Posts tagged ‘Bretagne’

June 1, 2020

Lake Victoria and the Nile!

So now lets take a complete different course. Lucky me to have been to many places of our world, last count 81 countries, and hopefully still more to come. I have written briefly on my trip to Uganda on things like lodging, restos, seeing and such but the biggest thing there was left untouched. It is time for me to change that by telling you a bit on the Lake Victoria at the source of the Nile river in Uganda.

I came to Uganda. A wonderful place of many friendly people all eager to improve themselves. I landed at Entebbe airport , the unfamous name now much more peaceful in Uganda. The official page from Uganda Civil Aviation Authority is here:CAA on Entebbe airport

uganda

I will tell my story and then a bit of history I like on both Lake Victoria and the Nile river from web sources. Just for the memories and friendship of Uganda. The Nile river which starts here around Lake Victoria. While in Jinja, I did my baptism on the Nile river , a bit late but I was here!!! Well having a jet ski waverunner and driver helps a lot but the views were spectacular and of course on the way back to harbor I fell in the water trying to go from the jet ski to a fishing boat; no big deal it was shallow and had floating jacket on, quickly out, just my clothes were soaked. An experience to remember for life. Wonderful place thought.  The Nile crocodile has almost disappeared from this region of Africa. In Lake Victoria, spawning takes place in late December and in January, in the dry season when the water goes down. The eggs are laid in the sand where they incubate for three months. As my story above goes I was glad in a way ::)

uganda

uganda

Needless to tell you the jet ski ride was impressive going just to the border of Ripon Falls unbelievable!! A souvenir never to be forgotten, do not know when back, but this visit will stay longer than me! Let me tell you about the history from web sources to complete this post about Lake Victoria and the Nile river. Briefly….

uganda

Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and (depending on sources) the fourth or second in the world in area with 68,100 km2. it is bordered by Kenya to the northeast, Uganda to the north and northwest and Tanzania to the south, southwest and southeast. Occupying a depression framed by the two branches of the Great Rift Valley, it is the source of the White Nile, the longest tributary of the Nile. Rather shallow (40 m on average, 83 m maximum) and located at 1,133 m above sea level, the lake occupies a depression formed by tectonic movements and framed by the two branches of the Great Rift Valley formed there four million years ago. Roughly rectangular with 320 km in length (from north to south) and 275 km in width (from east to west), the lake has very indented banks forming numerous peninsulas, bays, capes and more than 3,000 isles. Ferries connect the main ports of Lake Victoria, Kisumu, Mwanza, Bukoba, Entebbe, Port Bell and Jinja (Uganda).

uganda

The first source of scriptural information known to us on Lake Victoria comes from Arab merchants crossing the East African plateau from the coast in search of gold, ivory and slaves. Al Idrissi was, around 1160, the first to have drawn up a map clearly representing the lake and representing it as the source of the Nile. Europeans discovered the lake in 1858 when British explorer John Hanning Speke with Richard Francis Burton reached the south shore of Lake Nyanza. He renamed it after Queen Victoria who reigned at that time in the United Kingdom and in her colonies.  The lake was the scene of naval clashes during WWI between the British and the Germans. Faced with the disproportion of forces, the Germans had to withdraw from this area. A great write up must read by all me think is by Jules Verne, Five weeks in a balloon (Chapter XVIII is entirely devoted to Lake Victoria). It was the first title in the Voyages extraordinaires collection in 1863.

uganda

Nice map on Lake Victoria ,me think ,and talk about the ecosystem including fishes here: African Cichilid on Lake Victoria with map

The tourist office of Uganda on Lake Victoria: Visit Uganda tourist office on Lake Victoria

The Nile river with a length of about 6,700 km, it is with the Amazon River, the longest river in the world. It comes from the meeting of the White Nile and the Blue Nile. The White Nile rises at Lake Victoria (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania); the Blue Nile comes from Lake Tana (Ethiopia). Its two branches uniting in Khartoum, the capital of present-day Sudan, the Nile flows into the Mediterranean, forming a delta in the north of Egypt. With its two branches, the Nile crosses Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt. It also runs along Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (with lakes Victoria and Albert respectively), and its watershed also concerns Eritrea thanks to its tributary of the Tekezé.   The Nile watershed covers 3,254,555 km2, roughly 10% of the area of Africa.

The source of the Nile is considered to be Lake Victoria, but the lake is fed by rivers of considerable size. The longest river which flows into Lake Victoria, and which is therefore the most distant source, emerges from the Nyungwe forest in Rwanda, via the Rukarara, which flows into the Mwogo, then Nyabarongo and finally Kagera, before joining Lake Victoria in Tanzania near the city of Bukoba. The Nile leaves Lake Victoria at Ripon Falls, near Jinja, Uganda (where I drove a jet ski!). The Nile was at the heart of the civilization of ancient Egypt. The majority of the population and all the cities of Egypt occupied the banks of the Nile north of Aswan; and has been the backbone of Egyptian culture since the Stone Age. The Nile had a spiritual dimension; meaning so much in the lives of the Egyptians, that they created a god consecrated to the well-being brought about by the annual flooding of the Nile. The name of this god was Hâpy and both he and the Pharaoh were supposed to control the flood of the Nile.

Although James Bruce claimed to have been the first European to have seen the source, modern authors consider that the first is rather the Jesuit father Pedro Páez. Europeans had settled in Ethiopia since the end of the 15C, and it is possible that they explored the river as close as possible to its source, but they could not envisage its course beyond Ethiopia. It was ultimately the British explorer Henry Morton Stanley who confirmed the truth of the discovery of Speke, by sailing around Lake Victoria and realizing the existence of the Ripon Falls on the north shore of the lake. It is during this trip that it is said that Stanley would have greeted the British explorer with the famous words “Dr Livingstone, I presume?” By discovering the sick and discouraged Scotsman in his camp at Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.

The White Nile expedition, led by the South African Hendri Coetzee, was the first to sail the entire length of the Nile. He left the source of the Nile in Uganda on January 17, 2004 and arrived at the Mediterranean Sea in Rosette, four months and two weeks later. National Geographic presented a film on the expedition at the end of 2005: The Longest River.

A fascinating river alright and glad could see its eyes or mouth of the Nile river from Lake Victoria Uganda side. A must to see for all.

A bit more on the Nile river and Uganda part in specific from geosciences here :Geo Sciences on the Nile River

Hope you enjoy the post and my most adventurous trip at the time, all worth it me think. Remember, natures of the best Lake Victoria and the Nile river!

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

May 31, 2020

The villas of Dinard!

And why not come back to my beloved Bretagne, and take you to a place written before but figure on the emblematic villas of Dinard need to tell you more. Hope you enjoy this architectural delight tour!

Dinard is gorgeous and the best for us were the beaches ! Dinard means elevated hill and in Breton it is Dinarzh.  It is a famous seaside resort, particularly with the British and the Americans, for its Belle Époque villas and the British Film Festival which has been held there every year since the 1990s. It is considered with its classified villas, its casino and its cultural events as one of the most prestigious seaside resorts in France.

The seaside resort of Dinard is located on the Emerald Coast, in dept 35 Ille et Vilaine, near the border with Côtes-d’Armor dept 22 and the town of Saint-Malo separated by the Rance. It is the Rance tidal power plant, located in the town of La Richardais,  a technological feat of the 1960s and a tourist hotspot, which connects Dinard and Saint-Malo.   Dinard brings together the aristocracy, political figures and intellectuals from all over the continent who no longer stay solely in their private villas and frequent the most luxurious hotels: Albert I, Raymond Poincaré, Agatha Christie, Victor Hugo, Édouard VII, George V , Winston Churchill, Judith Gautier, Jacqueline Kennedy, Lawrence of Arabia (in his childhood), Edmond Rostand, and Paul Valéry all spent holidays in Dinard. Pablo Picasso painted his series of paintings Les Baigneuses à Dinard, or the swimmers in Dinard , inspired by the less and less hidden nudity of bathers.

Dinard is the first seaside resort in France to safeguard its architectural heritage from the end of the 19C by classifying 407 villas and buildings. The Dinard villas have made the resort’s reputation and constitute a considerable architectural heritage. If most of them are concentrated in the luxury housing district of the Malouine. Most of the villas and missing buildings that were destroyed in the 1970s and 1980s. At that time, Dinard fell into oblivion and poorly survived the flight of the wealthy tourists of yesteryear..The houses if we can them that , more like mansions or small castles of the belle époque period are superb; can’t wait to get my hand on one of them ::).

And this is the topic of this post. On the villas or mansions of Dinard, splendid architectural history with many great names over the  years and a superb ride by car or bike along the ocean’s edge. Recommended.  Could not take pictures of all of them but did some just for a sampler it is all superbe!!!

You have wonderful villa reine Hortense, (queen of Holland) who vacationed here built by the Russian lover prince Nicolas Vlassov who was passionate of the life of the mother of Napoléon III.  The mansion continue too numerous all wonderful such as the villa Cézembre with a stair bringing you down to the beach and the villa Greystones of art deco style. Here more villas such as Saint Germain built in 1870, the pont d’emeraude with great views of the ocean and the villa La Garde tudor style construction , up on blvd Féart and see the villa Montplaisir very so British style.

The famous villa at the Pointe de la Malouine, belonging to the businessman François Pinault, The villa Greystones was built from 1938 on a front plot sea from the tip of Malouine. It is of granite and concrete vessel overhanging the sea, the house, covered with a roof terrace and extended by a cantilevered rotunda, seems cut to face the elements, like the military works built in front of it, while drawing from the formal repertoire of 18C follies, an intimate and comfortable haven on a human scale. It is accompanied by a Mediterranean-style garden, made up of a succession of terraces connected by stairs and winding alleys, and decorated with sculptures by Alfred Janniot.

dinard

Villa Ker Alice, known as Villa Ker Kenta, 1 rue Roger Vercel. Resort house built around 1914 on the beach of Saint-Enogat. Large house, with one square floor and two attic floors. The floors are separated by a horizontal cement strip. Complex type plan with recessed façades. Overhanging roof with underarms and half rump forming gable on the facade. The entrance to the courtyard is sheltered by a wooden awning. A bow window upstairs once enlarged a room with a sea view. Imposing cement terrace with balustrade railings.

dinard

Villa Les Embruns 5 rue Roger Vercel .Beautiful and large family Villa of 200 m2.  This old 19C forge with the purest Anglo-Norman spirit , and a  large garden of 450 m2, the beach is only 10 mins walk. It was lived by writer Roger Vercel Prix Goncourt 1934. His memories of war inspired him to write some of his first books such as Notre Père Trajan, Capitaine Conan, and Léna, but it was the maritime world that was at the heart of his work. In 1934, Roger Vercel meets Louis Malbert, captain of the tug Iroise, who inspires him to write the novel Remorques; also the title of the film taken from this novel by Jean Grémillon in 1941 in which the role of Captain Malbert is held by Jean Gabin. Au Large de l’Eden won him the Prix du Comité Fémina France-Amérique in 1932. He won the Goncourt Prize in 1934 for Capitaine Conan, a partially autobiographical novel.

dinard

The Villa st Germain at the Plage de l’Ecluse; originally called villa Mortemart built by François de Rochechouart, viscount of Mortemart, between 1868 and 1874. It is from the Pointe du Malouine, in a dominant position, that you will discover the breathtaking views that Villa St Germain offers. The park of more than one hectare is fully enclosed and has two outbuildings. A pretty chapel on the water will invite you to calm and contemplation. Located in the city center, everything is done on foot, a private staircase will give you access to the lock beach directly.

dinard

The Villa known as Port-Riou, also known as Château de Port-Riou, 24 boulevard de la Mer . Residence built on the cliff on the edge of Port-Riou beach between 1879 and 1882. Implantation on the seafront on a large plot delimited by a buttress terrace. Logis with stepped gables. West facade with half-staircase staircase covered with a polygonal roof. Facade is wooden gallery. A water tower, located east of the plot on a promontory, was powered by a wind energy pump located to the west opposite the house. Outdoor stairs to the beach.

dinard

The  Chalet des Bruyères, avenue Cézembre, Pointe de la Malouine I took the picture but not much on it, only that it is in many sites as a rental property .Most of the above are also available for rental if you can pay the price.

dinard

Some webpages as usual by me to help you plan your trip here and it is recommended are

The city of Dinard on its heritage and history: City of Dinard on its heritage and history

The Dinard tourist office there is at blvd Férat in city center: Tourist office of Dinard

Dinard Ille et Vilaine dept 35  tourist office: Dept 35 ille et vilaine tourist office on Dinard

Region of Brittany tourist office on DinardRegion of Brittany tourist office on Dinard

And there you go folks, you are all set for a wonderful visit to the Villas of Dinard, and its beaches and all of it. A great spot up the road from me and loving it in Bretagne. Enjoy the tour…

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

May 31, 2020

Quiberon and the Côte Sauvage!!!

And this is my backyard for the last several years of our living in the Morbihan 56 of Bretagne. Sure, there has been many other trips and posts, but this is our home away from home. This is the presqu’ïle de Quiberon or peninsula and all the way to the town of Quiberon. Of course, I have written several posts on it but let me tell you a bit more as we can again travel.

quiberon

The Côte Sauvage or wild coast extends on the western part of the peninsula from the village of Portivy, in Saint-Pierre-Quiberon, to Port Maria, in Quiberon. All wonderful. I will be brief as plenty told in previous posts and just wanted to give you new photos after the confinement from the wuhan virus.

The Côte Sauvage, facing west, extends over 8 km from Château Turpault to Pointe du Percho. Owned by the Conservatoire du littoral, the Côte Sauvage is constantly harassed by the sea and the winds. Even in calm weather, the waves crash noisily on the steep cliffs, causing spurts of foam. Erosion has shaped countless coves, reefs, caves and arches which are only revealed at low tide. The cliffs are covered with a cushion of short grass where small pink flowers bloom: the carnation and the maritime armory.

quiberon

To discover the Côte Sauvage from the Chateau Turpault, take the coastal road dotted with numerous parking areas and follow the coastal path. You will discover the old Vivier, the Trou du souffleur, the Port Kerné fountain, the Pointe de Kervihan where the fortifications of a Neolithic camp, Port Bara and its cave visible at low tide, Port Blanc beach and its arch , the Pointe du Percho dominated by the remains of a customs post, and finally the Pointe de Beg en Aud and its Venetian camp.

quiberon

The côte sauvage on Quiberon; from the tourist office of the Bay of Quiberon in English: Tourist office Bay of Quiberon on the wild coast

The côte sauvage on Saint Pierre de Quiberon in English: Tourist office of Bay of Quiberon on the wild coast by St Pierre de Quiberon

Ok folks this is the ride optimum wonderful wild and beautiful with the blue vast Atlantic ocean on your right hand side going to the tip of Quiberon Grande Plage from the mainland coming from home (if coming from Vannes take the N165 direction Brest and get off at exit/sortie 33 for Quiberon) on the road D768 direction Quiberon. Passing Plouharnel you entered into the isthmus passing on your right the musem of the war of the west (chouans) and the railroad track of the tire-bouchon train (from Auray open in summer with risk of been stop altogether). You continue on the D768 and passing several earlier beaches such as Mané and Mentor; you passed the Fort de Penthiévre (see posts) on your right hand side and the ocean beaches. Awesome. You take right by Portivy and follow signs for the Côte Sauvage. Here you can see the Port de Portivy but very narrow streets if not used to driving skip and continue direction Côte Sauvage now on the road D186 A. By Porz Stang the coastal ride really begins. You passed by the memorial to lifesavers at sea and the sights of the cliffs begins. Several parking or stops are available along the road to view the magnificent views of the cliffs. You can even have a wonderful seafood meal at the Les Viviers restaurant our favoirte we stopped there often for oysters and muscadet white wine. And you continue along the wild coast or Côte Sauvage, the splendid wonderful ride along the edge of the Atlantic ocean. You see the approach to the Castle of Turpault a private property and the entry into Quiberon, and then the quai de Houat with pleasure boats and the SNSM lifesavers house that protect you from casualties at sea and the fisherman cooperative ,than the Port Maria beach and the gare maritime or cruisers passenger terminal. Here you stopped or go around Port Maria as the road to the Grande Plage or big beach is off from vehicular traffic. You have reach the fabled big beach , Grande Plage, wonderful and sublime our ending point always.

quiberon

quiberon

quiberon

quiberon

Sometimes we go on to Pointe de Conquel and its beach or continue to the beach of Porigo before reaching the wonderful harbor or port Haliguen and its wonderful pleasure marina and its lighthouse. This is the presqu’ïle de Quiberon at its best; a wonderful ride and of course plenty of walks in heavens. Hope you enjoy the ride and do visit it is recommended by yours truly.

quiberon

The tourist office of Bay de Quiberon on QuiberonTourist office of Bay of Quiberon on Quiberon

The tourist office of Brittany on QuiberonTourist office of Brittany on Quiberon

The conservatory of the littoral that is the management of the wild coast or Côte Sauvage in French: Conservatory of the LIttoral on the Cote Sauvage

Of course, we saw the beach and there was already many there, and we took advantage of our must on the beach, the ice creams at the Quai des Glaces right on the Grande Plage. We took our norma walk for the first time in 2 months on the Esplanade de Hoche. This feels good at last at Quiberon

We even took a ride into Port Haliguen even with a lot of road construction we manage to reach it for a closer look. This is all very nice and we are glad to be back,; looking forward to more time here in the future. Maybe a meeting point for the readers of my blog ::) The presqu’ïle de Quiberon or peninsula is unique and we encourage you to see it and enjoy it as we do; remember Quiberon.

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

May 31, 2020

Saint Pierre de Quiberon!!

Now let’s swing you back to my department 56 Morbihan in my beautiful Bretagne. This town I passed several times and is part of the wonderful Presqu’ïle de Quiberon peninsula, heavens on the beach/coast side and only 40 minutes from my house. Obviously I have written plenty in my blog on it but it really needs more, so much beauty to see around here , all natural and the car is king. Let me tell you a bit on Saint Pierre de Quiberon.

Saint-Pierre-Quiberon is located on the south coast of the Morbihan department 56 and the Brittany region. Saint-Pierre-Quiberon constitutes the northern part of the Quiberon peninsula, the town of Quiberon occupying the southern part. Saint-Pierre-Quiberon became a full-fledged town in 1856, under the name of Saint-Pierre, and took its current name in 1962  The town has 13 beaches! accessible to swimmers, ten beaches on the bay side .Of course our favorites are in Penthièvre   bay side and Penthièvre ocean side, On the west coast of the peninsula, the Côte Sauvage, renowned and beautiful driving or biking along clifs and the wide blue ocean in front of you on 6.7 km of road and the property of the coastal conservatory. Most of the famous sites on the Côte Sauvage, such as the Port-Blanc arch, are located in the town of Saint-Pierre-Quiberon.

Saint pierre de quiberon

However, Penthièvre is the northernmost village of Saint-Pierre-Quiberon. It is bounded to the north by the Quiberon national forest located in the town limits of Plouharnel, to the east by Quiberon bay, to the west by the ocean, and to the south by the village of Kerhostin. It is in Penthièvre that the isthmus is located which forms the entrance to the Quiberon peninsula. I have written on these places in my blog this is additional material and photos.

The Fort of Penthièvre is a fortified structure placed at the entrance to the Quiberon peninsula commands access to the level of the isthmus at its narrowest point. Following the siege of Lorient and the looting of the Quiberon peninsula in 1746, the construction of a new defensive structure was decided in 1747 as part of a more general framework for strengthening the defenses of the southern Brittany coast. This effort was undertaken by the governor of Brittany at the time, Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, Duke of Penthièvre, who will give it his name . The fort is built on an escarpment calle La Palice at narrowest spot on the peninsula.

saint pierre de quiberon

In 1795, the Royalists landed on the peninsula coming from England (the immigrant Bretons) and besieged the fort on June 27, renamed Fort Sans-Culotte, which eventually fell after four days, its defenders being short of food. Eventually 400 out of the 700 that the fort counted , then agreed to enlist in the Catholic and Royal army. Signaling the end of the expedition, it will be stopped by General Hoche’s troops (the pacifiers of the uprisings against the French revolution). In 1800, at the instigation of the First Consul Napoleon, and Armand de Marescot, the fort was reinforced and modernized while France had just defeated the Second Coalition. During WWII, the Nazis forces integrated this fort into their Atlantic Wall. It also served as a prison and place of execution at the end of the war: 59 resistance fighters died there between April and July 1944, including 50 on July 13, 1944. A monument was erected on the site behind the fort in their memory. The 3rd Marine Infantry Regiment of Vannes has used it as a training base since 1969.

Saint Pierre Quiberon

The fort is off limits the monument can be visited. Here is the Min of Defense of France on the fort in French: Ministry of Defense of France on Fort Penthievre

Memorial webpage on the resistance executed there and behind there is the cave where they were killed with a stone memorial , more in French here: Memorial on the executed of 1940 1944 at Ponthiévre

The tourist office of Bay of Quiberon on the Fort Penthiévre  in French (more info): Tourist office Bay of Quiberon on the Fort

Another great moment to be here and we love it are the beaches. This is a laidback beach town as you can recall any and I grew up on one and lived next to them for many years of my life, I still enjoy going to them if for different reasons.

Penthièvre Beach in Saint-Pierre-de-Quiberon is the first beach on the Quiberon peninsula. It extends on the continent at the level of the town of Plouharnel, making it the largest beach on the peninsula with several km of white sand. It is bordered by dunes call the falaise or cliff. You can practice sand yachting, kitesurfing and surfing. Please note, you are on the west coast, the ocean can be rough with the east side on the bay more protected. To get to this beach, take the D768 road (straight down from me)  towards Quiberon. At the entrance to the peninsula, at the La Penthièvre sign, there is a car park on the left near the level crossing. The beach is on the right ,you have to cross the road. Note that dogs on a leash have been tolerated on this beach are allowed ,the only one on the Quiberon peninsula.

saint pierre de quiberon

saint pierre de quiberon

saint pierre de quiberon

The plages tv webpage that has been my favorite for many years on beach information in France in English: Beaches of Penthievre

Tourist office of Brittany on the beach at Penthiévre in English: Tourist office of Brittany on Penthiévre beach

And there you go we live in heavens in land and so close to the marvelous Breton coast filled with hundreds if not thousands of beaches and all fun related to the sea. And do you know the Bretons are the best marines! Hope you enjoy the Saint Pierre de Quiberon area.

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

May 30, 2020

Some news from France, CCCVI

Well is about time we get back to normal and me too with my series of Some news from France! We are slowly but surely coming out with a lot more loosening it up on June 2nd and then further opening by June 22nd. Stay tune , France is back!

Update no time to wait for another Some news from France; Info on Notre Dame Cathedral!  The Parvis or  square of Notre-Dame reopened today Sunday, Pentecost Day. The dismantling of the scaffolding 10,000 bent and welded metal tubes – which have already started in their preparatory phase, will enter from June 8 “in the last phase”!!! Notre-Dame is the emblem of Paris, more than the Eiffel Tower, and is the zero point in Paris to measure distances in France!. Should a chapel be installed on the forecourt before 2024? Mgr Michel Aupetit indicated that there would be “probably something more modest”, the rector evoking a possible “representation of the Virgin” in this place where millions of visitors pass each year.

“Phase 2” of the deconfinement was launched Thursday by the government. If on the whole territory, the “indicators are green”, Ile-de-France is one of the three regions classified in orange zone (with Mayotte and Guyana). This Saturday the gates open on all of the 400 or so parks and gardens in the city, the Parisians returned to the Gardens of Bagatelles, coulee vert, petite ceinture, Arboretum, small squares etc. The playgrounds will be gradually reopened. Individual sports activities are authorized if you are a fan of tai chi or yoga, prohibited if it is a football tournament or any other team sport.

The symbols of a French art of living, the terraces of cafes and restaurants will once again be able to welcome customers from June 2 in Ile-de-France. But those who lack it feel aggrieved. Reduction of tables need 60% minimum filled if not they can close before the end of the year for 40% of restaurant owners according to the chefs. This really makes us smile! Phase 3 of the deconfinement will be tackled on June 22, when it is likely that cafes and restaurants can also welcome us inside their establishments. It remains to be seen under what conditions.

It’s official. The Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann (9éme) reopen today Saturday. A relief for both employees and management after two and a half months of total shutdown. Victory for the legendary brand on Boulevard Haussmann: Au Printemps was able to reopen this past Thursday, May 28.

 Two emblematic sites in the history and cultural life of Val-d’Oise 95 will reopen their doors this weekend. In Vexin, the latter have already been present in numbers for two weeks. They will be able to visit the fascinating castle of La Roche-Guyon again from Saturday. The fruit garden will only reopen on June 6. A specific itinerary at Royaumont abbey also comes out of sleep. monument built in the 13C in Asnières-sur-Oise. And it also offers a renewed vision of the abbey.

So sad to read the Fête des Loges in Saint-Germain-en-Laye which has been officially canceled. A wonderful fair in the woods or forest of Saint Germain en Laye we went couple times wonderful memories. The Ferme de Gally of Saint-Cyr-l’Ecole is as we have never seen it. Empty of people!! . Or almost. Reopened since May 13, the famous educational farm had to adapt to the health crisis. The number of visitors is limited and the public is necessarily less numerous than usual to wander in its meadows, around the animal enclosures.

The company that handle the pedal boat rides on the Seine river, the Société Marin d’Eau Douce announce the opening of its facility in Meaux (Seine-et-Marne 77) since May 21. Parisians need to take advantage of it as La Villette is still close.

Since May 11, and at least until the end of the epidemic, cars have been banned from the famous rue de Rivoli in Paris! This street leading from Saint-Paul to the Concorde. The Samaritaine complex, is still no one there. Scheduled for last April, the opening of the historic department store bought by LVMH in 2000 is postponed due to Covid-19. After fifteen years of work and 750 million euros of investment, the complex could open next February 2021 . For now , you can already admire its corrugated glass facade signed Kazuyo Sejima. This is a beautiful artery and well taken even worked off of it for several years. A bit of nostalgia is that In 1800, in place of rue de Rivoli, there was a large network of unhealthy alleys. To link the Palais-Royal to the Concorde, Napoleon I drilled a first part of this axis between 1811 and 1835. He named it after a victorious battle in Italy. The works are of general interest, the necessary expropriations. Among the forty or so demolished streets, that of Mauvais-Garçons is a cut-throat where criminals find girls of joy. In 1850, under Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann extended Rivoli to the east and linked the Louvre to the Bastille. In the shops under the new arcades, a decree of 1852 prohibited the use of the hammer and the burning oven. Yes indeed history of my eternal Paris!

As of   today Saturday, the Claude Monet’s house in Giverny reopens its doors and its famous gardens which so inspired his genius. Indeed, after three months of closure, the magnificent pink building with green shutters takes us back on a journey back in time, to meet one of the masters of Impressionism. To access it, wearing a mask is compulsory for everyone and not provided. Hydroalcoholic gel will also be available for all to use. The Claude Monet Foundation will be open every day from 9h30 to 18h until November 1, 2020.

From June 15 and if the health situation allows, France is also in favor of reopening the European borders without a fortnight for European nationals. Regarding the external borders to Europe, they will remain closed until June 15, 2020, at least.

Since the end of April, the period at which the foxes who lived at Père-Lachaise cemetery were seen by the curator of the cemetery, the Paris City Hall considered having to move them. Now, it has been confirmed, the little family can stay there without forced deconfinement, and we secretly hope to be able to see babies as young as two months old from afar without disturbing them, of course. I saw this on TV and they look cute but they are foxes about 6 of them, be careful.

And last but a bargain perhaps the price of real estate in Paris has come down ! A first for a long time. Drimki, a specialist in online property valuation, says housing prices fell 5% in the city on March 16 due to the confinement. If you had to plan at the start of the year 13,070 € / m2 on average to buy a property in the center of the city, you now have to count 11,581 € / m2. A nice drop of almost 1,500 € per m2! Yes my dear you are reading right, this is just double what it cost in Versailles for example and out in the Morbihan you could buy a castle!!! And you know Hemingway was not a good traveller, he wrote posthumously the Movable Feast for Paris but if he had travelled a bit into the country; could easily wrote a second volume, France is a movable feast! I say!!!

And there you go folks , some news from France is back alive and well. We will be reading the new and grand of my belle France, and of course, slowly opening up everything. Even no more 100 km limits, so off I go preparing my vacations again. Stay tune, France is back!!

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

May 29, 2020

Looking at wines in France!

So here coming back with wines. Yes indeed love it and great drinker collector passionate and diplomé of it. I have written several posts on it and on many regions of France and the world. However, let me bring you the latest good news and stories on the wines of France.

The origins of the Union des grands crus de Bordeaux (UGCB) are not as old as that of the 1855 classification, but its tale is furiously reminiscent of a 19C adventure novel. It all started with a business trip to Japan in 1973 from a few big Bordeaux owners. Asia well and it seemed appropriate to them, after conquering America, to turn to Japan. But it was necessary to simplify the presentation of Bordeaux wines so that our interlocutors were not lost between the 1855 classification, that of bourgeois wines and Pomerol which did not have one. It was not a question of being profiteering, but of explaining Bordeaux outside the hierarchy. Quite naturally, in 1973, Jean-Bernard Delmas became the first president of the Union des grands crus de Bordeaux.

Wine tastings of members of the union were also started to be organized outside Bordeaux such as in Paris first, then in London thanks to the support of Irish-born merchant Anthony Barton, in Brussels etc. Opening up to new horizons, notably the United States, the highlighting of our wines by the Anglo-Saxon press and, in particular, by a young American journalist still unknown will change the situation. It will be the beginning of the Parker era, with great successes, but also some excesses. From 1997, the week of primeurs was introduced instead of two weeks of dedicated tastings, one for the international press and the other for trading. The idea of bringing everyone together over a week has gradually emerged to become what it is today with tastings seated for journalists and in properties for all buyers. On this it was decided to organize the first tasting in China. About fifty members of the union made the trip, Shanghai will be the first city visited in China, followed by smaller ones, but also trips to Brazil, India .all successes.

The history of its presidents to put effort and love into the Bordeaux association took Pierre Tari to bring a taste for travel. Peter Sichel had a profile perfectly suited to the Anglo-Saxon markets so important at the time. Alain Raynaud, son of a winegrower and doctor in Bordeaux, came up with modern ideas that upset the train before the arrival of Patrick Maroteaux, the right president at the right time. The UGCB knows how to find the one who will take it further. They are sometimes victims of the image of the Bordelais, a little locked in their castles, but at the head of all these properties, there are businessmen, passionate about their profession and the wines they produce and who are fully invested. It is normal that this is effective.

More information of this wonderful group of passionates about the Bordeaux wines , my fav is here in English. UGCB on wines of Bordeaux

One organism that I started my career in the world of wines while an office in Miami, now is New York, the food and wines of France or Sopexa (official France govt source). webpage in English here:  SOPEXA Food and Wine from France

The wine merchant Joseph Drouhin at the beginning of the last century when his son, Maurice, told him about his professional ambitions. What would the grandfather say these days? Founded in 1880 in Beaune, Joseph Drouhin is today a house unanimously respected around the world. A 73 hectare wine estate, two thirds of great and premier crus on the most beautiful lands of Burgundy, from Mâcon to Chablis. With 90 appellations, including Musigny, Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche, Clos Vougeot and the cult Clos des Mouches, a Burgundian icon. Catalog of legend to which were added, in 1987 and 2013, two properties in Oregon (United States). Vinified or produced, the wines signed Joseph Drouhin are exported to 90 countries.

In 1878. Joseph Drouhin and his wife, Pauline, left the Yonne to open a bookstore in Beaune, which was soon abandoned for trading in wine. Future profession boosted by the rise of the railroad. In 1914. Maurice Drouhin, the only son of Joseph, is one of the youngest captains in France. Perfect polyglot (German and English), he was recruited by the future general MacArthur. In 1918 at the end of the Great War or WWI and return to the wine market, cured of military chaos and phylloxera.

Their wines get all the attention and fame that it deserves. The director of Maxim’s, in Paris, requests exclusivity. People of yesterday and today love this dry and elegant white wine. Alfred Hitchcock, Louis de Funès, Sean Connery, Jean-François Moueix, the owner of the Pétrus estate. On June 7, 1944, the day after the Allied landing in Normandy, the friend of the Americans was informed of a raid by the Nazi police. Thanks to the maze of ancestral cellars under its vat room, it escapes, emerging through a back door, and reaching the Hôtel-Dieu. Protected by the sisters for several months, he donated 2.5 hectares of his best vintages after the war. Each year, during the charity sale for the benefit of the Hospices de Beaune, a cuvée from these vines now bears his name, several pieces (228 liter barrels) faithfully bought by his grandchildren to continue the charity work. Contact Maison Joseph Drouhin, 7, rue d’Enfer, 21200 Beaune.

Again, this large building located at the exit of the village of Ampuis from the capital of Gaul. In a curve of the road RD86 (ex-route 86), the famous N7 sung by Charles Trenet, impossible to miss this high plastered house of brown ocher crossed out with the name of its company name: Établissements Guigal. Three generations of a family name synonymous with the biggest appellations in the Rhône valley: Côte Rotie, Condrieu, Hermitage, Châteauneuf-du-pape, saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, etc. Among which, mythical plots: La Mouline, La Turque, and La Landonne. So many treasures cultivated on the steep hillsides of the Côte-Rôtie ,the cradle of Syrah for 2,400 years, the steepest and oldest vineyard in France.

The young Guigal is doing so well that in twenty-two years, the Vidal-Fleury house has become a first-class property and trading house. The Vidal-Fleury-Guigal duo is renowned. Joseph travels the world, palaces and wine-growing authorities. Etienne manages everything else; from the management of the vineyard to real estate investments. His father wanted to put his surname on the labels and founded his own house in 1946. The break with his employer was dramatic. Joseph Vidal-Fleury contracted jaundice and when he met my father in the village, he was feeling unwell. On January 11, 1961 when on his return from high school, he found his mother in tears, his father decked out in dark glasses from a detachment of the retina, operated three times. Etienne is blind. Marcel does not have a driver’s license, not his bachelor’s degree, not even a major. He has no choice but to imitate his father’s signature to prevent the establishment from collapsing. But the reward is there. In 1961, the house of Guigal, that’s 13,000 bottles per year and an employee; by 2020, around fifty people work to produce more than 8 million bottles, not counting the production of satellites passed under the Guigal fold. From north to south, some 150 hectares of vineyards: Vidal-Fleury establishments, Château d’Ampuis, Domaine de Vallouit, Domaine de Bonserine, Château de Nalys, etc, and always the three hats owner, winemaker-breeder and merchant- breeder; sported with equal pride by Philippe, like before him his father and grandfather. Contact at Etablissements Guigal, 5, route de la Taquière, 69420 Ampuis.

A nice pairing for the  Summer.  From mid-May to mid-July, the orchards that have become immaculate see the branches of the cherry trees bend. From the soft, dark red burlat to the rather sour and almost black morello cherry, passing by the pale yellow Napoleon and the vermilion Montmorency. To wash down with cherries which we love you can have a Maury from the Domaine Pouderoux ;aromas of cocoa and black cherry with a hint of mint; on the palate, a lot of sugar richness, but a very integrated and well-balanced alcohol structure, and above all a very pleasant suppleness. Delicious.

a couple of late taste with a meal and very good value/quality wise I believe very well spread in the world  ,the reds of Bordeaux:

Château Rollan de By, Cru bourgeois 2015, Médoc, Red. The tannins are tender, nice length, full, suave, elegant, powerful, fresh on the finish. I had their rosé as well very nice balance fruity wine excellence for a Bordeaux rosé! Château La Tour Carnet 2009 Grand cru classé, Haut-Médoc, Red .Full, intense, concentrated, fleshy, this Grand Cru Classé of unbeatable value for money offers a nice freshness, very fine tannins.

And one from lointime my period of Burgundy and the first property tasted and visited at Beaune. Louis Jadot, Monopole Clos de la Barre 2014, Volnay Premier cru, Red Soft attack, elegant mouth. The power is gradually installed. Silky tannins. Always a great property.

Entitled Boire avec les dieux  or Drinking with the Gods, the temporary exhibition at the Cité du Vin did not open on April 10 and is postponed for a year. In 2021, from April 9 to August 29, announces the Foundation for Wine Culture and Civilizations.

The 2019 Primeurs campaign in Bordeaux has just experienced its first boost this morning with the marketing of Château Pontet-Canet, 5th Grand Cru Classé 1855 (Pauillac) announced at the buyer price of 68€ excl. tax (source) or more exactly 58€ excl tax ex-trader, which represents a significant drop compared to the 2018 vintage, released at 98€ excluding taxes a year ago.  Will this 31% reduction in price for an 1855 Grand Cru Classé give the market trend for the 2019 vintage in Bordeaux? If that is the case, it is undeniable that this 2019 is going to be rich in good deals for amateurs. The next outings will be closely monitored in the coming days. At the start of the week, some pretty nuggets opened the campaign: Château d’Arsac, Cru Bourgeois Exceptional (14€ excl tax), Château Lanessan  Haut-Médoc (10.40 € HT), Clos Manou en Médoc ( € 17.30 HT) or Château Haut-Bergey in Pessac-Léognan (14€ excl tax). All prices are at least 20% lower than the 2018 vintage!. Gear up for bargains folks; I am ready willing and able.

There you go for the wine news from yours truly. Enjoy it en vino veritas!!!

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

May 21, 2020

Bikes in Pluvigner!

Well what a name and a surprise to many lol!!! Well just as many think I only ride in a car all over here and don’t realise that in France or Europe for that matter, public transports many times is a need ,so yes done it all from taxis, tramways, funicular/cable cars, buses, metro, train short medium and long, over country lines you name it. Still car/automobile is king for many reasons already expressed in many posts in my blog.

Pluvigner

What many do not realised either is that I have experience with bicycles or bikes or vélos in France; just to say tried them all can’t argue with me…. And follow for upteens years the Tour de France and Vuelta de España even going to see a stage or two or plenty over the years.

Now I am in back country Pluvigner, Morbihan dept 56 of my beautiful Bretagne. If you know about bikes and probably most readers know more than I, then you know Bretagne or Brittany is a hotbeds for many good ones. Even in little Pluvigner.

One of the best from our town was  Jean-Marie Goasmat was a pro cyclist born in Camors (Morbihan) on March 28, 1913 and died on January 21, 2006. Living in Pluvigner (Morbihan), he was nicknamed the Farfadet de Pluvigner or Adémaï. He was the most popular sportsman in Brittany. Each year, a Jean-Marie Goasmat Grand Prix is run in mid-August at Malachappe a district of Pluvigner.

His long career was marked by numerous victories from 1933 to 1951. He notably won a famous stage of the 1936 Tour de France which ended in Briançon. His performances on the 1938 Tour de France aroused a lot of interest in Brittany winning the 8th stage of the Tour de France. However, when he had to assume the role of leader in 1939, the Army did not grant him permission (he was indeed performing his military service) to compete in the Great Loop.Nevertheless he was the 1939 French military champion. Other interesting races he had performed well were the 1941 Critérium de France (occupied area) ; 1942 Grand Prix des Nations (free area), Critérium de France (occupied area); 1949 2nd place in Paris-Limoges ;1950 3rd stage winner Tour de Luxembourg,and the 1951 Paris-Bourges, 3rd stage Critérium du Dauphiné libéré. On the big races he participated in the  Tour de France with year and result to follow: 1936: 28th, and stage winner, 1937: 18th 1938: 11th and stage winner ; 1947: 9th; 1948: retirement ;1949:; 22nd 1950:, 35th ;1951 21st; and the Tour of Italy 1938: 18th.

There is a great local race here we watch in city center every year call La Pluvignoise, next one in Sept 2020 if all goes well with the virus. The last one took place a Sunday, September 15, 2019, fictitious departure from the city/town hall, at 14h15.; entry to the circuit at 15h50.; arrival at 16h45; Pass-cyclist race, 13h45.  Since 2011, the event has been closely linked to the name of Warren Barguil, the professional runner from Arkéa-Samsic. The Morbihannais (as locals of Morbihan are call) had signed one of his very beautiful victories on the pluvignois circuit.

The race details is here: Velo Press Collection on the Pluvignoise 2019

There is also a Tour de Bretagne that in some years has passed by Pluvigner, the next was to happened late April to early May 2020 but postponned and cancelled due to the virus. We will wait until next year. More info here: Official Tour de Bretagne

In my town there is a vélo or bike club of all ages and they do run all over the roads lol! I am an educated driver and person to allow for all manifestations as long as the rule of law is kept. If you happened to by here and need more info you should contact them. The local club stars of Pluvigner or Etoiles cyclistes Pluvignoise is here in French: Etoile cycliste Pluvignoise

If need to rent bikes for a ride in our area other than above, these recommended sites by the Morbihan tourist office will do the trick. Morbihan tourist office on bike rentals

If you want to know bike trails to practice or ride while in the area this is the France bike tourism webpage on Brittany on bikes site with plenty of info on the 200 km of trails available but in French: France Vélo tourisme on Brittany bike trails

Now if you had read my posts, you know that I did rode a bike in Paris! yes the early Vélib and we rode into the Parc Monceau with a group of friends. I dare to do this and with company it was fun, I believe this was 2008 or 2009 ! However, I do have a bike, surprise!!! I and only I taught my boys to ride them and then as the years went by there was only one left I ride in my blue days on the park nearby Goh Lanno in town. Of course, I am not a road rider , do it just for fun in the park. My boys are now into cars and motos/scooters etc. ;;;;!

pluvigner

Pluvigner

my bike any takers !!!

The other activity which is big here clubs all over and even at work is walks, yes the Bretons walk into the woods/forests looking for Merlin and Morgane etc but they don’t get tired, they do VTT and Trialhon races and mini marathons and full marathons. They keep inviting me but I go to watch them lol!!!

This is the tourist office of the Bay of Quiberon which we belong and tells a bit about the walks in our area. Tourist office Bay of Quiberon on walks in the Morbihan

Now this is a walk of about 7 km which we have not done the whole but did some of it and is call the Saint Tremeur or a chapel here.  The full swing goes from the fontaine St Guigner to St Tremeur and back. I have done post on the monuments and sigths of course. More info on the walk from the association of walkers of Brittany randobreizh here: Rando Breizh on walks in Pluvigner

And if you want a bit more on Pluvigner from the tourist office which we have an annex in town see the Bay of Quiberon  tourist office here: Tourist office Bay of Quiberon on Pluvigner

So there you go folks a bit country and a lot of Breton soul in my adopted area , already 9 years here , time flies  with all the ups and downs of life. We will resist and go on living la vie en rose or as I said La vie est belle in my beautiful Morbihan 56. Hope you enjoy this unusual tour!

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

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May 18, 2020

And after the virus at Pluvigner!

So now its about time I do my minutes on the current or past depending when you read this of the covid19, coronavirus, or wuhan virus your choice.  My town ,Pluvigner, as you have read before in my blog is a small town of about 7K folks inland Morbihan dept 56 of the region of Bretagne on the west of France. We are up the alley between the south and north coasts with beaches closer on the south side.

You probably should have read all the commotion about the virus , well me took it philosophical as had some bad mishaps losing mother and wife and nothing is bigger than that, well almost. We were totally excluded from this hectic period and passed it quietly and easy in our home. We obey the stay at home procedures!

Of course, it all helps that all the wage earners in my home got our pay 100% at home! We were able to go out as we have parks nearby and our house has a 1000 sq meters patio or almost 11K sq feet…It took time to get some maintenance and cleaning on the house. We were able to order food, and either pickup or delivered. We ordered all our needs including books, video games, dvd and food (wines, cheeses sausages etc ) all online and home delivered. So what can i say easy.

pluvigner

keolis atlantique bus line 5 stop move heck almost see my house!

The biggest impact will be once going back to work as I am doing telework now and my oldest son started working on the drive in at his job only still with full pay::) The impact will be on many small businesses as recession is estimated to be in France at -8,2% for this year and an increase in bankruptcies of 20%; this is my job so I know. There are still many businesses not fully open and with lower sales; especially the hotel/restaurant sector, badly hit.

My intended trip to Honfleur, Normandy was cancelled due to the 100 km limit and the gendarmerie did not allow us to go even if for visiting the spots in the ocean of my Mom and Wife. Therefore, we need to wait for maybe after june 2nd or in the summer for the release of distances and then plan again the trip with our jobs.

I had jobs on my missions to do in Eindhoven Holland and  Toulouse that have been postponned until further notice…which probably will be cancelled all together.

As went out today walking in town, I can see things will never be the same again anywhere. I saw bread lines again, with a sad memory of my youth! Road work that needed to be postponned, and several businesses still closed and others partially open. Again, even if out completely soon it will take at least until the end of 2020 to be back to some normalcy. As someone blogger has put 2020 is out get it all for 2021!

Pluvigner

bread lines

pluvigner

city hall given out free masks to residents

Wishing all my readers went thru ok and are positive about the future; its the only way out. I took some pictures of Pluvigner today that reflect the mood, hope you enjoy them. Best wishes!

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

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May 13, 2020

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton XXXII!

So getting back to my regular routine as we are now more flexible out and enjoying it!!! I have several posts on my new dirt on the world, and on events, monuments in my little town; however, never written on our house in Pluvigner, Morbihan dept 56, of Bretagne, in my belle France. We should all start traveling in our town!!!

Well briefly not to repeat, my town name in French is Pluvigner, but in the local Breton language still spoken by many once you get to know them, is Pleuwigner; coming from the fact that the Pleu or plu or plo is Parish and wigner is guigner or Saint Guigner who came from present day Ireland.  My department 56 Morbihan is the only one in France that is not in French as if it was would be Petite Mer or small sea! actually Mor=sea and bihan=small or Morbihan.

Ok getting away from the details and telling you bienvenue is degemer mat and bonjour is demat and goodbye is kenavo; oh well I am learning too! Now lets turn to story telling…..

I have not told you about the house we live, and so much love keeping the work of my dear late wife Martine. Most folks including my overseas family think that we all have small houses, like cubicles lol! well if you live in a big city like Paris you find a lot of 50 sq meter homes and even less, but we live in the countryside Breton and houses are big here and lots of land.

My land is 1000 square meters or about 10 760 square feet. The house living space is 255 square meters or about 2 743 square feet. It has five bedrooms, and two full bathrooms and half toilet seat extra apart. There is a garage not counted in living space but can fit three cars easily, and a cellar of 33 m2 or about 355 sq ft. fully loaded!  A separate laundry room 28 m2 and so on and on. There is a front gate to enter the property and a long driveway for the back and the garage entrance. We have not counted in the living space an open air terrace of  11 m2 (118 sq ft) and a veranda glass enclosed terrace of 22m2 (237 sq ft). The house is about 400 meters or 1320 feet from downtown/city center or centre ville which we go on foot for all our needs.

pluvigner

pluvigner

pluvigner

pluvigner

Pluvigner

There is bus service very limited every 2-3 hours on line 5, and no train station; therefore transportation is basically all done by car which we like ! and if I go the opposite way from the house I am in dairy and horse farms galore on a winding hilly road into the forest. However, we have taken the bus and my boys do it into Lorient and Vannes as well as Auray.  The bus network is manage by Keolis Atlantique, the line 5 is here: Keolis Atlantique line 5 Pluvigner

The town is sandwhich between two main road for easy access to everything. In the north on the D768 you reach the N24 and connects with Rennes, Lorient, Brest etc. Going to the south or the beaches on the same D768 you connect with the expressway or voie express N165 doing the run from Nantes to Brest. From the N165 you can connect on the N166 to Rennes and onwards to Paris and beyond. I can take the D767 and D779 very easily connecting with all the above and north south Bretagne. There are other roads we take that connects quite nicely with all the needs such as the D102, D103 ,and D16.

There is an airport at Lorient Bretagne Sud but with limited flights choices located at 32 km or about 20 miles. My main airport is in Nantes Atlantique at about 147 km (91 mi) and 1h30 time, taken many times by yours truly.

The closest train station is at Auray at about 15 km which I have taken, however, for choices I take the Vannes at 35 km. Both handle the TGV as well. The bus line is the regional line 5 that goes to all the major towns from Baud to the north of me to Vannes passing by Auray and connects with those towns bus network like the Kiceo in Vannes or CTRL in Lorient. You can do correspondances in Vannes for an additional 50 cents.

The town of Pluvigner has about 7K inhabitants and a smallist city center but fully loaded with all the services we need except no cinema, no hypermarket, and no electronic/video games etc stores. This is the countryside! However, we do have 10 bars 8 restaurants, 1 supermarket, and 1 mini proxi grocery store, 5 bakeries, and haircut ,dog toilettage too, 2 pharmacies, eyeglasses, dentist, doctor, nurses (that come every day for my Dad) clothing/shoes store, gifts/pmu tabac stores, 3 banks, two car dealers and garages, oh well pretty much covered. The only service we go to Auray is the eye doctor and the Pratel hospital. A major hospital Bretagne Atlantique but known locally by its name  Chubert is in Vannes.

Pluvigner

Pluvigner

Another great service of a small town, here with the mairie (Ti Ker in Breton)  we communicate by email and even before the virus and they respond rapidly very good service.  The webpage is here for reference: City of Pluvigner

pluvigner

Believe it or not, we have a tourist office in town, we do get a lot of Breton history here with sacre monuments and lots of walks into the woods with chapels etc. For tourism we rely on the Bay of Quiberon webpage here in English: Tourist office of Bay de Quiberon for Pluvigner

We belong to the Agglo communities of the Auray Quiberon Terres Atlantique webpage here on the towns in French: Auray Quiberon Terres Atlantique on Pluvigner

Oh yes one big advantage is that we are just very close to the beaches; you can tell by looking at the list on the webpage above and a map::)  Straight down on the road D768 you are in Unesco territory of Carnac, and also, St Philibert, Plouharnel, La Trinité sur Mer, Quiberon peninsula (our favorite) with a bit divertion to Locmariaquer, and on the other side Erdeven , and Etel ;all wonderful coastal beach towns at about 22 km (14 mi) ,28 km (17 mi) , 33 km (20 mi) and the farthest at 40 km (25 mi) going over to the Gulf of Morbihan name one of the most beautiful bays in the world! Not bad at all we said ::)

Oh yeah we are 129 km (80 mi) from Rennes and 145 km (90 miles) from Nantes city center. Also, 161 km (100 mi) from Brest at the point, and 58 km (36 mi) from Sarzeau in the Rhuys peninsula as well as 161 km (100 mi) from Saint Malo in the north. All centrally located for our enjoyment. Just to get my family to come here lol!!!

And our Keolis Atlantique bus line 5 connects with Vannes bus terminal next to the train station and then bus intercity even to Paris! For example Flixbus for less than 19€ Ahh at Vannes there is also a gare maritime or sea passenger terminal for trips to the outlying islands in the Morbihan like Belle-île sur Mer, Houat, and Hoédic in the Atlantic , and in Gulf such as Aux Moines, Arz , and still a bit further by Lorient Groix in the Atlantic ocean. Here you choose from where you want to leave, départ: Gulf of Morbihan cruises

We are lucky to have found the house, as we are near the best park in town Goh Lanno, and the city maintenance dept where we get our yellow tri garbage bags on foot! The folks are friendly and we talk to many neighbors already, as my boys take our dog Rex out for walks in the town and the park. He behaves very well indeed! We love him much!!!

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So I think I cover it all, it has been a long time wanted to do a post like this, on our Pluvigner; heck monuments we have them here next to us perfect for the 100 km limit lol!! well a bit more is needed hehehe! We will win, and time will tell we did. And do read the series of my home of  for all about the town! Hope you like this personal post and the friends and family who see it will let me know ok. Welcome to Pluvigner and my home!

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

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May 10, 2020

The Nantes Museum of Arts ,Nantes!

Well here I go again, been at home makes you think about where you have been and take a closer look at my blog. Well as usual i write on the many places visited and as always never quite tell all! Nantes is a city that is like one of my homes, not only for the visits with the family and friends that live there but on my business trips as well; needless to say been all over. However, there is so much beautiful things to write about my belle France that oh well here is another, the Museum of Arts of Nantes.

The Nantes Museum of Arts ( I have it mentioned as the former name Nantes Museum of Fine Arts), was created, like fourteen other provincial museums, by consular decree of September 1, 1801. It is one of the largest museums in the region. The Musée d ‘arts de Nantes is located in the heart of the city center, a stone’s throw from the Cathedral, the Jardin des Plantes and the SNCF train station.

Founded under the Consulate, the Nantes Museum of Fine Arts receives works purchased by the State and deposits from the Central Museum (you know it as the Louvre Museum). From the beginning of the 19C, it took an important place in French public collections thanks to the purchase by the City of Nantes of the collection of the brothers Pierre and François Cacault. This fund, comprising major works, is subsequently supplemented by several other direct or testamentary donations, and by a purchasing policy supported by the Society of Friends of the Museum of Fine Arts in Nantes. Today, there is a collection of works from the Pays de Loire Regional Contemporary Art Fund and the Pompidou Center added to this rich collection.

Nantes

The Arts Museum benefited in 1804 and in 1809 from the dispatch by the State of 43 paintings taken from the reserves of the Central Museum. These works come from the old royal collection, churches and convents of Paris or even revolutionary and Napoleonic conquests (nationalisations from the French revolution). But it was the purchase of the Cacault brothers’ collection by the city in 1810 that gave the Nantes Arts museum all its richness and scope. It was not until 1830 that the collections were presented to the public on the second floor of the covered market located rue de Feltre on the site of the old Marché de Feltre. In 1891, the city decided to build a building specially designed to preserve them and present them to the public in good conditions. A quadrangular plot near the school and the Jardin des Plantes was chosen to accommodate the future Palais des Beaux-Arts. The plan is organized around a patio covered with a glass roof. A double circuit of galleries and rooms surrounds it on two levels. You reach the upper level by a monumental double flight staircase decorated with a fresco by Hippolyte Berteaux entitled Laborious Brittany and an arched vestibule. The rooms on the ground floor are lit by large windows, those upstairs benefit from modern overhead lighting made possible by the metal frame of the whole.

Nantes

Until 1985, the building also housed within it, and this since 1900, most of the funds of the city’s municipal library, before these were finally installed in the new media library Jacques-Demy located on the Quai de la Fosse. In 2011, the Arts Museum closed its doors for an initially planned duration of two years maximum, in order to carry out important enlargement works which must bring its surface to 17,000 m2 (against 11,400 m2 at the time) and allowing it to include the chapel of the Oratory that served as a place of temporary exhibitions for the museum located nearby, by constructing new buildings. However, the discovery of important water leaks at the site of the future expansion delayed the construction site, forcing the architects to modify their plans, provided for a reopening in two phases: 2016 for the extension and 2018 for the historic building. The reopening of the Arts Museum finally took place on June 23, 2017 for all of the exhibition spaces. The cour Jules-Dupré courtyard is a paved road that connects rue Georges-Clemenceau to rue Gambetta along the west side of the museum. Its access is, from the start, limited by grids located at each end, to allow exclusive use by the museum.

The collections briefly explained.

One of the original features of the collection of ancient art is the relative importance of the collection of Italian primitives, coming mainly from the collection of diplomat François Cacault created from 1785 to 1803, at a time when these works were usually little appreciated by amateurs. The 17C was the period when the richness of the museum’s collection was best expressed. The Italian school remains the most important, with an exceptional set of works of Caravaggio inspiration, illustrating the taste of the Cacault brothers for this painting of a powerful realism. The French Grand Siècle is also well represented. In the field of religious painting, almost all the main trends of the first part of the century are illustrated. Flemish and Dutch schools are well illustrated. The collections of the 18C, less developed, nevertheless keep rare works. Due to the presence of a rich old collection finally presented to the public from 1830, the town decided in 1838 to acquire only contemporary art. The choices fall on the famous artists who exhibit in Nantes after the Parisian Salon. French painting from the 1830s and 1850s enters the museum with two coherent sets of artists representative of the taste of the romantic era. The museum also benefits from numerous State deposits chosen from the acquisitions made at the end of the Official Salons in Paris. In recent years, the collection has been enriched with important works. The main movements of modern art 20C are represented in the collections. The museum’s contemporary collection 21C has been enriched since 2003 by numerous deposits of works from the National Fund for Contemporary Art and new acquisitions. The Arts Museum brings together around 13,500 works on paper such as engravings, drawings and photographs or fabric, from the 15C to the 21C. The 64 albums of the Cacault brothers contain 7,500 old engravings. For the 19C, the cabinet has 3,000 drawings and prints. Modern art is also represented by 3,000 drawings and prints while for contemporary art, there are 350 drawings and as many photographs.

The Arts Museum of Nantes in French: Arts Museum of Nantes in French

The tourist office of Nantes on the Arts Museum in English: Tourist office of Nantes on the Arts Museum

This is a magnificent charming area of Nantes to even walks and see the wonderful architecture of buildings all around you, not to miss the Arts Museum of Nantes. Hope you enjoy the brief tour.

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

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