Posts tagged ‘Bretagne’

July 16, 2019

Notre Dame Cathedral , Jul19 update!

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

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

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

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

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

What is there now:

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

What has been heard to be done:

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

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

Official historical construction period of the Notre Dame Cathedral

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

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




July 15, 2019

Restaurant: Brittany and Normandy!

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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


July 13, 2019

Citadel at Port Louis!

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

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

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

port louis

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

port louis

port louis

port louis

port louis

Really ,the main urge to come here is the citadelle and its museum of the Indies. It is an impressive fortress and must visit if in the area.  The museum  of the Marine  is a wonderful recollection of the seafaring French/Breton and its seafaring skills. The site is

The other museum Inside that covers more of the compagnie des  indies épisodes to far régions such as Africa, Asia, and the Americas :

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

port louis

port louis

A bit of history of Port Louis I like

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

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

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

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

port louis

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

port louis

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

July 9, 2019

The halles or market of Clisson!

So wandering my way to beautiful wine country of the Nantaise between the ocean and the Loire  we came to Clisson. Now I have written on wines of it and heritage of it in my blog before but this time let me concentrate a bit more on the Halles or covered market of Clisson.

The town of Clisson is in the Loire Atlantique dept 44 of the Pays de la Loire region. However, it used to be part of the Duchy of Brittany.  The town is located between Nantes, Cholet ,and La Roche sur Yon in the limits of the dept of Maine et Loire and Vendée. Take it from Nantes on the D149 road into Route de Nantes and city center /Centre ville Clisson.

The Halles or covered market of Clisson shows on recent analyses that the halles date from the 14C and are among the oldest in France. The estimated period is of 1374-1376, that is to say at the time of Olivier V , Constable of France.


The halles are erected on the market square attested here since Guillaume de Clisson in the previous century or 13C. Clisson city of the markets of Brittany was also a city of important markets at the crossroads of three former provinces: Brittany, Anjou and Poitou. Before the French revolution, there was a house of Minage, located in the square of the same name, which collected taxes on cereals entering the market. The lower Les Halles housed, as was often the case, a court of law.


In 1793, following Torfou’s defeat, the Republicans (French revolutionaries) set Clisson on fire. The following year, the city was largely ravaged by the passage of the Infernal Columns, commissioned by Turreau to eradicate any Royalist resistance. It was probably spared because this building had a practical purpose, it served as a camp for Republican troops.

The halles are supported by a remarkable structure composed of different species of wood such as fir, chestnut, and oak, the architectural opulence testifies to the intensity of the trade practiced in Clisson and the richness of the city. The halles extend from rue St. Jacques to the southern end of Place Notre Dame. Nowadays, they are home to the big market on Tuesdays and Fridays all year round and make the heart of the city beat. The city page on the markets: City of Clisson on market days


Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Clisson on the halles

Tourist office of the Val de Loire on the halles of Clisson

And voilà , you have another wonderful excuse to come out west and see these gems. Like I said, a lot more than good muscadet wines are here in the Nantaise! Enjoy the Halles of Clisson.

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


July 7, 2019

Cesson-Sevigné ! of course…..

Ok sorry for my uncreative titles huh! well this is something that I need to tell you as it is one of our past times here in my belle France and lovely Brittany.  We go around a lot here by car and walks in town and never cease to amaze me the diversity on how one can spent a day.

I used to come to the town of Cesson-Sevigné searching for fresh local produce anywhere away from supermarket industrial kind which yes matilda exist in France too. My dear late wife Martine found it and we came to try it. It was very good but too far to do groceries about 1h30 from home. We stop coming for a while and today decided to give it a run in combination with some walks in beautiful Rennes. It was scorching hot at 34C or about 94F! but we did as much as possible on the walks. Needless to tell you , Rennes city center was packed.

We went in Rennes by the Place du Champs to réveille at the wonderful statue of Jean Leperdit and the wooden houses all around it. Continue to the Marché des Lices vibrant pack as always, and took another turn at the Basilica Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle. All again while supporting the heat and sunrays. There was in addition to the market traffic , heavy construction renovation all over including our favorite rue de Saint Malo, completely broken up for renovation. Why a bit on Rennes because Cesson-Sévigne is next to it…




Let me tell you a bit on Cesson-Sevigné quand même lol! Cesson-Sévigné  is located in the department of Ille-et-Vilaine 35, in the Brittany region. Contiguous to Rennes, criss cross by the Vilaine river, the city remained mostly rural. The town is located on the eastern edge of the city of Rennes and is surrounded by the eastern ring road. Because of this urban continuity with Rennes, Cesson-Sévigné became the sixth city of dept 35 Ille-et-Vilaine, behind Rennes, Saint-Malo, Fougères, Vitré and Bruz.

Cesson-Sévigné is mainly served by buses from the public transport service network of the Rennes metropolitan area (STAR) of Rennes Metropole, therefore, very well serve. There is a train station here on the TGV line Paris-Montparnasse to Brest (mine too ::)). It is served by regional express trains of the TER Bretagne network, running between Rennes and Vitré. We of course, come by car. We do our small walks in Rennes even if today was very high 34C , and then come here for the shopping at Grand Frais once in a while as it is 1h30 from home. We go along the Rennes rocade sud on the N136 to exit/sortie 1 Porte de la Rigoudiere, the store is on next traffic circle next to a Brico Depot store and the Ford Cesson Sevigne dealer.

A bit on the Grand Frais or big fresh story : Grand Frais  is the supermarket brand, founded on May 1, 1992 by Denis Dumont and specializing in fresh produce and groceries around the world. In a covered hall, the Grand Frais stores present five offerings in one place: fruits and vegetables, grocery stores around the world, butchers, fishmongers and creamery/cheeses. Butchery and creamery are usually run by local professionals. A partnership has developed with the Despi group for the butchery and with the Marie Blachère group for the bakery. In 2010, Grand Frais opened 94 stores, each with an average area of 1,000 square sq metres in 40 departments of France. In April 2013, Grand Frais, which has 131 stores, set up shop abroad in Messancy, Belgium. As of May 2019, the group has 222 stores throughout Metropolitan France.

Official webpage of Grand Frais Cesson Sevigné

Cesson sevigne

One of the main reason to come here other than the fresh produce is the butcher shop , unique. This is a bit of their story.

Born into a farming family, Louis Despinasse founded his butchery in 1933, Rue Charles de Gaulle in Saint Etienne (dept 42). In 1985, the owner of Fruteco submitted the idea of bringing all the fresh produce under one roof. He then proposed a partnership to Jean-Michel Despinasse (son of founder). They will then be the forerunners of the concept of the Halles or market such as Grand Frais (big fresh). It was in 2003 that the Despi Butchery was created. The Grand Frais ones then begin to bloom a little everywhere. In 2007, 34 are built in 1 year! In less than 10 years, more than 100 stores have opened. The 100th Grand Frais opened its doors in Firminy in the Loire (42) at the source of the group! Today the Despi Group is 300 stores: 30 butcher shops of semi-proximity name boucherie Despi; 110 Grand Frais (of which the butcheries are inside) ; 160 ED and DIA inexpensive grocery chains; and a 20,000 m2 production platform.

Official Despi butchery on Grand Frais store at Cesson Sevigné

Cesson sevigne

There you go a dandy best of France produce with a bit of old world touch, the country of Cesson-Sevigne and the hustle of the city of Rennes, one two cheers! Hope you enjoy the post and think of a trip for shopping when staying in a place you need groceries etc.

PS on way home heavy traffic as behold the quarter final women world cup game between Germany and Sweden was played at Rennes stadium!!

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

July 7, 2019

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXIIII

So on a hot 29C sunny Saturday in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my pretty region of Brittany I come back to you on my errands. This is a family affairs daily real life here that seldom see recounted. Perhaps, we want to show France in a different light. I like to tell it in black and white….

Therefore, let me tell you how we did our Saturday here. We got up later than usual and had our breakfast by 10h at home. We ,then, set up our planning on the to do list. And we set out to do the list! There was nothing plan to go anywhere as we have the Women’s World Cup third place match between England and Sweden,(won by Sweden 1×2), and the start of the Tour de France today from Brussels

We went as far south west to the town of Séné to get our dog food and supplies at the Maxi Zoo store as always since we have our boy Rex. He is a lovable mix breed of Border Collier and Labrador but turn out more Border Collier after all. He is a good boy and we love him a lot. He will be 20 months old next week!! Of course, we got him new foodies and a nice big toy he loves to chew and throw around the yard.



Rex checking out the neighbor lol!!

Coming back towards us, we stop at our nice capital city of Vannes, where nearby I work. Here we did our boys duties but before we needed to eat and we were near the Steak & Shake restaurant that serves American style food so obviously we ate lunch there and love those milkshakes strawberries, banana, red fruits etc. This is very convenience as all our need stores are all within even walking distance. Therefore, we parked in the Carrefour shopping center to walk to all.


After our lunch at S & S, I came to accompany one son to the FNAC store while the other two went to Micromania . Dvd and books galore they came back with as much as 6 books!  These are repeated stores for my boys especially.

We, then, move up to my favorite store Nicolas wine and spirits merchants. While there right in the middle of market day we took advantage of this and got our usual chores done in fruits and veggies, and cheeses. The marché de Vannes is one of the best rated in the country by magazines and TV shows here top 10 and I know why, simply awesome. There is the open market, the covered market or halles and the fish market going full steam at the same time! All this up by Place du Poids Public and Place des Lices. We had our car park for free in the ramparts as we were during lunch time 12-14h parking  on streets is free.



Moving up to our town, we stop by our old reliable Castorama for our gardens needs such as grass bags. OF course, this is right on another intersection of many stores and we finished by doing the rest of the groceries in the E Leclerc hypermarket right across.

Once loaded even inside our car! we headed home as we have seen the cheapest gas/petrol was in our town!!! So we fueled up at the Super U supermarket in town before reaching our house.

Now the real rest starts and we will see what we do tomorrow as it is the finals of the women’s football/soccer  World Cup from Lyon between the USA and Netherlands. And od course the Tour de France continues, the Gold Cup final is going on and the America Cup as well seems like a loaded Sunday! Enjoy your weekend


across from our free parking the ramparts of Vannes, the tour Poudriére and afar the Cathedral St Pierre !

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




July 6, 2019

Church of St. Martin de Tours at Noyal Muzillac!

In my runs in the country, going on my belle France off the beaten path areas there are always gems to find and enjoy. Even in places where i have already passed by , upon coming back there are always new things to see and enjoy.

This is the case of Noyal Muzillac, the town in the Morbihan breton dept 56 of my lovely Brittany. There is a nice church here that have not given full details and me think it merits; therefore, here is my take on the Church of Saint Martin de Tours!

noyal muzillac

Let me start with a bit ono the town of Noyal-Muzillac, which recently became part of the 12 towns of the intercommunality Arc Sud Bretagne and the district of Vannes.  The town is about 32 km from Vannes, 105 km from Rennes, and 89 km from Nantes, along the N165/166 expressways .

A bit of history I like on the town tell us that excavations carried out in the 19C have brought to light prehistoric sites and the Roman period as pathways and elements of a villa. The first time the name is found of Noyal-Muzillac  in the history of the country, was in 1252.  After the fall of the Roman Empire, during the Breton migrations, the first parishes appeared. It is probably at this time that the parish was born with Patron Saint Martin of Tours. The revolutionary period will lead the local Noyalais early enough to support the white party (Royals) and especially the Chouannerie ( rebels against the revolution). In 1802, was born in Noyal-Muzillac Julien Daniélo, a writer who became known in the Parisian literary milieu. He was the last Secretary of François-René de Chateaubriand. Julien Daniélo died in Paris in 1869.

Turning now on the main item of the day, the Church of Saint Martin de Tours.

The Church of St. Martin de Tours, which preserves from the Romanesque period some vaults dated from the 11C. The parish church, probably dedicated to Saint Noyale in origin, has been for centuries under the patronage of Saint Martin, Bishop of Tours. The Gothic period of the 15C is also very present with imposing ogive arches and capitals with various motifs. The nave and choir are enriched with remarkable 17C paintings. Its Chapel of the Rosary, also has an imposing painting from 1819.

noyal muzillac

noyal muzillac

The Church of St. Martin de Tours, 11-12C , 17C and 20C is dedicated to Saint Martin de Tours. It included a nave with aisles, a transept, on which the rounded apse of the sanctuary was opened directly.  This church was modified in the 14C at transept and choir. At the end of the 13C or at the beginning of the 14C, the cross-braces were transformed into chapels opening onto the square, which became the choir, by large broken arches worn on heavy pillars with engaged balusters, including the capitals adorned with foliage’s and serrations indicate that these pillars were part of the primitive construction. The apse has been preserved but very reworked at various times. The bell tower, which was to be first on the square, had been rebuilt on the south Chapel: it was burned in 1630 and restored in 1639.  The  stained glass are from the 20C with eucharistic motifs,on the west facade showing Saint Martin sharing his coat.  The nave was completely rebuilt in 1850. The last major works carried out from 1965 to 1970, lead to the decrease of the nave.

noyal muzillac

noyal muzillac

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Arc Sud Bretagne on Noyal Muzillac heritage

City of Noyal Muzillac on religious heritage and the church

City of Noyal Muzillac on its history

Hope it helps you come here and see another marvel of my lovely Bretagne on an off the beaten path area of my beautiful Morbihan. Enjoy the Church of Saint Martin de Tours in Noyal-Muzillac!

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




July 5, 2019

Tour de France 2019 !!!

And so again we come to this sport of two wheels and slower speed, that somehow attracts my attention. The Tour de France is back ! and I am excited. Ok I have to say I am not an expert or even good at it but my French family are experts, since grandpa’s time and before they have follow it every year. And it is the talk of the family this time around. Therefore, I got in the wagon or voiture and will be telling  you about it for the 2019 edition that starts tomorrow July 6 from Brussels!

St Ave

not in Brittany this year but is a lot of fun anywhere!

Needless to say, would love to have the time to be at Albi and or Toulouse this year for the 11th stage! We had base at Pau ourselves couple times as the family came down to meet us there. Albertville is one town my dear late wife Martine lived and worked before meeting me and she was an avid follower as well of course. Then, to finish in our beloved Yvelines dept 78 at Rambouillet to Paris Champs –Elysées would had been wonderful.

The Tour de France 2019 is the 106th edition and will take place from 6 to 28 July 2019. The big start will take place in Brussels in tribute to the 50th anniversary of the first victory on the Tour of Eddy Merckx. Each day, a different yellow jersey will be given to the leader of the general classification in tribute to the riders and symbols that have marked the history of the tunic that celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2019. All traditions!

The route is 3,460 kilometers long, divided into 21 stages. Two stages will take place in Brussels, a first stage in line completing a loop around the city favorable to sprinters but passing through the famous Grammont Wall at the beginning of the stage, and the second being a team time trial linking the Royal Palace to Atomium.

Latest news on departure as of today : Four-time winner of the event and third in the 2018 edition, Christopher Froome is out after a heavy crash on the Critérium du Dauphiné on June 12, 2019 A few days later, the second of the Tour de France 2018, Tom Dumoulin declares in turn due to a knee injury dating back to the 2019 Giro d’Italia and from which he has yet to recover. So we will need to look for other hopefuls after the time trials as for me there is no favorite on this one.

For the first time, the famous brand Panini is launching an album of vignettes, this collection includes 352 vignettes and 42 cards that will represent runners, team jerseys, bikes or even stage cities. 150,000 albums are distributed before the Tour.

Taking the queu from the official site we will have 7 flat stages, 5 hilly stages, 7 mountain stages and 5 mountain-top finishes (La Planche des Belles Filles, Tourmalet, Foix Prat d’Albis, and Tignes, Val Thorens). 1 individual time-trial stage , 1 team time-trial stage and 2 rest days.  There will be 3 stage cities of sites visited for the first time out of a total of 34. These will be Binche (start of stage 3), Saint-Dié-des-Vosges (start of stage 5) , and Pont du Gard (start of stage 17). In Foix (Stage 15), the finish will be set at the summit of Prat d’Albis (1 205 m).

The 2019 Tour will go through two countries, Belgium and France. It will visit the three Belgian regions of Bruxelles-Capitale, Flanders and Wallonia, and 37 departments of France. Like in 2018, there are two time-trials on the menu:: by teams for stage 2, Bruxelles Palais Royal > Brussel Atomium on a distance of 27 km and the individual for stage 13 in Pau on a distance of 27 km. It’ll be on Friday the 19th of July, a date that marks the 100th anniversary of the Yellow Jersey.

It’ll be the third time that a finish is set at the top of the Pyrenean mountain after 1974 (victory of Jean-Pierre Danguillaume) and 2010 (victory of Andy Schleck). The Tourmalet is also to date the mountain that has been climbed the most in the history of the Tour: 82 times.. At an altitude of 2 770 metres, the col de l’Iseran that hasn’t been climbed for twelve years will be the summit of the 2019 Tour. It will be climbed for the 8th time.

The participating teams in 2019 are (my favorites highlighted):


Some webpages to help you plan your trip to see in person or even on TV ::) are

Official Grand Depart from Brussels

Official Tour de France on the routes stages

Velo Club on the stages of the Tour de France in detail

Now sit back and enjoy it , it will be another exciting race and first and foremost for me, gorgeous views of my French countryside! Enjoy the Tour de France!

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


July 4, 2019

My job in the Morbihan, sort of……!

Well, the days were right to come to work with my camera and take some pictures of where I work in the Morbihan near Vannes, well not all but some info. It’s a very nice job, in management, with plenty of travel opportunity as we have branches in 22 countries, and my job requires a lot of travel. One of the hidden benefits of the job!

The people are very friendly and nice, and we are allowed to work pretty much independant. We are next to Vannes in quiet, small, cozy country heaven, a big change from my previous post near and in Paris. Sort of….! yes a loving job if I can call it that.

I live about 35 minutes from the job by car on the road N165 or can take a semi detour and come into the country road D19 or even better the D779 . Traffic is minimum, and so far so good. They tell me that on snow days it is difficult, we will see, but in 8 years rien nada nothing of the snow. Heat yes very hot days but with a breeze as we are not far from the ocean so even in the canicule we are the least impacted.

The job is in an old castle originally built in 1504 ,now only the ruins of its walls remains, and the face of the manoir or mansion call Chateau, where the main administrative office is,and where I am ::) It has several buildings inside the Chateau, housing the different departments or as it is call here Services; a beautiful long garden and forest area, and a cafeteria with hot meals serve daily with choices of menus.

St Nolff

St nolff

The place even had a tennis court , and then change to a football /soccer field ; then it was added a club house with baby foot, musculation gym and coffee rest area as well as plenty of parking. It has several other buildings all throughout the old castle part of 44 hectares!

St Nolff

st nolff

My latest trip took me to Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam. I will leave you with some photos of my job’s place,just for the record in my blog.

St Nolffs

Today typical here so far was a very hot day canicule with temps up to 35C and then slowly coming back to 30C over the weekend, this is summer.   The vacation with the boys is set for Madrid this August so plenty of time to go back to old memorable spots went with my dear late wife Martine and soak in with the boys. It’s a habit that is hard to change, we talk we look but always come back to Spain and Madrid needs to be included!

Hope you enjoy the pictures as I do, memories as also next year is my legal age retirement limit here so thinking already of the consultancy route to stay busy and more time to enjoy my belle France! ,and lovely Brittany !!

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

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July 4, 2019

The Church of Our Lady (Notre Dame) of Izel-Vor!

And I am back in my lovely Brittany and beautiful Finistére dept 29 my neighbors and most often visited dept other than mine in Brittany.  It is like our backyard trip, and we were there this past weekend again. Always looking forward to Summer times.

We decided to go out and see some other parts that we have not been or just passing by. This one we passed near but not been so it was a lovely trip and already use to the beauty we have all around us. Let me tell you about the Church of Our Lady of the Lower Sea or église Notre Dame d’Izel Vor (with Izel Vor been Breton for lower sea or basse mer in French) , and this is at lovely La Forêt Fouesnant!

La Foret Fouesnant

The Church of Our Lady (Notre Dame) of Izel-Vor is the parish church of La Forêt-Fouesnant of the dept 29 Finistère in the region of Bretagne. It was under total renovation so could not get in , however seen pictures of the inside and it is awesom worth the wait to be back inside.

This church was built largely during the first half of the 16C, is dedicated to Our Lady of Izel-Vor (Lower Sea). It is of a typical Gothic style in Cornouaille. The carved dates on the walls can be found: 1538 under the porch, 1628 above the baptistery. The interior of the church (not seen as was under renovation) is said to be remarkable for the richness of its furniture such as the baptismal fonts in granite and wood, the painting of the Rosary 1684, the high altar 1694 and its altarpiece 17C, which are from the 17C. Polychrome statues of local saints complete the decoration . Its Calvary built in 1500. square enclosure serving as pulpit. At the corners; 4 Gothic bells bearing a decapitated Mary and John. The central cask blossoms into consoles bearing the two lardons. Served as a pulpit on busy days; which assumes that the forecourt was then much larger than it is today.

La Foret Fouesnant

There is a statue of Our Lady of Kergornec, also known as the Statue of the Breastfeeding Virgin, which dates from the late 17C. This statue probably comes from the ancient priory of Loc-Amand. Statue of Itron Varia Izel-Vor Breton for Our Lady of Lower Sea, which also dates from the late 17C. A Pietà of the 18C. Other statues of Saints such as Santik-Du, St. John the Baptist, St. Egarec, St. Nicholas, St. Abibon, St. Alain, St. Amand, St. Guénolé, and   St. Margaret. Procession Banners such as the Banner Itron Varia Izel-Vor (Our Lady of Lower Sea). Banner Itron Varia ar Penity (Our Lady of Penity). Banner of St. Anne, and Banner of Saint Teresa.

La Foret Fouesnant

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

TOuris office of La Forêt Fouesnant on the Church

Tourist office of Dept 29 Finistére on heritage of La Forêt Fouesnant

Area tourist office of South Brittany on things to see in La Forêt Fouesnant

There you go a lovely trip , nice monument (to be back for it) and lovely town by the ocean. You will do well to see the follow up post on it. For now enjoy the Church of Our Lady of the Lower Sea in La Forêt Fouesnant.

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



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