lecafeducommerce.com/

This Rotonde de la Muette with its Art-deco facade, its terrace, its interior revised, wooded, colorful, the fashion of today in simili Garcia, is the place where to meet oneself.   the ideal place to rest for a breakfast with friends or a client. Recently renovated a year ago, this brewery has kept its stamp while gaining a touch of modernity. Their webpage https://www.rotondemuette.paris/

Le Cassenoix or the nutcracker at 56 Rue de la Fédération 15éme. I had a wonderful basque dish of pork and choucroute, with perle de japon fruit cocktail dessert, and expresso coffee, all wash down by a nice Bordeaux chosen by the hosts for the occasion. The place is nicely decorated with antiques of Paris, and all wallpaper very nice. One more nice address in Paris, More info here: https://www.le-cassenoix.fr/

The Indiana Café and was as good as old for dinner, great crowd, wonderful service and a great pastrami burger with a good Affligem beers, and double noisette coffee. A great place and chain and glad they are still going strong, More info: https://www.indianacafe.fr/restaurants-clubs/46/republique.html

The Bodega Cambronne.  Add a layer, come and revive the Spanish music to your ears with concerts organized at the Bodega Cambronne every weekend. You can,  also eat very well. The Bodega Cambronne is at 37, rue Cambronne 15éme.  More info here:  https://la-bodega-cambronne.zenchef.com/en/

Le Clou de Paris ,1 Rue Danton right by the Place Saint André des Arts which itself is near the Place Saint Michel!  Fantastic service and the food was delicious lentils and sausages with bacon, ,crême brulée, all with a quart of Bordeaux house red and expresso coffee, all for about 25€;nice!!! More info here : https://restaurantguru.com/Le-Clou-de-Paris-Paris

The Comptoir Principal , I was there only for a cup of coffee once early in the morning and another on the way out in the late afternoon. However, the service was fast courteous and from what visitors are saying it seems a good place to be. I did stop by myself later on for an apéro! This is just around the Tour Eiffel where my last office in Paris was. More info here: https://www.comptoirprincipal.com/

The Léon de Bruxelles 8 pl de la République, the famous chain of Belgian restaurants specializing in mussels and fries since the end of the 19C, Léon de Bruxelles République welcomes you until late. The undeniable freshness of their products, fresh mussels are delivered every day and well-chosen potato producers to have the best fries! More info here :https://brasserie.restaurantleon.fr/en/republique

And for memories’s sake i have been to several that are now closed for various reasons but need to have here for the souvenirs, the times, the good family times. In honor of these memorable eating places of my eternal Paris.

I had always good service at my now routine place ,Brasserie Porte  Océane, (closed) inside gare Montparnasse on grandes lignes level for the TGV train.

A wonderful find at Restaurant A Table (closed)  in Levallois Perret, right off the rue Georges Pompidou and at 43 Rue Baudin. Service was wonderful and so was the company.

The Charlie Birdie chain (closed) by the quais looking at the Seine and Bois de Boulogne,or at Place Etienne Pernet 15éme.

I stop for dinner a few times here at Restaurant Le Carré (closed) 12 pl Saint Augustin; wonderful modern ambiance and inventive fusion food, tops, chic, class, well done.

It had some personal problems with the owners so some of the chain has closed out I believe this one still open and it was my favorite with the one in Bougival where had my kids birthdays. Chez Clement, (closed) 9 Pl Saint André des Arts, just around the corner from the place Saint Michel.

My fav La Gare (closed) in the 16éme ; several times here and even some visiting friends taken. It is an old train station several years ago converted into a wonderful resto bar in a great area of Paris chic.

Montparnasse 1900, (closed) 59 bd du Montparnasse, great selection of beers for a happy hour or just chat with friends, good views of the square in front.  A historical jewel of Paris.  Now the Bouillon Chartier.

Agua Limon, (closed)12 rue Theophile Roussel, 12éme Metro  Ledru Rollin line 8 or Gare de Lyon lines 1,14. The best Valencian in Paris, the food of Valencia paella per excellence and Horchata drink. Great ambiance and welcome by the owner ,natives of Valencia, Spain.

Bistro Romain, (closed) 122 ave Champs-Elysées, 8éme . Metro George V line 1 near Lido.  A nice cozy Italian chain that wont break your bank and allows for a nice family meal. This is the location of my first date with what was my dear late wife Martine!!!, so it was an annual pilgrimage for us . It had several locations in France.

 Cafe Lacombe (closed) was in rue des Acacias 55 , 17éme of Paris. Also ,the corner with 37 avenue Mac Mahon, The decor is refined with floral decoration, gilding, velvet sofa so nicely done. An exquisite setting to plunge you into a world as beautiful as Paris!

The Brasserie Le Saint Severin (closed) 3 pl St Michel, had a green terrace with a breath of fresh air on Place Saint Michel with its dark green awning with white stripes and a new graphic and exotic visual identity. Inside, the daylight, reflected by the large mirrors and the clear ceiling, illuminates the room and enlarges the volume. Brass and sandblasted glass suspensions, decorative paintings imprinted with gold and pink marble, plant engravings, a set of moldings on the ceiling create a resolutely modern and up-to-date atmosphere. Memories forever! as when friends in Paris wanted to talk we had our apéros here; sort of a happy hour or after work.

There you go folks, I think I remember them all to post here, and sadly some already gone, that is the restaurant business anywhere and in Paris we do have our share of out of business.  Enjoy Paris, it has these and a whole lot more to be life a bit more merrier.

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

March 19, 2022

YSL museum of Paris!!

Let me tell you something just briefly mentioned before but a must to have its own post in my blog. I am a fan and for many business working years was my favorite fashion designer. Let me tell you about an off the beaten path spot in Paris, the YSL Museum of Paris (Yves Saint Laurent mind you!)!!

A bit of historical background would do me think.

The Pierre-Bergé – Yves-Saint-Laurent Foundation is an extension of the history of the Yves Saint Laurent house, whose haute couture activity ended on October 31, 2002. In 1962, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé opened their haute couture house in Paris at 30 bis, rue Spontini.(not far from the Porte Dauphine) They will stay there for twelve years during which Yves Saint Laurent invents the modern woman’s wardrobe. They moved to 5 avenue Marceau in 1974, in a Second Empire style mansion. It was here that Yves Saint Laurent affirmed his style, until 2002, when he ended his career. Its vice-president was the American landscape architect Madison Cox until the death of Pierre Bergé in 2017, when he becomes the current president. The Pierre-Bergé – Yves-Saint-Laurent foundation opened its doors in 2004 with the exhibition « Yves Saint Laurent, dialogue with Art ».

A bit more on the YSL Museum!

Two museums are built to exhibit, in a permanent collection, the fund of the Pierre-Bergé – Yves-Saint-Laurent foundation, one in Marrakech and the other in Paris at 5 avenue Marceau, at the historic headquarters of the fashion house. The opening of the two museums was in October 2017. This is a priori the first time that a museum is dedicated to a single couturier in France! It receives the Musée de France label, which makes its collections inalienable, and which can facilitate the pre-emption of new pieces in public sales.

paris-fondation-ysl-ave-marceau-sep16

The YSL museum extends over all floors of the building and over a course of 450 m, even if the exhibition area is smaller than in Marrakech. The exhibition space is divided into small partitioned spaces. Among these spaces is the workshop where the couturier (who died in 2008) worked, upstairs, restored almost identically. His most emblematic creations are recalled: The women’s tuxedo, the safari jacket, the trench coat, etc., creations that have become classics. The first collection, from 1962, is also evoked with some of the pieces from this collection, sketches and photos of its preparation. Some of the creator’s sources of inspiration are highlighted, especially in the Imaginary Journeys section. Thematic temporary exhibitions are also organized, the first being in 2018 “L’Asie rêvée by Yves Saint Laurent”, which brings together 50 models inspired by India, China and Japan, and from the permanent collection, and confronts them with Asian works of art loaned by private collectors and by the national museum of Asian arts – Guimet. In all, you will see about 5000 dresses, 15 000 accessories ,thousands of croquis drawings, planches of the collection and photographs !

For info already mentioned in my some news from France series: To mark the 60th anniversary of the first fashion show of Yves Saint Laurent, 6 Parisian museums pay tribute to the designer, collector and aesthete: the Centre Pompidou, Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, Musée d’Orsay, Musée National Picasso-Paris and Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris. Through works from their own collections, each of these cultural institutions reveals a facet of the designer, exhibits some of his iconic pieces and puts the artistic genius of Yves Saint Laurent into perspective.

The official YSL museum Parishttps://museeyslparis.com/en/

The Paris tourist office on the YSL museumhttps://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71205/Musee-Yves-Saint-Laurent-Paris

And as I am on the Avenue Marceau,why not tell you a bit about it! This place I have been several times for personal use and events see No 5,11, and 22…..

A bit on the avenue, one of the axis of the Place Charles de Gaulle (Etoile, Arc de Triomphe), The Avenue Marceau is in the 8éme and 16éme arrondissements of Paris, providing the boundary between the two (even side for the 8éme and odd side for the 16éme). It starts at Avenue du President-Wilson, almost at Place de l’Alma, and ends at Place Charles-de-Gaulle. It is named after François Séverin Marceau, General of the French revolution.  This road was opened on August 13, 1854 between Rue Circulaire and Place de l’Étoile. It was extended on March 6, 1858 between Rue Circulaire and Avenue de l’Empereur under the name “Avenue Joséphine”, in honor of Joséphine de Beauharnais. It received its current name on August 16, 1879. There was already a rue Marceau (in the 12éme arrondissement) which was given the name rue de Wattignies on this occasion.

Some of the notable buildings on the Avenue Marceau me think are :

No 5: Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, former Yves Saint Laurent fashion house, transformed into an Yves Saint Laurent museum opened in October 2017. Metro: Alma-Marceau (line 9), Bus: 42/72/80 stop Alma-Marceau,
No 11: Octavio Paz Library of the Cervantes Institute.
No 22: Headquarters of the Spanish Embassy in France.
No 24: hotel built in 1882. Hotel of the Marquis de Panisse-Passis , from 1910.
No 30 : The atypical facades of the city contribute a lot to the cachet of Paris. Nestled in the back alley of avenue Marceau, the building is certainly one of these Art Nouveau and/or ‘Art-Déco nuggets, Built between 1912 and 1914 by André Granet, it cannot, historically speaking, claim to belong to one of the two movements. On the other hand, it is the perfect example of the period of transition between the two styles.

No 31 : Church Saint Pierre de Chaillot

No 32 : Clothilde de La Rochelambert, comtesse de La Bédoyère later princess de la Moskowa, bridesmaid of the Emperatrice Eugénie died here in 1884. The historian Albert Vandal of the French Academy died here in 1910.

No 34 : after living at 26 Avenue Marceau until 1919, Madame Sacerdote, the famous fashion designer Jenny (the second woman in France to be awarded the Legion of Honor for her services to couture) and her husband Joseph, lived here until 1946.
No 36: mansion of M. L. Lefébure in 1910, neo-Louis XIII style, with a contemporary elevation.
No 64: Hôtel de la Comtesse de Breteuil in 1910, occupied by the Hôtel InterContinental Marceau currently,
No 78 bis: Hotel Radisson Blu Champs-Élysées.
No 81: former home of Pierre-Gabriel Chandon de Briailles, a former co-owner of the Moët & Chandon Champagne house.

There you go folks, a dandy place to visit at the YSL Museum of Paris, another wonderful spot in my eternal Paris. Hope you enjoy it as I. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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March 14, 2022

Curiosities of the 9éme arrondissement of Paris !!

I have decided to do these black and white series, no pictures and tell you about my stumping grounds while working in Paris for 9 years, I will continue with the curiosities of the 9éme arrondissement of Paris !!

You can go inside the Société Générale bank at 29 boulevard Haussmann founded in 1864 this bank has 7 buildings typical of the Second Empire that they acquired in 1904. The building were renovated in 1912 with basement for the safes. The main room has a cupola of 24 meters in diameter, Just be discreet as it is a working place.

You have several glass enclosures in the Opéra neighborhood such as at the Grand Hôtel 2 rue Scribe (1861) today the Intercontinental Le Grand Hôtel (location of my former employer see post) ), Galeries Lafayette 40 bd Haussmann and Printemps, 64 bd Haussmann,

The Musée de la Parfumerie Fragonard, 9 rue Scribe created in 1983 tracing the history of perfums from the Egyptians to the 20C.

The streets around the Opéra Garnier were name after opera composers of the 19C such as rue d’Auber, rue Mayerbeer, Rue Halévy, and rue Gluck, Scribe also was the author of books on the opera and also the square Diaghliev that was a choreographer,

You can see the vineyards of the firefighers at 22-28 rue Blanche , The Chasselas grapes around their building provides a white wine that is bottled under Château Blanche since 1926, The rue Blanche has its origins in the quarries of Montmartre very near, The plaster recovered from here was taken by boats on the Seine to be mounted on bigger boats elsewhere,

At 84 rue de Clichy you have the Cercle de Jeu Clichy-Montmartre since 1947 pool place par excellence in Paris with 16 tables 8 American and 5 French as well as one snooker, and two billard tables, See around the 82 rue Blanche a building with two hands on each side of the number as mine to hold hands,

The Church de la Trinité , 3 Rue de la Trinité has the figure 3 as a symbol, It has 3 arches in its principal porch, the great basin has 3 fountains with 3 vases on each, the main central fountain has a sculpture of a women symbol of hope that has 3 children in her arms, each children has 3 bronce jars at their feet,

See the staircase in the Musée Gustave Moreau, 14 rue de la Rochefoucauld, It has the particularity of been done on the same building where the painter lived,The museum retraces the real life of a painter and to follow the artistic progress of a painter, Nearby on the Square Orléans that you enter by the 80 rue Taibout you see the high place of the New Athens romantic era, Here are build 46 apartments and 5 shops of artists, It house the ballerina Marie Taglioni, the musician Marmontel and the couple of George Sand (house in first floor no 5) and Chopin (at aprt no 9),

We go on with the Musée de la Vie Romantique at 16 rue Chaptal, It was the property of painter Ary Scheffer and his nephew the writer Ernest Ronan, A place of romanticism held by Chopin, Lamartine, George Sand, and Delacroix, A nice place to visit,

See at 27 Place Saint Georges the Hôtel Dosne-Thiers or Library Thiers, Of the modern history of France belongs to the Institut de France, and the room of Adolphe Thiers, and has a nice garden, Not easy to go in but you can go with a group with reservation, A bit further at 28 Place Saint Georges see the Hôtel de la Païva, it belonged to Thérése Lachmann , marquise de la Païva troubador style mix with Renaissance and Néo Gothic dating from 1840.

Even if private, you can see throught the grille the wonderful Avenue Fronchot, nearest Metro Pigalle, Created in 1830 with beautiful mansions of the 19C, A varied architecture from Neo Gothic, Flamand, medieval, palladian, or neo antique that attraced many famous such as Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas,father, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Victor Massé, More recent you had Django Reinhardt and François Truffaut with a sequence of his film « Les Quatre Cents Coups », The house at no 1 has a mysterious history as the director of the Folie Bergére buys it and bequested to his cleaning lady that was brutally assassinated in it ; inhabitable for more than 30 years, the house is purchase by Sylvie Vartan that leaves quickly after moving in ! The art critic Mathieu Galev who purchase it died in it oh well see it but do no live in it !

How about the Cité Malesherbes access by 59 rue des Martyrs, the attorney Malesherbes guillotine in 1794 was the owner, Some interesting building especially the no 11 with nice decoration in ceramics ,lava and terracotta work of architect Jal on the account of painter Jollivet, At No 17, the rotonde of the Hôtel of Architecture Amoudru, and the balcony with as ornamentation a female mask and medallion, Follow this up at 41-47 rue des Martyrs with the garden, not seen from the street but plenty of roses, great for a pause.

At 10 rue Lallier see the private collection of the phonogallery store, guided visit in groups only,A collection of talking machines ! Going back to 1877 It is a museum boutique and the store located between the cabarets of Montmartre and the artists of the New Athens. Around here, see the Le Hibou at 68 rue Condorcet an owl sculpture on the facade celebrating the architect Viollet le Duc as he ordered built this building in 1862-63, and place the owl on the window of his shop, See, also, the unique Cité Napoléon by 58 rue Rochechouart , not seen from the street , is a good example of the familistery done in 1853,It was to house modest families with a free doctor visits in exchange for keeping high morals as an inspector will visit to verify the morality of the inhabitants, The Familistery is an utopian socialist model of Charles Fourier applicable in his theory of phalanstery or community living and it welcome only families,

Moving on see at 16 rue Cadet, the Musée du Grand Orient de France, Installed since 1840 in the Hôtel Cadet,It presented more than 10k collection pieces that retraces the history of the order in France,(Masons).

Perpendicular to the rue Richer, and rue Bleue and created in 1840 you have the Cité de Trévise, with nice buildings of neo Renaissance style surrounding a square with three cariatides that gives hand forming a pretty fountain, Further south at 19-20 rue Bergére you have the office of the bank BNP Paribas, long house the national discount counter with a staircase in cages with the market room and its pretty glass worth a look, The facade has three scuptures of Millet such as Prudence, Commerce, and Finance,

And to end this walk on the 9th, I bring you to the Church Saint Eugéne Sainte Cécile, 6 rue Sainte Cécile, Dedicated to two Saints, Ste Eugéne in honor of Eugénie the wife of Napoléon III, and Ste Cécile, the Patron Saint of Musicians as it was close to the former national conservatory of music, The church has no belltower as to not bother the musicians, It was built in 1854-55 with an 13C inspired architecture. A characteristic of the church is that it function as biritualism , the offices are celebrated with the rite of Paul VI and Pie V (in Latin), until 1998, Today one priest does the two rites, So on one day you have a priest giving Mass in French facing the faithful, and two hours later ,the same priest giving Mass in Latin dressed golden and purple with his back to the faithful while the Gregorian chants are sang, For info, for the most part the ritual of Paul VI is considered as a modernisation and adaptation of the church in the 20C,,,

There you go folks, a dandy walk around wonderful eternal Paris and its 9th district where I once worked, and visit often the area. Hope you enjoy the trivia and do come to the most beautiful city in the world:Paris!

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

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November 24, 2021

Rue Tronchet of Paris!!

Well here I am nostalgic again, and even if had mentioned in other posts briefly, feel needed to have a post of its own for old times ‘sake! This is the memorable Rue Tronchet of Paris, and I like to tell you a bit more on it ;hope you enjoy it as I.

My very first job in the city of Paris took me from Versailles rive droite train station to the St Lazare train station of Paris. Ok cars was not convenient because in France when you work in big towns the cost of public transport is rembourse 50/50, and you get to use in my case my Navigo card pass even on weekends so the price was very cheap. In going there, I have told you took the metro line 12 to Concorde and then my job in Rue Castiglione of the Intercontinental Paris Hotel (see post) (today the Westin Paris Vendôme..). However, after finding the trip so difficult , yes cramped metro wagon, technical problems cancellations, and a total of 18 minutes which of course counted the walks in underground halls; someone at work gave the idea of walking;oh oh oh sublime walking in Paris!!

It became a family past time to walk in Paris after getting in with our car on private visits and walking from Gare St Lazare train station to rue Castiglione job.  It took me by the grand department stores of you know who , (see posts), and passing by the Church of the Madeleine (see post), and getting around some fancy streets such as Rue St Honoré. Before all that passed by nice quant Rue Tronchet, which became my favorite spot and breakfast or lunch or dinner over the more than 2 yrs worked around here. And this finally…., is the reason of this post.

paris madeleine rue tronchet mar13

The Rue Tronchet is a street in the 8éme and 9éme arrondissements of Paris. Starting at Place de la Madeleine and ending on Boulevard Haussmann, it links the Madeleine district and that of Europe. Very commercial, this street houses a small shopping mall at number 11 as well as many offices. The street also receives the large flea market of the 8éme arrondissement in June.

It received its name in memory of François Denis Tronchet , who was one of the defenders of king Louis XVI during his trial under the French revolution. He,also, participated in the drafting of the Civil Code.  The Rue Tronchet occupies the site of the grounds of the convent of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce on the rue de la Ville-l’Évêque, occupied by the Benedictines then suppressed in 1791,during the French revolution, and of the farm of the Mathurins. It was extended in 1858 to Boulevard Haussmann by removing a section of the old rue de la Ferme-des-Mathurins, to take into account the decision to build the new Paris-Saint-Lazare train station, not in place de la Madeleine, as it had initially been envisaged but further north.

Paris ch Madeleine up from rue Tronchet jun14

Remarkable buildings that I like passing by for long periods are/were :

No 1: formerly Madeleine-Palace Hôtel, where Jean Cocteau lived at the end of 1934

No 5: back from Mallorca and Nohant, Frédéric Chopin lived on the first floor from October 1839 to November 1841. Dinah Félix, last sister of the illustrious tragedian Rachel, died there 1909,

No 7: Pourtalès hotel. Built in 1838-1839 for Count James-Alexandre de Pourtalès, in a style inspired by the Italian Renaissance, and modified in 1865-1866 then 1869-1870 The facade and the interior courtyard with arcades are reminiscent of Tuscan palaces. A monumental staircase leads to the first floor where the apartments and the collection of works of art by Count de Pourtalès were located. The interior decor, including the gallery where the sponsor’s famous collections were displayed, was destroyed. These collections were sold for public sale in February 1865, according to the wishes of their owner. On the latter’s death, the hotel passed to his son, Count Edmond de Pourtalès-Gorgier and his wife, née Mélanie de Bussière, the embodiment of elegance and the air of the great world during the Second Empire and the beginnings of the Third Republic. The hotel was the subject of a restoration campaign in 2006-2008

No 9 Alfred de Musset / Aimée d´Alton , a small place rented by Alfred de Musset, where he had an affair with Aimée d´Alton in 1837,

No 11: is part of the Art Deco real estate complex called “Palacio de la Madeleine”, located at 25-29, place de la Madeleine, 11, rue Tronchet, and 9, rue de Castellane. It housed various departments of the Directorate General of Taxes (DGI) including the National Directorate of State Interventions (DNID) and the commission of fiscal offenses were transferred to this building in 1974, Before, this passage, this market and the surrounding office buildings are part of the “Palacio de la Madeleine”. This set of buildings was built in 1930 on the site of one of the busiest markets in Paris destroyed in 1920. With a surface area of ​​4600 meters, it had three entrances: Place de la Madeleine, Rue Tronchet and rue de Castellane.

Some of my nostalgic spots walking by here every day for more than 2 years were the Café Madeleine , hôtel Massena (where met friends for breakfast!) , Paul 35 Rue Tronchet Aux Tortues and Guerlain parfums store next door, 35 Rue Tronchet, Their webpages are :

Store Guerlain parfums : https://stores.guerlain.com/int/en_INT/boutique/france/ile-de-france/paris/paris/FR16127

Paul at rue Tronchet : https://www.paul.fr/paris_haussmann_tronchet/catalogsearch/result/?q=rue+tronchet+pain

The hôtel Massena : https://www.paris-hotel-massena.com/en/page/hotel-paris-8-arrondissement.3.html

Café Madeleine, 35 Pl de la Madeleine corner with Rue Tronchet : https://www.cafemadeleineparis.com/apex/a171847/r/cafemadeleine/contact1?session=291821726844

There you go folks, another dandy spot in my eternal Paris. So many memorable spots that will keep me busy now telling you all about it, and then some as will return to the city soon. When you walk these streets then you will understand why many said Paris is the most beautiful city in the world!! A mouvable feast indeed!! Hope we can continue to enjoy for more generations.

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

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July 24, 2021

Athens for the old times’ sake!!

It has been a while I was thinking of writing on this wonderful city of Athens, Greece. I was here back in 2006 and had pictures but could not find, so there is only one and will dare do a post for Athens for the old times’ sake!! Another of my life’s trails and now in my blog. Hope you enjoy it as I.

First a bit on the country of Greece. Mostly the text taken from wikipedia fyi

Greece officially the Hellenic Republic , and is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. It shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin , and the 11th longest coastline in the world; featuring many islands, of which 227 are inhabited.

Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilization, being the birthplace of democracy, western philosophy, western literature, historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, theatre and the Olympic Games. Greece one of the most visited countries in Europe in the recent years.

The Greece tourist boardhttps://www.visitgreece.gr/

Now let me give some info on Athens again mostly from wikipedia as would be unfair to tell my story from so many years back.

Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world’s oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years , and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11C and 7C BC. It was a center for the arts, learning and philosophy, and the home of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum. It is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, largely because of its cultural and political impact on the European continent, particularly Ancient Rome.

The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city also retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments, while its historical urban core features elements of continuity through its millennia of history.  The oldest known human presence in Athens is the Cave of Schist, which has been dated to between the 11C and 7C BC. Athens has been continuously inhabited for at least 5,000 years. Athens is built around a number of hills. Lycabettus is one of the tallest hills of the city proper and provides a view of the entire Attica Basin The Cephissus river, the Ilisos and the Eridanos stream are the historical rivers of Athens.

Some of the most interesting areas me think are the Omonoia Square, the oldest square in Athens. It is surrounded by hotels and fast food outlets, and contains a metro station, named Omonia station. Syntagma Square,(Constitution Square), is the capital’s central and largest square, lying adjacent to the Greek Parliament (the former Royal Palace) and the city’s most notable hotels.   At Ermou Street, an approximately one km-long (.6 mile) pedestrian road connecting Syntagma Square to Monastiraki, is a consumer paradise for both locals and tourists.

Plaka, lying just beneath the Acropolis, is famous for its plentiful neoclassical architecture, making up one of the most scenic districts of the city. It remains a prime tourist destination with tavernas, live performances and street salesmen. Nearby Monastiraki, for its part, is known for its string of small shops and markets, as well as its crowded flea market and tavernas specialising in souvlaki. Another district known for its student-crammed, stylish cafés is Theseum or Thission, lying just west of Monastiraki. Thission is home to the ancient Temple of Hephaestus, standing atop a small hill. This area also has a picturesque 11C Byzantine church, as well as a 15C Ottoman mosque. Kolonaki is the area at the base of Lycabettus hill, full of boutiques catering to well-heeled customers by day, and bars and more fashionable restaurants by night, with galleries and museums. This is often regarded as one of the more prestigious areas of the capital. Exarcheia located north of Kolonaki, often regarded as the city’s anarchist scene and as a student quarter with cafés, bars and bookshops. Exarcheia is home to the Athens Polytechnic and the National Archaeological Museum.

The Athens International Airport (ATH), locally Eleftherios Venizelos is located near the town of Spata,some 35 km (22 mi) from Athens. The airport is served by the Metro, the suburban rail, buses to Piraeus port, Athens’ City Center/downtown, Liosion and Kifisos Intercity bus stations and Elliniko metro’s line 2 southern terminal, and also taxis. I came in by Nantes, Roissy CDG and this airport and then took taxi to hotels from which I did my walks except taxi to the restaurant below.

The Athens Metropolitan Area in particular is served by some of the most modern and efficient transport infrastructure in Europe, such as the Athens International Airport, the privately run A6 (Attiki Odos) highway network and the expanded Athens Metro system.

The Athens tourist officehttps://destination.thisisathens.org/en

A useful private Athens tourist webpage: https://www.thisisathens.org/

As for the memories of my visit in about 2006 to Athens.

I stayed at the Athenateum IHG hotel with a wonderful experience of pampering and good company. Located within 3 km from the Acropolis and close to Metro stations and the business district of Athens, the Athenaeum Intercontinental features award-winning restaurants, a spa centre and a 24-hour gym. The spacious, elegant rooms include marble bathrooms and a seating area. Featuring wooden furnishings, soft colours and carpets. The restaurant located on the 10th floor, offering spectacular views of the Parthenon and the city of Athens.   The scenic Old Town of Athens, Plaka, is just 1.5 km away. Ermou shopping area is within 2 km. Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport is at 23 km.

Athens

The IHG on the Athenaeum hotel: https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/fr/fr/athens/athha/hoteldetail

The official Athenaeum hotel webpage: https://athenaeumgrand.com.gr/portal/

Other than the hotel facilities ,and some quick snacks on the streets around the hotel, I remember went to a fancy resto recommended by taxi from the hotel. You’ll find Strofi in an old mid-war mansion at the foothills of the Acropolis, in the surrounding and elegant suburb of Thissio. The restois at 25 Rovertou Galli. This is the restaurant I had dinner and with view of the Acropolis with a Greek dance show and on which I received the paperweight of Alexander the Great as souvenir of the visit. I am sure many years ago but believe it was this one. Webpage: https://www.strofi.gr/en/

Athens greece medallion paperweight alexander great c2008

There you go folks, I had to have it in my blog for the old times’s sake of my travels and Athens ,Greece was one of them. Hope you enjoy it and do feel free to tell me your stories on Athens and if know the restaurant!

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

July 6, 2021

Shopping, eating, and staying in Barcelona!!

Another memorable city of my dear Spain and lucky enough to finally seen it since I came to live in France! Therefore, I can say its a new city for me, first time was in 2014 and since several times!! Let me show you a bit of the shopping, eating and staying in Barcelona!!

Barcelona is a city lucky to have visited a few times , and each time see a bit more of it. However, one thing is certain relaxing lodging environment, invigorating shopping and delicious food is what is all about for me. On this post, will tell you about my Crown Plaza Hotel , the shopping at the Arenes or Arenas de Barcelona, and eating at a couple of places all within easy walking distance of my hotel. !

First, I stayed at the wonderful Crowne Plaza Fira Barcelona; a five stars and wonderful hotel of course paying 165 euros per night! The facilities were impecable and would love to stay there again when back to the city.

barcelona-crown-plaza-hotel-arriving-oct18

barcelona-crown-plaza-hotel-bar-night-oct18

A bit more from the hotel’s webpage. Located 200 meters from the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, the Crowne Plaza Barcelona-Fira Center offers stylish décor and spacious accommodations with Flat-screen TVs and Hydro-Massage Showers. Offering a fantastic view of Barcelona, the 173 Rooftop Terrace Restaurant features an outdoor pool, sun loungers and a dining area where you can enjoy Mediterranean specialties as well as a selection of drinks and cocktails. El Mall Restaurant serves a buffet breakfast and Mediterranean cuisine. In addition, the hotel has an elegant piano bar. Free Wi-Fi is available in the public areas and in the Rooms. You will also find a free Internet point in the lobby area. From the hotel, the historic center of Barcelona is easily accessible by bus or metro. The Crowne Plaza Barcelona-Fira Center is located 500 meters from Poble Sec and Plaça d’ Espanya Metro Stations. The Poble Espanyol Museum and the Joan Miró Foundation are 200 meters away as well as all the wonders of Montjuic.(see posts).

barcelona-crown-plaza-hotel-terrace-to-city-monserrat-oct18

barcelona-crown-plaza-hotel-view-of-city-from-4-floor-oct18

And of course for the benefit of those road warriors ,the closest car parking is at BSM Rius i Taulet, Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina, 16, located facing the Plaza del Universo square. Ideal for reaching on foot all in Montjuic and the Plaça d’Espanya by the Fira congress hall and the fountains of Montjuic. Easy access to the Avinguda Para-lel and the Gran Vía de las Cortes Catalanas. By the way the Crowne Plaza has become the Intercontinental Barcelona Hotel all in the family. I could not help telling you I worked for the chain in an accounting management function of several properties in France!

This is a hotel resa webpage telling you about the now old Crowne Plaza: https://www.hrs.com/en/hotel/crowne-plaza-barcelona-fira-center/a-37645/

And the IHG official site on the new Intercontinental Barcelona: https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/gb/en/barcelona/bcncp/hoteldetail

I went out first to a nice find, just walking and heard the guys singing while setting up the tables so the gourmand curious in me told me this is a good happy place, the food must be good. Well it was super, with great Galician Patatas Bravas, and ham and codfish croquettes all down with a pint of Estrella Damm cold beer and coffee cortado all for 22€; the server was of course friendly and with 10 yrs in Barcelona coming from Argentina (probably following Messi !) Oh the place was the Casa de tapas Cañota at Carrer de Lleida, 7.

barcelona-la-canota-de-tapes-restaurant-arriving-oct18

A bit more on it from the tabloids: In the Parallel/Poble Sec, you will find the restaurant Casa de tapas Cañota, a place where the classic spirit merges with a fabulous offer of Tapas. Its renovated decor, at the hands of a designer, makes this place a casual and informal restaurant with striking graphic illustrations. The menu is informal and economical and is based on excellent tapas of great variety par all tastes, without leaving aside the quality that characterizes the products of this Restaurant. At Casa de tapes Cañota you can have a good time in the company of friends watching football and tasting tapas; It also has a heated terrace with access to the mobility impaired. Closest metro and buses at plaça d’Espanya , and Poble Sec.

The official Casa de Tapas Cañota webpage: https://casadetapas.com/en/

And the reviews on my blog roll bottom of my main page YELP on the resto: https://www.yelp.com/biz/casa-de-tapes-ca%C3%B1ota-barcelona-2

The second night I went to a more fancy restaurant on Paral-lel avenue again not far from the hotel. This was again friendly and plenty of food, tapas entries from shrimp to ham croquettes, and codfish fritters, to a nice size steak in pepper sauce , all wash down with plenty of local Rene Barbier red wines, crema Catalana dessert, and coffee for about 35€. Great ambiance and funny moments to share by all there, I was way at the end in a cozy enclosed area of sea decor ,really nice and wonderful corner. Oh yes the restaurant was the L’Amfora ,Avinguda Paral-lel 184 , metro plaça d’Espanya line 3.

barcelona-l-amfora-resto-arriving-oct18

A bit more info from the tabloids: Have an authentic Catalan and mediterranean experience. 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 the tank. Obviously, do not miss the typical desserts and the popular
sangria of Catalan cava. Furthermore, it has private meeting rooms for groups, vegetarian and vegan multiple options and children menus. They are located next to the plaça d’Espanya square, The Fira Congress Palace and The Magic Fountain of Montjuic.

The official L’Amfora restaurant: https://www.restaurantamfora.com/

And the reviews on my blog roll bottom of my main page YELP on the resto: https://www.yelp.com/biz/l-amfora-barcelona-barcelona

And of course the shopping nearby in the area,what better then the Arenas de Barcelona, the old bullfight ring! Built at end of the 19C and opened in 1900 in a neo mudéjar style and ended bullfighting here in 1977, after came the shopping center we know today. Right by Plaça d’Espanya (Spain square) you reach it on metro line 1 and 3, bus V7 and 165, and if coming from the airport the Aerobus leave you just on the other side of the square! webpage: https://www.arenasdebarcelona.com/EN

barcelona-pl-de-espana-arenes-toros-closeup-oct18

There you go folks, a nice 3 days 2 nights in wonderful Barcelona, short and sassy or pretty and smooth, a nice getaway in Europe to nice Barcelona . Hope you enjoy the shopping ,eating, and staying in Barcelona on this post.

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

June 25, 2021

Some news from Spain CVI

And I am coming back at you with my Spain, as said everything under the sun! Things are moving quickly and the spaces are open people out and fun is back. I am waiting for the stadium to be done to be there in my dear Madrid, oh yes the stadium ,the only one, the Santiago Bernabeu home of the Real Madrid CF! Ok ok so now let met tell you some nice news of my beloved Spain. Thanks for reading me since Nov 2010 and on my 106th edition of some news from Spain!

A brief getaway through Castilian lands to visit jewels such as the beautiful Cloister of Santa María la Real de Nieva, in the province of Segovia; the incredible Monastery of Santa Clara, in Tordesillas province of Valladolid, and the unique charm of the Basilica of San Juan de Baños, in Palencia. The proposal supposes an itinerary of 250 km by road from Madrid, which is feasible to cover by car in one day. Just leave early and take advantage of the time! Enjoy the architecturally and historically stunning road warrior tour.

The first stop is in Santa María la Real de Nieva, a peaceful town half an hour from Segovia. The construction of the Gothic church began in 1393 and, once completed, it was handed over to the Dominicans. Shortly after the monastery began to rise and in the following years the church would be expanded, demolishing the apses of the original head.  About 80 km from Santa María la Real, in the direction of Valladolid, awaits Tordesillas, which owes part of its fame to the treaty signed on June 7, 1494 between the representatives of the Catholic Monarchs (Fernando and Isabel) and those of John II of Portugal, for the one that both crowns divided the territories of the New World. In addition, Juana I of Castile, nicknamed La Loca (crazy) and mother of Emperor Carlos V, was locked up in this town for more than 40 years. The Royal Convent of Santa Clara, which hosted the body of Felipe el Hermoso from 1509 to 1525, has been six centuries watching the waters of the Duero flow at its feet. It was originally a Mudejar palace that King Alfonso XI ordered to be built around 1340, as evidenced by the lace decoration and Arabic inscriptions, as well as a charming courtyard with lobed and horseshoe arches reminiscent of the Alhambra in Granada. At  70 km north of Tordesillas is the third architectural landmark of this route: a stone diamond erected by the Visigoth king Recesvinto in the Palencia plain of Venta de Baños. The secluded Basilica of San Juan de Baños, one of the few buildings of this type in Spain, resembles a small chest whose dating is not the slightest doubt as in the front there is a Latin inscription that cites the year 699 , and that corresponds to 661 of our era. Built with large ashlars joined together with little mortar, the temple measures 20 meters long by 13 meters wide. Wonderful!

The rebirth  of Mayte Commodore, the restaurant that was the center of the political intrigues of the Franco regime. In this luxurious premises, the appointment of Juan Carlos de Borbón as successor to the title of King was forged and Manuel Fraga celebrated the wedding invitation to his son. This summer it reopens its doors renovated but with the essence that made it an icon of Madrid. The new space that will open this summer has dispensed with the name of Mayte. It’s going to be called Commodore. Many international actors, such as Anthony Quinn, Charlton Heston or Ava Gardner, and Spanish politicians and artists, such as Juan Domingo Perón and Lola Flores, spent long evenings there. The restaurant opened in 1967, at No 5 Plaza de la República Argentina, in an emblematic brick building. Mayte was born in Santander. She was the only girl of 14 siblings, she studied at the Lausanne School of Hospitality and at 18 she went to Madrid to earn a living in the hospitality industry. She was a tavern server from Cantabria who set up a canteen near the Bronston studios, at the end of calle General Mola, today Calle Principe de Vergara, and dazzled the great stars. From that first space she moved to what we now know as Commodore, the center of the political intrigues of the moment. There, for example, the appointment of Juan Carlos de Borbón as successor to the title of King was forged. Manuel Fraga, then Minister of Information and Tourism, officiated in one of his four private festive evenings, burned in hand, proclaiming his long-awaited openness. There, in 1987, he would celebrate the wedding invitation with his son, Ignacio Fraga, along with Margarita Pedroche. During those years, political personalities such as Felipe Gonzalez, Adolfo Suarez, Santiago Carrillo or Alfonso Guerra would make an appearance. Pure history of Madrid and Spain reborn to visit as soon as possible. Webpage pending.

Medina Azahara, the great scene of the Umayyad power that succumbed in 73 years. In the year 1000, there was no more dazzling city in Europe than Madinat al Zahra, 8 km west of Córdoba, the capital of al-Andalus and the royal home of the self-proclaimed Caliph Abd al-Rahman III. Madinat al Zahra, Castilianized as Medina Aza .A must to see in my Spain. Webpage: https://www.medinaazahara.org/en/

Manuel Escribano,  the first from Las Ventas of Madrid is going to help me so they can count on me as hell he says for the first corrida there since the pandemic. The Sevillian bullfighter will be the first matador de Luces to fight a bull in the Monumental almost two years later. More info here: https://plaza1.janto.es/janto/

At 41, surrounded by his wife Kirenia, his children Axel and Chloe, and all the Real Madrid legends, Felipe Reyes said goodbye to basketball through tears. An unrepeatable player who left unique moments. He was the expected and unexpected goodbye of one of the greatest who wore the shirt of Spain, the third in caps ;236 , only behind Navarro and Epi. He finished with the greatest number of matches played under the Real Madrid  1,046! in 17 seasons where he won  23 titles: 2 Euros cups, 1 Intercontinental Cup, 7 overal playoffs ACB championships, 6 King’s Cup, 6 Super Cup of Spain and 1 ULEB Cup.  3 eurobasket  Cups, 2 Olympic silver and 1 bronze 1 world championship ; 2 Silver eurobasket and 1 bronze; 1 bronze eurobasket junior, 1 gold europe junior. Thank you Felipon and well deserve rest good luck in your future. Hala Madrid!!!!

Madrid wants to open the Retiro park bomb shelter to the public in 2022. The construction of this building began in 1936, in the context of the Spanish Civil War. A document certifies that the work was completed in 1938 and, after the war, it was used for mushroom cultivation due to the little light and humidity it offered. Subsequently, it remained closed for more than thirty years. It had three entrances , two in the park and one in Calle Menéndez Pelayo. In addition, it lacked weapons to defend itself, which indicates that it was intended for the use of the civilian population shelter with an approximate capacity of 275 people. The dimensions of its corridors were from 1.10 to 1.15 meters wide and 1.60 to 2.48 meters high, the galleries were straight and every 25 meters they broke at a 90º angle to avoid for the shock waves to reach more people. To be follow as would be very interesting to go under; to be continue…..

The boats in the El Retiro pond and the Casa de Campo lake can be booked through the ‘Madrid Móvil’ application or the ‘www.madrid.es’ website as of this Saturday, June 26, according to made public by the Madrid City Council The ticket gives the right to the use of a boat with a maximum number of four occupants for 45 minutes from the moment the boat starts to be used. The price is 6 euros for weekdays and 8 euros for Saturdays, Sundays and holidays The number of boats available to citizens is 20 in the Casa de Campo (another 30 new boats will be added at the end of the year) and 100 in El Retiro. Great my favorite time when young boy in Madrid and first girlfriend taken there! Webpage in Spanish: https://www.madrid.es/portal/site/munimadrid

La Barraca will be portable. A wandering and free theater that will travel the torrid roads of Castile, the dusty roads of Andalusia, all the roads that cross the Spanish countryside.  It will penetrate into the villages, towns and villages, and will set up in the squares his tablados and guignol huts. Resurrection of the traveling entertainment of the past times. These are the words of Federico García Lorca about the mythical university theater company that he himself directed together with Eduardo Ugarte between 1932 and 1936.  The last trip of ‘La Barraca’ was on June 14 1936, just two months before his murdered. -He had the support of the then Minister of Public Instruction, Fernando de los Ríos, and intended to take classical theater throughout Spain. The Madrid Theater Institute, dependent on the Complutense University will carry on , bravo chapeau!!! To be able to see it!!!More info here: https://www.ucm.es/item

The most popular European island in 44 European countries as survey by Musement. The Greek Santorini takes the ‘likes’ of a large part of Europeans, but as we can see in 11 of the countries present in the infographic, the favorite island is a Spanish one. After Tenerife, the second most popular island is Mallorca, the favorite of Germans and Belarusians. But this is not all, Ibiza, Menorca and Lanzarote have also earned a place on the map. The study was carried out by analyzing Google search volume data from 200 European islands (excluding island countries). Source webpage : https://www.musement.com/us/

And yes Madrid has metro works and stoppage too.  The Metro de Madrid will cut-off Line 6 and the bus entity EMT will connect the Pacífico and Sainz de Baranda stations during the works. The stops of this special service will be located very close to the entrances of the stations affected by these works, which will last from July 1 to July 31 2021. In the vicinity of the Pacífico metro station, there will be a newly created header (stop 4874), at Avenida Ciudad de Barcelona, 83. From there, the buses will travel along Calle Doctor Esquerdo, making an intermediate stop next to the station. Conde de Casal metro (stop no. 1434) and they will continue their route along this street until they reach the Sainz de Baranda station, where the descent stop no. 4614 will be enabled. In the opposite direction, users must go up at the head again creation no. 4962 to make the route in the Pacific direction along Calle Doctor Esquerdo , with an intermediate stop (no. 1,433) at the Conde de Casal metro and final descent stop next to the Pacífico station (stop no. 1,437). This special service will operate every day of the week between 6h05 and 02h09, with frequencies of two to six minutes at peak hours and on weekdays. The frequencies on Saturdays and Sundays will vary between 6 and 16 minutes depending on the time slot.  This was my route when visiting Madrid on business trips!

For the first time, the prestigious EVOOLEUM Guide rewards the most beneficial groves for health according to their amount of phenols. According to scientific evidence, extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest there is.(I knew that since birth !!)  Among the many benefits of regular and moderate consumption are reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, having an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antitumor effect, and regulating glucose metabolism. Experts believe that, to take advantage of these healthy benefits, it is necessary to consume 20 grams of extra virgin olive oil daily with a phenolic content of at least 250 ppm (parts per million), that is, two tablespoons. According to the prestigious publication, three extra Spanish virgins are among the 10 healthiest: the Cordovan blend of picuda and hojiblanca Parqueoliva Serie Oro, from Almazaras de la Subbética (position no 3), Al Alma del Olivo Cornicabra PDO Montes de Toledo Ecológico, Olinexo ( no. 9), and Pagos de Toral Selección Gourmet, Pagos de Toral (no 10). This ranking by the hand of the EVOOLEUM Guide will be published in September and will be included in the next edition of The 100 best virgin olive oils on the planet 2022, its annual publication. More info webpage; https://www.evooleum.com/en/guide/

Xiringuito by Casa Mono, the dining room with the beach of Madrid. Located in the X-Madrid shopping center in the neighboring town of Alcorcón, it has a dining room, terrace and beach and sand area, and offers a kitchen with contemporary touches. Behind it are well-known names in Madrid’s restaurants, those of the creators of the aforementioned New York-style bar-restaurant in the Argüelles neighborhood -Casa Mono-, Martinete (Salamanca district), Ateneo (in the center of Madrid) and Los Pérez (Boadilla del Monte).  Located at Calle Oslo, 53. X-Madrid Shopping Center, local 061.  webpage:   https://x-madrid.com/taste/el-xiringuito/

And there you go folks, another dandy informative post from my humble personal some news from Spain! Hope you enjoy it and again thanks for reading it. Enjoy Spain, everything under the Sun!! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!!

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May 23, 2021

The dream world of Disneyland Paris!

Now let me update for you and me this older family trip to world famous Disneyland Paris! It started slow but has become the most visiting sight in France! And getting lots of visitors from all over Europe!!! We have been sooo many times with small children at Walt Disney Orlando FL that when we came to France it was a natural to visit here. So this is our story.

Therefore, why not come back to my old post on Disneyland Paris.  I took my sons there and we stayed at the old Holiday Inn Disneyland, then the Vienna Magic hotel and now the Vienna House Magic Circus Hotel. And I had several meetings held there when working with the hotel chain IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group). We have been to the Walt Disney park in Orlando FLorida so many times lost counts , with me on concerts, with my boys, and then taken friends/family there. We never visited Disneyland Paris from the USA as not needed we thought. However, once in France , the itch became too great not to try and see it. Well ,there is no contest in my opinion to the one in Orlando ,but at least folks in Europe have a more affordable Mickey place to see and enjoy.

Let me tell you a brief about the parks and the history in France as I like it.

Disneyland Paris, previously called Euro Disney Resort and before that Disneyland Resort Paris is a tourist entertainment park of 22,3 km located in the town of Chessy in the department 77 of Seine et Marne. It includes two parks,; the Disneyland and the Walt Disney studios as well as 27 hotels and a golf course and covers into the shopping and aquarium area of Val d’Europe. All link from Paris by the train line RER A as well as by car on the expressway or autoroute A4 direction Metz, as well as a TGV train line.

This huge complex in addition to the above mention items mainly the two entertainment parks , hotels and golf of 27 holes ; it also, has Disney Village  , restaurants and shows. 7 hotels on Disney property such as Disneyland hotel, New York, Sequoia Lodge, Newport Bay Club, Cheyenne, Santa Fe, Ranch Davy Crockett; and 10 partner hotels such as Villages Nature Paris, Elysée Val d’Europe, Explorer Fabulous hotel , Kyriad, Adagio city Aparthotel, Marriott Village ile de France, Magic Circus Hotel , Radisson Blu, Campanile Val de France and B&B hotel disneyland.

By 2002, the park is enlarge with the opening of Walt Disney Studios located on the south side of Disneyland and along the line of the RER A. Opening with 10 attractions with the cinema and cartoons as principal attractions. Recently reported in the news and my blog, there was the announcement of a new investment by Disneyland of about 2 Billion Euros so doubling the park Walt Disney Studios into 3 zones between 2021 and 2025 on the themes of Frozen, Star Wars, and Marvel. The Parc Walt Disney Studios is by Val d’Europe in Marne la Vallée . Once entering to the left you have the huge store boutique and on the right the information desk, and visitor services. At the center, there is a fountain with a statue of Mickey. Studio 1 is a building facing the entrance to the park serving as the shopping street but is covered showing a Hollywood as it was in the golden age of the 1930’s. On it you see the boutiques of the Hollywood legends in three consecutive spaces; the second space show the luxury boutique of Rodeo Drive , and the last space show the Crossroads of the World change into a service station selling DVD’s. The Toy Story Playland at the Place de Rémy is a section of Toon Studio representing the Paris of the film Ratatouille. In the section Production Courtyard you have on the left of the exit of Studio 1, and includes the attractions located on the main square decorated with a statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse . The highlight is the Tower of Terror showing the mysteries of Hollywood Tower Hotel where the riders in an elevator/lift disappeared in a night of lightning scary. Hollywood boulevard installations include a replica of the Hollywood Boulevard of Los Angeles on the right and the Backlog on the back left of the park showing the scenaries of what it looks like the studios today.

The 3 train stations, RER A, regular trains line Serris-Montévrain Val d’Europe, and the TGV Marne la Vallée-Chessy. Two shopping centers or malls such as Val d’Europe (includes Sea Life aquarium) and the La Vallée Village outlet shopping. In all, a business park Goodman, and several residential communities. Coming by car as we have , you take off the Paris boulevard périphérique the A4 direction Metz and get out at sortie or exit 14 follow road D344P all well posted; around the parks there is the big boulevard du Grand Fossé easy link to hotels and Val d’Europe shopping.. Bear in mind, there is a cost last was 20€/day for parking in the park. The RER A from Paris proper you can take it at Nation, Gare de Lyon, Châtelet-Les-Halles, Auber (Great department stores and gare St Lazare) and Charles de Gaulle-Etoile (Arc de Triomphe). You have local bus service such as from the bus terminal at Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy from the stations of Serris-Montévrain-Val d’Europe, Meaux, Château Thierry, Lagny, Thorigny, Crécy-la-Chapelle, Coulommiers, Provins and Esbly .The bus network Seine et Marne Express on several lines , and Noctilien N130 and N141. The airport CDG is easy to come here by navettes Magical Shuttle and on the TGV train from CDG to Marne la Vallée Chessy. You, also ,now have two options from Paris proper on the navette Disneyland Paris Express from the Tour Eiffel and another out of Gare du Nord train station, Opéra Garnier,and Châtelet. 

The Disneyland Paris webpage: https://www.disneylandparis.com/en-gb/

To fine Disney stores or events in France: https://www.shopdisney.fr/trouver-un-magasin

The airports magical Express bushttps://magicalshuttle.co.uk/

The Transilien area network on the RER A trainhttps://www.transilien.com/fr/page-lignes/ligne-A

Well coming on business meetings and part of the group of hotels on Disneyland property had many perks at greatly reduce or nothing at all; but that is another story. I like to tell you when I took my family there for the first time. We are planning to go again once travel restrictions and the park opens again! It will be a blast I am sure to compare young and older times.

We drove over of course, as we have family not far and combine the trip with a visit north to Meaux. Even thought the official site tells you to get off on exit 14 of the A4 , we got in by exit 12.1 going into the D345 road and into the D344 and boulevard du Grand Fossé and our hotel Holiday Inn Disneyland  (now its call the Magic Circus Hotel).  The parking was reduce pricing for me at 5€ (it is 20€), the hotel was half price and the food well eventually did not pay anything. But that was the business discount. My boys were small in the early teens so the trip was memorable for them.We remember the hotel was all deco in a clown theme or dream world with a large wonderful restaurant, and an even better indoor heated pool! The current hotel webpage for the memories is here: https://www.magiccircus-hotel.com/

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The boys really like the indoor pool and the ice creams on the restaurant; we just relax…as one can with 3 young boys. And we hit the attractions of Disneyland starting by Disney Village and eating at the old favorite from Florida, the Rainforest Cafe! The food and the attractions ::) were memorable. resto webpage: http://rainforestcafe.fr/

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And ok, we finally went into the park lol!!We got into the park early by opening time, a must , much more today. The favorite still is Space Mountain ride, the Star Wars galaxy ride, the IMAX movie cinema, for French eating the Auberge de Cendrillon at Fantasyland. The pirates of the Caribbean, and Adventureland. The park really needs two days to see it all at leisure; and now another day for Walt Disney Studios and the movies stars.

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One side trip we enjoyed for shopping was the Val d’Europe mall; really like American inspired and wondeful. For info webpage: https://val-d-europe.klepierre.fr/

val-d-europe-place-d-ariane-and-agape-cafe

Like I said, for teens this is a must to visit in France now, and the most visited park in Europe! I believe they will do as in Orlando; an old marshy swamp area totally change by men into a sparkling metropolis with all kinds of entertainment. By the time they finish all the investment money here it will be the same. Already they are American style home communities shopping centers and a housing and business boom in all the towns around it.

The new town of Marne-La Vallée was created in the 1960’s. It includes for about 20 km wide the towns from Bry-sur-Marne to Bailly-Romainvilliers, and divided into four districts or sectors. These are sector I or Porte de Paris with the towns of Noisy-le-Grand, as well as Bry-sur-Marne ,and Villiers-sur-Marne. Sector II or gate of Val Maubuée including the towns of Champs-sur-Marne, Croissy-Beaubourg, Émerainville, Lognes, Noisiel, and Torcy. Sector III or gate of Val de Bussy including the towns of Bussy-Saint-Georges, Bussy-Saint-Martin, Chanteloup-en-Brie, Collégien, Conches-sur-Gondoire, Ferrières-en-Brie, Gouvernes, Guermantes, Jossigny, Lagny-sur-Marne, Montévrain, and Saint-Thibault-des-Vignes . Finally , sector IV with the towns of Bailly-Romainvilliers, Chessy, Coupvray, Magny-le-Hongre, Serris ,and Villeneuve-le-Comte. This new town is cross by the RER A on the line along the expressway A4 including nine stations such as Bry-sur-Marne,Noisy-le-Grand – Mont d’Est,Noisy-Champs,Noisiel,Lognes,Torcy,Bussy-Saint-Georges,Serris-Montévrain – Val d’Europe, and Marne-la-Vallée – Chessy.

Other things to see around Disneyland that are worth seeing in my opinion are the historical town of Meaux only 20 minutes from the park in the region of Brie (cheese) and mustard Pommery. Visit the gothic Cathedral (one of the last ones done in France), its episcopal palace and garden done by Le Nôtre and the museum Bossuet, the Eagle of Meaux and confessor of king Louis XIV. Follow the road of the Impressionists painters in Moret-sur-Loing with the likes of Monet, Renoir, and Sisley that walked on this town. See Barbizon, the town of painters and amateurs of Art on a pretty town following the footsteps of Corot, Millet, and Rousseau. The painters leaders of the 19C that did their most important work here; see the School of Barbizon,the museum of painters or the workshops of Rousseau and Millet.

Hope you enjoy the ride into magical Disneyland Paris. It is worth a detour with family, and shopping is great too. As said we will be back!!

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

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March 21, 2021

Real Madrid forever!!!!!!!!!!!!

And this a joyful post for me and lots of memories in my beloved Madrid and on the mythical stadium Santiago Bernabeu. I have done several posts on my team Real Madrid CF over the years in my blog, and I take this opportunity to update these old posts condense into one. I am having a thrill and hope you follow me along. Hala Madrid!!!

Of course, this is a club known for its football/soccer (sp. futbol) and basketball/(sp. baloncesto) but it also has several lower level farm teams such as the Cadete B, also, the Juvenil A . The Real Madrid C . The Alevin A ,the Benjamin B , and the Alevin B, the Cadete A , the Benjamín A. The Juvenil B  and the Infantiles A , and B. The team just below the main team is call Real Madrid Castilla . All these teams are collectively known as the Fàbrica or factory teams.

The French sports daily L’Equipe which was an integral part in the creation of the Champions league or as it was call before the Cup of Europe ,has just named the Real Madrid as the best team in the history of the competition. In the overall 56 editions of the Champions, Real Madrid is first ,followed by AC Milan, and Bayern Munich. The much publicize culés only arrives in fourth place. The top ten are Real Madrid 483 points, AC Milan 330, Bayern Munich 288,Barcelona 250,Liverpool 237,Manchester United 229, Ajax Amsterdam 220, Benfica 217, Juventus 215, Inter Milan 184 points. As of November 2017.  The magazine L’Equipe also created an all star selection of those that played in those Champions over the years. In this selection, there are two players that have wore the shirt of Real Madrid are Alfredo Di Stefano and Clarence Seedorf.

In another developement for the first time in 38 years the Real Madrid is wearing red shirts as second uniform or away games. Before it was in 1971 and 1973 my times of living in the city!!!!

The club is trying to improve the facilities in the training grounds at Valdebebas, now even a hotel for the players and staff is envision. This is a reality and the new Sports City is awesome, the stadium name after Alfredo Di Stefano historical in the fabolous history of the Real Madrid CF.

The next big project in union with the above is to renovate the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu  ! There since Dec 14, 1947 and already a FIFA top rated stadium as a five stars rating. One of the improvements will be the enlargement of the trophy room/museum (oh yes it will grow for sure::)) and the tour Bernabeu will be expanded inside facilities to see (already 750 000 persons paid visits per year). It will have a plaza in front of stadium on paseo de la castellana and another one by the current esquina del Bernabeu , which memorable will be demolish. A new underground parking for capacity of 1000 cars and improvement on the current one at padre Damian and concha Espina with 500 places. This is ongoing as I write and will be awesome!!!

The Liga starts, that is football for most ,soccer for some, and calcio for a few of you. This is Spain top division, commonly refere as the Liga Santander as sponsored by the big Spanish bank. The team is the glory of Spain and its history, 34 Liga championships speaks loud and clear in my book. However, a team such as this needs more , a lot more. The European Champions league is made for them, won it 13 times more than any,and its the team ultimate goal.

The official Real Madrid webpage on titles won in English: https://www.realmadrid.com/en/about-real-madrid/honours/football

Let me stop and tell you a bit about me and my Real Madrid: My first steps into the sports was while living in Madrid as a young boy of 10, there playing around the Elipa, met some young Spaniards who encourage me to try for the team.  At the Elipa played on the sport club of baseball for a club call, Real Madrid that at the time sponsored a team in the Madrid championship with 8 teams. Ins and outs of the politics of the system I end up playing in the formation training group for the Real Madrid at Casa de Campo fields. This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship (as Ricky said in Casablanca), actually it had grown stronger over the years, and now its a passion without limits. And I am glad that my sons had shown an interest in the club as well.  Leaving Madrid was of necessary for my parents, but been fortunate enough to come back often,and now living in France, my trips there are frequent. This allows to give me time to stay closer to my love,Real Madrid. It has given me the opportunity to stay closer to other fans with the same love,and to make new friends in Spain that have remain close over the years,sort like a family away from home. When lived here, I started out playing baseball for the Real Madrid at the Parque Municipal de la Elipa complex, remember taking the P13 bus (today is the 113) from Alcalà street to the Elipa. Today baseball is still played there and the seat of the Madrid baseball/softball federation. I am honorary member of five peñas or supporting group of the Real Madrid from Xove (Lugo) ,Albaicin,( Granada), and Malaga Spain with regular visits. The trips to the Santiago Bernabeu StadiumValdebebas Real Madrid Sports City,WiZink etc are annually and sometimes more; some times getting together with similar friends there in groups or individually. Nowdays, the facilities have nothing in common to those of earlier years. The moment I entered the casa de campo training site for the Real Madrid CF change my orientation of sports forever. My love for Real Madrid is huge, even my French dear late wife Martine , who was not into it , became a follower and even came with me to the Santiago Bernabeu and the old  vista alegre basketball arena for the games, it was good for both!!! It has been a wonderful journey with many friends in different parts of the world , just last year finished playing indoor soccer /fooball here in France on a Corporate league.

The city of Madrid on the Elipahttps://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/El-Ayuntamiento/Equipamientos-deportivos/Centros-deportivos-/Deportes/Tenis-de-mesa/Centro-Deportivo-Municipal-La-Elipa/?vgnextfmt=default&vgnextoid=f6b842be9971c010VgnVCM1000000b205a0aRCRD&vgnextchannel=37ec50ccf45c6310VgnVCM1000000b205a0aRCRD

For the historical keeper this was the team in the 2012-13 season for the Real Madrid : Casillas, Adán, and  Jesús as goalies, Defenders: Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Coentrão, Albiol, Arbeloa ,and Varane. Midfielders :Kaká, Özil, Xabi Alonso, Granero, Khedira, Lass, Callejón ,and Di María. Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Higuaín, and Morata.

This we have won 19 times but could be more if more importance is given to the old King’s Cup or Spanish Cup . Last wonderful time was in the Spanish King’s cup, we won again beating archrivals Barcelona (second in the Liga) 1X2 with the winning goal from Welsh international Gareth Bale. It was our 19th King’s Cup in history. Season 2013-2014.  Needless to say,in both football and basketball we are the winningest club both in the Spanish League (Santander)  and European titles( Champions).

And let me tell you a bit on the history of my Real Madrid CF!  The Real Madrid CF was actually born in 1902, and given the title of Real or Royal by King Alfonso XIII in 1920. Juan Padrós was elected the first ever club President and adopted a white uniform Carlos Padrós, the brother and also future President organized a tournament for the crowning of king Alfonso XIII, sort of the first national tournament called Madrid football association tournament and received popular support that made extends the tournament and later named Copa del Rey (King’s Cup) as it is still play today!

The initial club takes over the Moderno FC who was the winner of the first regional championship in 1903 and was renamed the Madrid Moderno FC. The team wins all these regional tournaments from 1905-08 as well as the Copa del Rey or King’s Cup. The management leaders of the club participated in the creation of the first Spanish football federation in 1909. At the same time that the club won the regional championships of 1910, 1913, 1916, 1917, 1918 and 1920, as well as the Copa del Rey in 1917.  Following the initiative of the English league, a national championship appears in 1926 with the approval of the Spanish federation in 1928; the first championship is held in 1929 with the first division teams of Athletic Bilbao, FC Barcelona ,Atlético de Madrid ,and the Real Madrid.

The abolition of the monarchy and the establishement of the Second Republic in 1931 enforced the club of retiring the Royal emblems logos and lose the title of Real becoming simply the Madrid Football Club. Finally, in the 1931-1932 season the club wins the national championship and all due to the amazing goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora, recruited in 1930. Later in 1959 his name is chosen to award the best goalkeeper in the Spanish first division. In 1934 and 1936,Real Madrid wins the Copa del Presidente de la República, ( the president of the republic cup) who replaced the Copa del Rey. The year 1936 was the last year playing of Ricardo Zamora with Madrid, and also, the tragic Spanish Civil War begins.

After the defeat of the Republicans by the Nationalist of Gen Francisco Franco,the club is giving back the title of royal or Real and the crown logo on their shirts. The football championship starts again ,and the club wins the 1943 Copa del Generalísimo (the king’s cup change to the general’s cup). By 1943 entered into the club the legendary figure of our new President Santiago Bernabéu ; he was a player in 1909 and played in first division as captain until 1927 (689 games and more than 340 goals), after passing to the technical team. The club lost a lot during the Spanish Civil War comparing to the Atlético Madrid (taken over by the army air force and renamed Athletico Aviación de Madrid). Bernabéu spent several months trying to rebuilt the Real Madrid.

The march to glory begins. The Real Madrid recruits the Argentine forward Alfredo Di Stéfano and wins the Spanish championship in 1953 and Di Stéfano,finished as best goal scorer with 29 goals together with the young Francisco Gento. The Stadium is enlarged in 1954 to 125 000 persons and the team recruits another Argentine Héctor Rial, and again the championship is won with Di Stéfano scoring 25 goals. During the summer of 1955, the Real Madrid wins the Copa Latina that opposed the champions clubs of Spain, Italy, France, and Portugal beating in the final at the Paris Parc des Princes,the French club Stade de Reims.  In the 1955-1956 season was founded the first edition of the Cup of Europe, and the Real Madrid wins its first European championship beating the same Stade de Reims led by Raymond Kopa 4-3. A few weeks later the Real signs Raymond Kopa making a deadly attack with Di Stefano, Rial, and Gento. In the season 1957-1958,the Real Madrid signed the defender Uruguayan José Santamaría and in 1958 signed the Hungarian Ferenc Puskás that together with Gento, Kopa and Di Stéfano allows the club to win the European championships five times all together during this period.

In 1960, the Real Madrid wins the first Intercontinental Cup beating Peñarol of Uruguay winner of the Copa Libertadores,5×1. In 1966, Real Madrid wins its 6th European Cup!! The era of Santiago Bernabéu comes to an end on June 2,1978 with the passing of Don Santiago at age 82, just before the opening of the World Cup in Argentina . After 35 years as President of the club; the following year the club creates the Trofeo Bernabeu tournament that still is play today.  It begins a drought in European Cups with the Quinta del Buitre group from 1981-1990 with players such as Manolo Sanchís, Martín Vázquez, Míchel, Miguel Pardeza, and Emilio Butragueño (El buitre) and later the Mexicaine Hugo Sánchez blending veterans such as Juanito, Valdano ,and Santillana. The magnificent period includes two Champions of the UEFA Cup,1985-1986, five times the Liga national championship between 1986 and 1990 (a record),and one Cup of Spain in 1989. Only the European Cup escapes them.  The period 1991-2000, saw many dry hands and a period of adjustments to many coaches and presidents. Finally in 1998, under the new name of the competition from European Cup to Champions league (1992) ,and the Real Madrid wins its 7th beating Juventus 1X0 in the final ;later in December they win the Intercontinental Cup beating Vasco da Gama of Brazil.

From 2000 on the new President is Florentino Perez known for his big checks and gallactic players, such as Luís Figo, Zinédine Zidane,Ronaldo, David Beckham, Michael Owen, and Robinho. Winning again the Champions league of 2000 and 2002 as well as the Intercontinental of 2002, and the UEFA Supercup of 2002. Also, in 2006 Florentino Perez resigns first time.  The era 2006-2009 under President Ramon Calderon, on a disastrous period of not winning that caused his resignation and the retunr of Florentino Perez in June 2009. Cristiano Ronaldo is signed in 2009. Various coaches changes of not so good performances continues.  Finally, the era of Zinedine Zidane begins on January 2016. Winning the World Club championship ;also winning the Champions league three years in a row a record never before done, and hard to beat. Also, in 2017, later in August it wins the UEFA SuperCup also two times in a row!!! 6/8 titles for Zidane!!!! again in August they win the SuperCup of Spain , and later in December they win the World Club tournament to bring the total of 5 titles in 2017 out a possible 6, a record for the club.

In December 2000, the club is name by FIFA the best club of the 20C; and also received the order of merit by FIFA in 2004. Also, the IFFHS in Europe name it best club of the 20C in Europe!  Simply the best ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! On April 1st 2017 the Real Madrid CF became the first club with 100 millions fans in their Facebook page!!! My hangout when by the Bernabeu is the Real Cafe Bernabeu restaurant where you can see the field of play sitting in a nice table. webpage: https://realcafebernabeu.es/

This is the official Real Madrid CF webpage in English: https://www.realmadrid.com/en

And for me since 1972 the best sports daily is AS, and now gladly keep up online and on apps, their official page having English language and versions on several countries now including the USA! https://as.com/

If you want to follow the Liga in Spanish try here which I have in my links below my blog: Foro del Real Madridhttps://fororealmadrid.com/index.php

The Spanish La Liga Santander first division webpage: https://www.laliga.com/laliga-santander

The RFEF or Real Federacion Española de Fùtbol federation on the first division : https://www.rfef.es/competiciones/futbol-masculino/resultados/primera-division

Just last year we have started a women team as Real Madrid CF femenino or female and the team on its first year is doing well rank in 4th place as I write in the Liga Iberdrola, or Spain women’s first division: https://www.realmadrid.com/football/female-team

Follow the renovation of the best stadium in the world Santiago Bernabeu Madrid of the Real Madrid CF of course: https://www.realmadrid.com/en/bernabeu-stadium

There you go folks, wants to be the best, start by following the best ever in the history of football/soccer, my Real Madrid CF and join our family, its for life!!! Hala Madrid!!!!

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

February 10, 2021

This is Düsseldorf!!

Again, this is a memorable visit of many anecdotes on my first ever visit to Dusseldorf in neighboring Germany. I like to update/revise text and refresh links on this original old post from 2018, however the pictures first time in my blog are from 2011!!. Hope you enjoy it ,and thanks for reading me over the years!

The idea of going to Germany was always in our minds and we eventually got there on several times. However, the start was slow; after Trier, I had a business trip to Düsseldorf and it became and still is the only time needed an airplane to get there!  Düsseldorf has been buried in my blog for a long time and I like to give it a new fresh air to this wonderful city of many nice funny memories.

The funny part I remember well was that in our group someone got the idea for dinner out in the city and reserved a restaurant Brauerie Schumacher was it. We of course, speak no German ,so we figure we can go out and find the place. We walked a lot followed other groups thinking they knew where was the restaurant ,when in fact, they were lost too!!! lol! We tried several places that the name looks close until we finally arrived at the restaurant above and dinner was half way going, of course we stayed for the rest !! yeah!

Anyway these were the restaurants for the memories’ sake (see post) The bars were full, we had a great time at the Intercontinental Hotel lobby bar, and then went on to check out the two next ones that are a must for everyone visiting the city. For the best steaks western style and wines galore head for the The Classic Western Steakhouse, Tubmannstrr 12 , Tel +49 (0211) 20031507. top US beef with sound of country music and old western photos all over the walls,huge and delicious. The next evening we went for old German chow, of beef and potatoes and green beens at a place where the beer never stop coming, I had ten glasses, and it was delicious, we walk home lol! This was at Brauerie Schumacher, Oststr 123, Tel +49 (0211) 828 9020. A brewery there since 1838, pub with beautiful wood carvings. The airport was great too, very clean, and friendly even without speaking German. I try the resto on the travel gallery on the E3 level , Das Gasthaus , more chow, this time flaky meaty fish, mashed potatoes, and the same nutty walnut cake type with a large Becks beer lol!

dusseldorf-canal-on-konigsaller-nov11

dusseldorf-konigsaller-fountain-end-canal-nov11

Another funny sequence for me was that I was a top contributor in a travel forum now gone called Virtual Tourist, and I asked in the forum how to get to the hotel from the airport as I was reaching the city by airplane (first and only time because afterward been with my car ::)) . Of course, in this forum , you know, reason not on any now; the gang suggested for me to take the S-Bahn or something like that. Well for this road warrior first time in a city that was a bit too much. I remember walking out of the airport thinking on what I was told on public transport ,and instinctly just walked out to get a taxi lol! This was about 21€ but it was the most talkative funny guy ever in English! Of course, the way back took a taxi too, sublime.

Now a bit on the city of Dusseldorf itself!

Düsseldorf is the capital and the second largest city in the Lande of North Rhine-Westphalia, located mainly on the right bank of the Rhine river, it lies at the western limits of the vast agglomeration of Rhine-Ruhr.  The town is located on the Rhine, at the confluence of the Düssel, a small river in the valley of which was discovered in 1856 in a cave the skeleton of what is now called the man of Neanderthal and is located in the neighboring town of Erkrath. Düsseldorf  means the  “village of Düssel”.

Düsseldorf International Airport is located 8 km north of the city center and is very nice and easy to navigate,  the airport is connected directly to the central train station of the city by the S-Bahn Rhine Ruhr (Metro/Regional train) in about 12 minutes. There is a  suspended monorail, the Skytrain, connecting the 3 terminals to Düsseldorf Flughafen station, where many ICE trains stops. The largest station of the city is however the Central station right in the city center.  The roads I find out in later trip are very good and fast just like I like them ,to the west, the A57 highway, which connects Cologne to Nijmegen in the Netherlands, to the east, the A3, one of Germany’s longest highways, since it extends from the Dutch border (Arnhem) to the Austrian border (Passau) on nearly 750 km. To the north and south, respectively the A44 direction Liège in Belgium and the A46 join the A57 to the north and south of Neuss, the great neighbouring city of Düsseldorf and the A3. The Taxis are strictly regulated, and very good deal, I took them for this trip and they were superb.

Now, a bit of history I like

Erected in town in 1288, Düsseldorf was a long time the capital of the Duchy of Juliers-Berg; with this, the city passed under the domination of the Palatine counts, which, by inheritance, became the 17C and 18C of Latin and Bavaria voters. The first written mention of Düsseldorf (then called Dusseldorp in the local Low Rhenish dialect) dates back to 1135. Under Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa , the small town of Kaiserswerth to the north of Düsseldorf became a well-fortified outpost, where soldiers kept a watchful eye on every movement on the Rhine river . Kaiserswerth eventually became a suburb of Düsseldorf in 1929. Bombarded by the French in 1795, which razed the fortifications, transformed today into parks and avenues, the city became the capital of the Grand Duchy of Berg, which had Murat and Napoleon Bonaparte as sovereigns. It was returned to Bavaria by the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801, and passed with the Grand Duchy of Berg to Prussia in 1815.

Some of the key dates on Dusseldorf are:

1773, the oldest academy of Fine Arts in Europe is founded.
1795, the French Revolutionary army bombarded the city and razed its fortifications, which were then transformed into parks and avenues. 1797 ,birth in Düsseldorf of the poet Heinrich Heine who writes in 1827 “The city of Düsseldorf is very beautiful, and when in the distance we think of it and that by chance we were born, we feel all funny. I was born there, and in those cases I think I have to go home right now. And when I say go home, I mean the Bolkerstrasse and the house where I was born… »

1805, Napoleon created the Grand Duchy of Berg within the framework of the Confederation of the Rhine and designated as capital Düsseldorf. The Dukes of Berg housed in a castle town where he hosted Joachim Murat and Jérôme Bonaparte. 1815, after the fall of the French Empire of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna established that the whole duchy should be part of Prussia. 1921-1925, in the context of the occupation of the Rhineland after WWI,  French troops stayed in the city.

The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Düsseldorf in mid-April 1945. The United States 97th Infantry Division easily captured the city on 18 April 1945,  after the local Nazi resistance group launched Aktion Rheinland.  At the end of the war 50%  of the buildings were destroyed, 90% damaged.  1946, the British military government raised the city to the rank of capital of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.  The city is then rebuilt and becomes the administrative center of the region.

Some of the things to see and do here are

In the 19C, the Academy of Fine Arts, under the impetus of Wilhelm von Schadow, made Düsseldorf both one of the major artistic centers of Germany and a pole of European romantic and realistic art. We are talking about a school in Düsseldorf.  At the same time, Düsseldorf is also associated with an essential artist of Romanticism in another field, music. The city appointed Robert Schumann Generalmusikdirektor (something like Music Director). He lived there with his wife Clara Wieck, a composer and pianist, from 1850 to 1854. It was in Düsseldorf that he created his last symphony, Symphony No. 3, called “Rhine”. The highly visited Museum Kunstpalast and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, which brings together the K20 and the K21 are some of the notable museums in town. By the city center you have the Church of Saint Andrews built in 1667; the  Düsseldorf racecourse for horses, the  Basilica of St. Margaret, the Church-Bunker, and the Church of St. Cecilia.

Düsseldorf is a very active city with good ambiance and old world town area vibrant with restos and beer pubs.  It is also of course known for beer. The local one is known as the Altbier , a hoppy beer which translates as old style beer , a reference to the pre-lager brewing method of using a warm top-fermenting yeast like British pale ales.  Over time the  yeast adjusted to lower temperatures, and the Alt brewers would store lager the beer after fermentation, leading to a cleaner, crisper beer. The name “altbier” first appeared in the 19C  to differentiate the beers of Düsseldorf from the new pale lager that was gaining a hold on Germany . In the city ,there are five pub-breweries which brew Altbier on the premises, these are  Füchschen, Schumacher, Schlüssel, Uerige and Brauerei Kürzer. Four of the five are in the historic centre of Düsseldorf (Altstadt); the other (Schumacher), between the Altstadt and Düsseldorf Central railway station (Hauptbahnhof), also maintains an establishment in the Altstadt, Im Goldenen Kessel, across the street from Schlüssel.

One of the biggest cultural events in Düsseldorf is the  Karneval or Carnival which starts every year on 11 November in the morning., and reaches its climax on Rosenmontag or Rose Monday, featuring a huge parade through the streets of Düsseldorf.  The Carnival ends on aschermittwoch or Ash Wednesday. The local tradition of the Radschläger or Cartwheelers is said to be the city’s oldest tradition .This tradition was honored in 1954 by the erection of a fountain, called Cartwheeler’s Fountain, on the Burgplatz square.  Every Christmas, the city of Düsseldorf uses the city center to host one of the largest Christmas gatherings in Germany. The Christmas festival occurs every year from 17 November until 23 December. OF course all these dates are to be check on your trip here.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

The City of Dusseldorf on things to see in English: https://www.duesseldorf.de/international/tourism.html

The Tourist office of Dusseldorf: https://www.duesseldorf-tourismus.de/en

An interesting webpage on the Franco-German Circle of Dusseldorf in French/German of course: https://dfkdus.de/fr/notre-cercle/

It was a memorable trip and nostalgia says I should go back, will see when possible. If not as we say memories forever and thanks for reading me and to have a blog to keep these memorable travels. However, recommended for all visiting Germany.

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

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