Posts tagged ‘Europe’

November 19, 2017

Granville and La Manche 50!

So on the run of a promise to visit a friend we set out Saturday for a little village in the dept 50 La Manche in the region of Normandie. We went by car of course about 2h45 on the N24 by Rennes onwards on the A84 to N175 to  Villedieu-lesPoêles  and then the D924 to the  D35  and Le Loreul…!!!

The tourist webpage for the department 50 la Manche is here : http://www.manche-tourism.com/

And for the region of Normandie here: http://en.normandie-tourisme.fr/normandy-tourism-1-2.html

We passed by pleasant little villages that are the true flavor of France, big cities are famous and concentrated ,but the little towns is what gives me in to France; the joie de vivre, la vie est belle!!!

Le Loreul is a country town just our hosts big horse lovers and famous in France, for privacy won’t mention name but he is a winner of the prix d’Amérique horse races  and others. We went for a private visit with the family and it was nice. Finish early and only other things to see is the simple Church Notre Dame next door on road rue de la liberté or D35. We passed by Champrepus on the D924 and it has a nice Church St John the Baptist on the D924 road. Both we took pictures.

Then, we went on for Granville. I have not been here in many many years and as always visiting Mont Saint Michel, we decided for our time to visit Granville. We were glad we did, a nice town my family enjoyed even if very hilly. You need to concentrate in one area and then  move on by car to the next one low town or high town (basse ville ou haut ville).

The city has a wonderful high town area  with gorgeous views over the city and the sea. The pointe du Roc is magnificent and plenty of old bunkers from WWII on the Atlantic wall construction by the Nazis. The walkpaths are wonderful and you need to be in good shape to walk all these.  Passing by the fishing harbor and then the pleasure marina with all those restaurants/bars along the way is nice.

Nice museum of arts and history; but we had no time for it; the name is the musée d’art et d’histoire de Granville , as well as the musée d’art moderne Richard Anacréon. The best part for us was the walk on the streets low town and high town both times moving our car; to be closer. The ambiance is turn of the century and rather chic; worth the detour…

We did went inside the Church Notre Dame du Cap Lihou because it is in us to do so on all towns we visit. Here a Chapel exists since the 13C in granite stones. In this Church Christian Dior was baptized in 1908.  The choir was done from 1628-1641 and the ambulatory; the big nave was done between 1643-1655, and the Chapels of Saint-Clément (patron of marines) , and Notre-Dame du Cap-Lihou ( the virgin found in fisherman netting first in 1113) were added in 1674-1676. A century later were added the western façade 1767, and the sacristy 1771.  There is an organ built in 1660-1662 that is quite nice. Very nice Church and worth the detour.

As we needed to eat again before leaving so not to do dinner at home we stop by on a wonderful place, very friendly, fast service, nice folks and great food quality/price excellent. Crêperie La Bolée, 17 rue Lecampion, in city center but away from the harbor area. Tel +33 (0) 2 33 50 18 04. More here as it has no webpage: Yelp is on my blogroll below my blog main page. https://www.yelp.fr/biz/la-bol%C3%A9e-normande-granville-3

We had an assortments of galettes and other goodies, but I had the Terroir which is with slices of duck, camembert cheese, and cooked apples!! sublime; the had share a dish of cheeses four kinds including of course more camembert::) expresso coffee, along a bottle of Chateau Pique-Ségue Bergerac rose wine 2014…very good! All for 21.90€ per person.

And on the way back we took the other road D973 passing into Avranches to hook up with the A84 back home. Avranches we know too, had runs for lunch and dinner there many times ::) The day was entirely foggy heavy in some sections so it was a good idea not to go to MSM anyway. We will need to do another zig zag trip in our belle France and already some ideas for next weekend.

You all enjoy your weekend wherever you are, and happy travels; cheers.

Avranches Champrepus  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville  Granville Le Loreul Le Loreul Le Loreul Villedieu des Poeles

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November 12, 2017

Guérande, Batz-sur-Mer, and Le Croisic ; can 3 be a charm!

Hi dear travelers, we went out on Sunday ,rare for us as usually this is family time at home. Today was rainy cool 11C and cloudy, but we had some friends in Guérande inviting us for lunch and we could not resist. We went to three wonderful towns where a lot more time is in order and we should be back next month; these are Guérande, Batz-sur-Mer, and Le Croisic.

We visited before at Guérande on our own and had pleasant surprises of the town and its ramparts. Here is my last post on it; https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2015/12/15/guerande-the-best-salt-of-france-and-a-lot-more/

The tourist office for each of them are here for easy reference.

Guérande : http://en.ot-guerande.fr/

Batz-sur-Mer : http://en.ot-batzsurmer.fr/

Le Croisic : http://www.tourisme-lecroisic.fr/en/

We took the expressway N165 to the exit 17 La Baule, La Roche Bernard, and took the D774 direction Herbignac/Guérande. As we got earlier we walked a bit before meeting our friends in their house.

At Guérande, we walked around the ramparts and the wonderful Porte Vannetais, Porte Saint Michel, and Tour de la Gaudinais walking into the old town to take a look again at the Church Saint Aubin.

On our way out to Batz-sur-Mer we passed by the museum of salt marshes or Musée des Marais Salants and the wonderful salt marshes you see along the road is wonderful. This is the famous salt of Guérande, world famous. More here: http://www.cap-atlantique.fr/node/1482

We continue our journey with our friends into the harbor area and saw the nice Church and tower of Saint-Guénolé built in the 13C of gothic Breton style with a tower 70 meters high and nice views of the ocean. We went to the harbor port Saint Michel where we had our lunch at the Café de la  Plage, wonderful family service, where I had a cassoulet de la mer or sea casserole of shrimp, scallops and fish with a nice vegetable lettuce and a bottle of Kerisec cider, the others had different servings from mussels with Roquefort cheese , tagliatelles bolognaise, and four cheeses pizzas, desserts from bounty coconuts ice cream to banana splits , and of course another bottle of Kerisec cider brut.  The price we could not know as our friendly friends lol!! went ahead and pay for all five of us the bill !!! yes nice friends. However, no pictures as rather keep them private.

We went on by car to Le Croisic the end of the peninsula where the sea is king and we just the servants.  There was an exposition going on at the house of the rescue or Maison du Sauvetage right by the harbor. The fishing harbor and the pleasure boat harbor are sublime picturesques beautiful. More here only in French : http://www.tourisme-lecroisic.fr/fr/infos/decouvrir/patrimoine/la-maison-du-sauvetage

And the colorful train station or gare du Croisic right by the harbor! More here: https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/fregu/croisic

We found for a Sunday plenty of parking for free in all the towns.  In all, a short but pleasant trip to the beautiful old Brittany now Pays de la Loire region dept 44 Loire Atlantique. We will be back ::)

Enjoy your Sunday and happy travels to all my readers and friends/family. Cheers!!

ps I must add that if anyone is interested in an English guided tour of the Pays de la Loire you can reach out in confidence to this guy here his FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Tourer-44-1959910610914510/

 

 

 

 

November 10, 2017

The wine is in me and sharing is always good to your health!

AmboiseOk so let’s get one more entry about wines, this is my passion even if seldom writes on it.  I am beginning to get the knack of telling you about wines.  You can see in my other posts, my credentials and experiences and get to know a bit of my cellar. Just waiting my latest lot from the de Rothschild (of the Mouton Rothschild family for the novice). More here, they have a wonderful museum as well we love: Museum Mouton Rothschild

And to order theses wonderful wines the site is La Baronie where I do my shopping : La Baronnie 

There is a new event coming up from an old one. THE chamber of commerce and industry of Bordeaux, the main shareholder in the Vinexpo Bordeaux will expand to do a biannual event in Paris too, Vinexpo Paris.  This event will be done in the even years and the first one will be January 13-15 2020 in the Porte de Versailles convention center. The next Vinexpo Bordeaux, that will be done in the odd years is schedule for May 13-16 2019. In 2017, about 2300 exhibitors attracted about 40 000 visitors and gave the event a healthy sales number of 16 million euros. News from le Figaro Vin, the webpage for Vinexpo is here: Vinexpo

Another article from my favorite place Le Figaro tells of the corks!  In 20 years of battling the pros now said the incident of TAC or odors in the cork that makes taste like an old wet cardboard are below 1% .  The incident comes from a molecule oxygenate  that in contamination with the air outside gives the taste humid rotten links to the humidity.  The Portuguese branch of the French group Laffitte acquired machines capable of control 12 000 corks per day where the air around the cork passes in a compartment humid proof. If it has more than a nanogram of TCA the cork is thrown out.  This is for high price wines because the extra cost is substantial according to spokesman of the group; count 15 cents euro extra for a cork where the price varies from 40 cents to 1,50€. And fight continues with higher technology.

François Pinault (the seventh richest person in France according to Challenges Magazine, and the world’s 65th most wealthy individual, according to Forbes) purchased the historic, Burgundian gem Clos de Tart  for an undisclosed sum. Across the wall, LVMH boss Bernard Arnault (France’s wealthiest person and the world’s 11th, according to the same sources) owns the Domaine des Lambrays. The question is, Will Burgundy go the way of Bordeaux with outside investors buying the region’s land and heritage? It seems inevitable. It is not just the price of land that is the issue; it is also the succession taxes. The two go hand-in-hand. While the calculation of France’s onerous succession taxes supposedly do not include glorified one-off purchases like Clos de Tart . François Pinault is now the fourth owner of a Burgundian property that – astonishingly, considering the Napoleonic succession laws – has never been divided in its 876-year history. Meanwhile, his rival across the wall is missing a tiny piece of the Clos des Lambrays. One can’t help but wonder what the value of that parcel of 0.004 hectare, now in the hands of Domaine Taupenot-Merme, might be worth?

The now famous wine fairs in France happening all over and in all types of establishment. These are the foire aux vins a heavy duty event with around 100 millions euros in sales!. The leaders are the hypermarkets Carrefour and Leclerc (who created the trend of fairs 44 years ago and the one we like best). These fairs provide about 15%  of all wine sales for the year for most of the stores name. The French take 70% of intention of going to them and 80% is done in hypermarkets according to a survey by Toluna.  Most folks in France like me received catalogues of the sales ahead of time, where we see 30-50% more choices from last year and even more in reference to 15 years ago with more famous names on it. The most shown in these fairs is the Bordeaux wines with a mix of regions that has nevertheless reduce their control from 41% to 36% in 10 years period.  The reduction help bring on wines from the Rhône and the Languedoc-Roussillon.

To help difference amongst the big name stores, Leclerc and Auchan keeps to the grands crus, while the coops like Intermarché or Système U talks about more autonomy in the choice of bottles according to regions. Monoprix keeps to their normal clientele more urban ,city center in their bottle selection. The internet sites are better stock which allows firms like Millésimes to offers rare bottles to bring in the amateurs. Something new, the Chatbot, high tech is a software of artificial intelligence that give a dialogue with the client and or a store. Carrefour took it out on their site   je me serve ma foire aux vins Carrefour, eventually they will take it out to all their webpages; the webpage has bottles that are usually only found in the cellars master stores . For instance my Leclerc site here: Ma Cave Leclerc

Some recommendation ups my sleeves or rather down my cellar.

Denis Vacheron  of the Domaine Vacheron has 48 hectares around the area of Sancerre, practicing biodynamic winemaking.  The lable Denis Vacheron 2015 is in the perfection level. It is an all terrain wine ,perfume nose of notes of passion fruit and citrics giving it a great energy and absolut precision. Price here at 19€ Domaine Vacheron

Domaine Vincent Delaporte  offering a wonderful Chavignol 2015.  This wine is a blend of sauvignon blanc issue from about 20 parcels with different soil composition. It’s a wine with nose, mineral identity and aromas of lemon , and rose grapefruit. In the mouth great juice pure and simple with a long finish. Price here at 15€ Chavignol 2015

 I always preferred the dry whites over the sweet whites and the revolution is catching up even in the venerable region of Sauternes. The production of dry whites have triple in the last 7 years according to the Chateau Guiraud, Premier Grand Cru Classé of Sauternes. It has 120 hectares of vinyards on the bio regime producing about 180K bottles of dry whites G de Guiraud agains 90K of the first wine Chateau Guiraud, and according to the year about 60-120K bottles of second wine Petit Guiraud / This is typical of the whole region. And as the region two main grapes for  Sauternes the Sauvignon and Sémillon are well into the white wine world it gives a strong commercialization force for the dry white wines as well in the export market. One of my favors here is the Chateau de Rieussec, sweet wine of course. This wine is done in the vineyards of the sweet wines flowery perfumes, in the mouth lemony aromas and can be kept in cellar for a few years for the 2015 version. More here:

The Americans love France, and they go all out for the wines. Now, they are putting their pocket where their tastes are investing again in French wine properties.  Mark Nunnelly and his wife Denise Dupre have invested in the production control not the property of the Burgundian Château de la Commaraine, in the Côte-d’Or, a clos of 3,75 hectares in the prestigious appellation of  Pommard 1er cru. The Clos de la Commaraine has the peculiarity of been a monopole with one owner in a clos of one tenant; until now their grapes were vinifie by the maison Louis Jadot. In addition the new controlling couple will like to make of the castle of the 12C a center of oenotourism of high class.  The couple ,also, own in the Marne the house of Champagen Leclerc-Briant at Epernay purchased in 2012 ,then the Hotel Royal Champagne in Champillon in 2014 currently under renovation. Last May in Burgundy ,they purchased the Domaine Belleville on 22 hectares at Rully  (Saône-et-Loire),later the negotiating house of the Le Manoir Murisaltien, at Meursault (Côte-d’Or).  Americans have a taste for Burgundy too; last January the millionaire Stanley Kroenke, main shareholder of the football/soccer club Arsenal, acquired the Domaine Bonneau du Martray of 11 hectares. In 2014, the Chateau de Pommard (20 hectares) was purchased by the Silicon Valley patron Michael Baum. And one, I know very well as know the principals here, the Maison Jadot was purchased in 1985 by the wine importer of the Kopf family; Kobrand Corp.
The wine production is at its lowest level since 1956 according to the International Organization of the Wine and already 8,2% less than last year with an estimated 246,7 million hectoliters. Lower production has been reported in Italy (39,3 Mhl, -23%), France (36,7 Mhl, -19%), and Spain (33,5 Mhl, -15%), these 3 countries represent 45% of world production of wines.  Not counting the repercussions of the fires in California, the USA 4th world producer should maintain their levels at  23,3 Mhl .  The most gainers are the Australians this year confirming their 5th place world with a production of 13,9 Mhl, or +6% more than 2016. Argentina the 6th producer will see a bounce back of 25% with production of 11,8 Mhl,  Brazil the 14th rank producer has gain quite a bit with  3,4 Mhl or million hectoliters. China, the 7th producer is absent of statistics for 2017 so far. South Africa with 10,8 Mhl saw a 2% increase placing them in the 8th position. The OIV (name in French) organization estimates that the world production of wines in 2017 will be between 240 and 245 Mhl. Both previous articles from the magazine in my blogroll below my main page La revue des vins de France.
And remember, the areas have changed in order to simplified a little the vast numbers of names in Europe and especially France. The old AOC (Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée) are now the AOP (Appellations d’Origine Protégée).  The middle level of VDQS (Vins Délimités de Qualité Supérieure) disappears. Now the wines that were VDQS need to choose to be AOP or IGP. The old Vins de Pays becomes IGP (Indications Géographiques Protégées). And the Vins de Table becomes now the Vins de France. Get it ::)

You can come to my favorite area where family lives, Gaillac. One of two best properties there and we love it are the Domaine du Moulin, 6st generation winemaker by Nicolas Hirissou; planting tannat grapes to complement the Syrah and Braucol (aka Fer Servadou), local variety. The winery is open from 9h to 12h and 14h to 19h closed Sundays in Jan, Feb, and Mar. More here: https://ledomainedumoulin.com/en/

 and , Domaine d’Escausses closer to Albi. Overlooking from the road the nice town of Cordes-sur-Ciel. Very good tastings and welcome here even a sparkler  with the method Gaillacoise. The best wine is the La Vigne de l’Oubli, an oak aged, sauvignon dominated blend a match for the top whites of Bordeaux. Open from 9h to 13h and 14h to 19H. More here: http://famillebalaran.com/

And a picture of me on my favorite wine house in the Loire near Amboise ::) And photos found around my computer lately lol!!! Enjoy wine in moderation but do drink it, it is good for your health. Cheers!!

 

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November 8, 2017

Some news from France CLXXIIII

+.+And back to France we go folks, this is Fall but it looks already like Winter.  Temps are as low as 5C and now 7C or about 43F; cloudy, gray and raining; and Paris is at 47F with lows of 40F. Well , I guess I always wanted to be a meteorologist even if it is not a perfect science ::)

This just in ,the Grande Epicerie de Paris has a new outlet in Paris, 80 rue de Passy 16éme , wonderful items in my favorite arrondissement of Paris… http://www.lagrandeepicerie.com/en.html

Problems in Paris, the Christmas market by the Champs-Elysées are cancelled pending the courts to determine if it goes on. The principal organizer of these markets is now fighting the decision of the Council of Paris in court to have reverse the decision. He has done or try to do some blocks of traffic which only enrage the people doing nothing to his cause with heavy traffics all over the Paris region. The contract with the city of Paris was signed in 2015 and by now the market attracts about 15 million visitors, with 240 merchants and providing about 2000 jobs according to the organizer but there is something fishy going on here.  He had about 70 trucks requisition by the police on the porte de la Muette and the esplanade du Château de Vincennes. The city counters that they want a more valuable choice with more upscale products and locally produce. Again, something fishy going on here….

Also, the festival by the Grand Palais has been cancelled, weird, the rides installed under the big glass dome of the Grand Palais will not be there this year. The closing of the Châtelet, the musical comedy Singin’in the Rain will be on stage from November 28 to January 11 2018. The rides are out… fish fish… The other grand rendezvous at the Bastille is cancelled without explanation too!!! Also, reduce by half the participants in the Foire du Trône on the lawn of the Reuilly!  The organizer of all these festivals is in court and the blockage of trucks has been stop. Like I said, the organizer is waiting for the Tribunal Administratif de Paris by way of his attorney to get the market re open by the court. The decision is to be done by November 14 2017. From articles in Le Parisien journal

However, there is something on Christmas days that will not change is the decoration of the Great department stores of Paris .

The windows of the Au Printemps Haussmann  are still blank but from Tuesday November 7 today, at 17h they will have a start done by Nicole Kidman, the cinema star. Eleven portraits on the eleven windows of au Printemps have been thought of and designed with a participation of  150 persons, painters, seamstress, electricians etc like a theater play they will do about 13 km of nylon cords in the windows with  70 little bears and others to accompany Jules with its aviator hat and aviator dress as well as  Violette adventurer with the sheets and rose  scarfs.  On the portrait of Bavaria the little rabbit that is trying to put all the suitcases in the VW beetle, and the head on the vault, the thighs on air, and the skirts offered to spectators should be one of the stars of the season.  The van new one of  Citroën, will be cut in half showing the length ,and the transatlantic trip or the over flight of Paris in zeppelin will be a great spectacle. It will be shown every day from 19H or 7PM until mid night and until mid January 2018. More here: http://departmentstoreparis.printemps.com/en

In the windows of the  Galeries Lafayette, it will start on Wednesday at 18h or 6pm with an fairs universe  of the Paris of early 20C.  You see Pierre ,the pigeon heroe and his sweet lady Coco that will  fly over a spectacular decoration of 12 animated windows.  All at the tune of an barbarian organ with wild rhythm.  Beyond the windows inside the store, a virtual reality that will make you travel along the rollercoasters in Paris to arrive at the grand dome of the store.  A free experience shown between December 9 to 31st 2017 in six sofas that moves for 2h30 minutes of crazy moves. Finally, each weekend the animations awaits you with magic and goddess of great adventures. More here: https://haussmann.galerieslafayette.com/votre-interieur-aux-couleurs-de-noel/

A bit of arts in my beloved Versailles.

At the turn of the 20C, he show the Orient to the world, painter and photographer, Georges Gasté (1869-1910) is given an exposition entitled  « Un Orient sans images » The Orient in images at the museum or musée Lambinet in Versailles.  He was a great traveler of Algéria, Égypt , and India, that he shows with photos and portraits.  Now from Mondays to Sundays and from 14h to 18h except Fridays and Holidays and until Sunday February 18 2018 at the museum located at  54, boulevard de la Reine, just around the market of Notre Dame.Admission adults 6€ and more info from the city page here :https://www.versailles.fr/culture/etablissements/musee-lambinet/expositions/un-orient-sans-mirages-georges-gaste/

And from the tourist office on the museum itself: http://www.versailles-tourisme.com/patrimoine-culturel/musee-lambinet-943172

The label of Ramsar that honors around the world the best natural sites like the golfe du Morbihan near me has just given the marais de Sacy the same prestigious title.  The marshes runs over 1 073 hectares, with a expansive plains one of the biggest of France. They keep some of the species in danger in our world such as the spider Dolomedes plantarius, that is able to dive into the water to avoids its preditors as well as the rats like amphibious vole. Today, there is a trail at the south entrance to Saint-Martin-Longueau, that allows you to walk for about 1 km bordering the marshes. There is an observation tower high of 10 meters with a view of the wet lands . For more information you can contact the marais de Sacy at tel +33 (0) 3.44.28.15.11. Further info here: http://www.syndicatmixtedesmarais.sitew.fr/#Home.A

And more info on Ramsar organization here: http://www.ramsar.org/

On March 23-24 2018, at Senlis you have the wonderful garden festival or the  17 Salon du Jardin we all enjoy here all over, Senlis is a nice historical medieval city center town. More on this event here: http://salon-du-jardin-a-senlis.fr/

Jog this down in your calendar for a grand special event in the Oise region of France. October 5-7 2018 there will be at historical Senlis the next International Festival of  Saint-Fiacre.  There will be groups visiting from Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Germany,and Luxembourg. The crucial moment of the 3 days event is the Saturday October 6, the Mass of Saint-Fiacre in the Cathedral.  All the Chapels will be decorated by the different visiting délégations and in town there will be religious cérémonies as well as civil with presentation by different European groups, such as solemn Mass, benediction of the flowery chariots on the parvis of the Cathedral, worshipping the patron saint of the gardeners.  In the afternoon there will be a vegetables parade with panels, statues, and banners, flower chariots, and musical groups. For now they are looking for volunteers to help on the event, info here: Mme Nicole Picart tel +33 (0) 3.44.53.74.50. or email picart.nicole@gmail.com

Something unique in Paris is the old museum of public works or ancienne Musée des Travaux Publics at the Palais d’Iéna. 9 Place d’Iéna. open every day from 12h to 19h. It is no longer a museum but it houses an economic council, however for the architecture is worth a detour. See it all here: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/148921/Conseil-economique-social-et-environnemental-Palais-d-Iena

The army museum or musée de l’Armée  has an event on the experience of a soldier in the front entitled « dans la peau d’un soldat » or The Life of a  Soldier with visuals of 337 objects, some unique of the period of antiquity to our days.  An exposition showing to what point the military have been on the origin of many current tendances from style to designs : the expo will be until January 28 2018. More info here: http://musee-armee.fr/expoDansLaPeauDunSoldat/index-en.html

After 2,5 years of renovations the castle or Château de Rambouillet  has reopen its doors. This is the summer residence of the President of France which has seen passed by famous such as king François Ier to Nelson Mandela. A new exposition entitled the Princes of Rambouillet , family portrait or « Les princes de Rambouillet. Portraits de famille », dedicated to the illustrious previous owners as well as entertainment will be on until January 22 2018.  More here:  http://www.chateau-rambouillet.fr/en/

The forest is the invited guest to the Château de Maisons at Maisons Laffitte.You will emerge in a mysterious ambiance of a walk across storytelling and legends ; the walks are organize in 7 portraits that inspire each a imaginary representation of the forest. After the forest oexposition, you can visit the forest or forêt de Saint-Germain  with ONF on  there was once a forest or  « Il était une forêt… »,all until March 5 2018. More info here:  http://www.chateau-maisons.fr/en/

The third biannual of Flamenco art entitled the « Tablao » is on from November 10th a the  Théâtre national de la Danse for almost 3 weeks of dances.  It will let you see some espectacle of high quality like the dancer José Galvan, on for 3 exceptional dates. More here:  http://theatre-chaillot.fr/en/dance/tablao

During the work at Chatelet, the representations continues in the dome of the Grand Palais. It will show the musical comedy of  Singin’ in the Rain,  from November 28 to January 11 2018.  They have done a cinema studio in the palace and will have before and during the show ; food trucks, studio photo, makeup artist, claquettes courses ,video installations and  karaoke. More here: http://chatelet-theatre.com/

I have told you previously in my blog about the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, well is now open this museum of sand . It is like an mirror, at the junction of the Arabian Gulf (Persian on the other side coast of Iran), tip of sea and military zone crossing the Emirates mixing urban and architecture as we reach the island of Saadiyat, « the island of happiness », we see like the arm of the sea, the rivers, and the canals; a vast complex very modern. More here: https://www.louvreabudhabi.ae/

Also, on previous posts I mentioned about the rescue of the Potager du Roi of Versailles. The vegetable garden created in 1678 by  Jean-Baptiste de la Quintinie as per request of king Louis XIV. Now officially the Potager du Roi  has been retained by the World Monuments Fund (WMF). It is on the list of world sites the American   charitable organization is ready to invest and preserve as per the last Fifty years the WMF, base in New York, has help support about  800 sites in 135 countries. Amongst the generous contribution to the Fund we can count on the Prince Aga Khan, the family of perfumer Lauder, the decorator Juan Pablo Molyneux or the American company American Express. This is good news indeed!!! More here: http://www.potager-du-roi.fr/site/pot_visites/

And the WMF here: https://www.wmf.org/project/potager-du-roi

And back to Paris for the opening of a historical swimming pool open to all. Art Nouveau and a cinema decoration this is the basin where Amélie Poulain did her swims in the famous film of same name of  2001; and now the swims in this 18éme arrondissement will be able to do again. After two years of renovations the pool or piscine des Amiraux  re opened its doors to the public today. The pool is open 7/7 and will have  43 hours for swimmers per week for the general public, 30 hours for the schoolchildren, and 26 hours for the sports club.  The pool is located at 6, rue Hermann-Lachapelle (18éme),nearest metro is Simplon, line 4. Bus 56 also stops here. More info here: http://equipement.paris.fr/piscine-des-amiraux-2944

To commemorate the 100 years of the Grand Guerre or WWI the Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris will light up the façade and even the interior with an illumination spectacle in 17 portraits for 23 minutes duration in four nights starting tonight  and until Saturday night on 19h30 and 21h each night. The event is free but get there early as there will be many for sure. It will have 8 huge projectors, with about 60 source of lights put on the wall of the Cathedral in addition to 80 projectors from inside the Cathedral with 400 candles. TO show the entry of Americans in WWI and it is the Americans by the Knights of Columbus organization founded in 1882 that are financing the event. More info here: http://www.notredamedeparis.fr/en/

Enjoy Paris, all of France is a movable feast. Enjoy your week and happy travels to all.Cheers!

November 6, 2017

Some news from Spain LIIIII

And another week starts and the season of the best season is near. Well talking about my beloved Spain again, temps is about 52F or 11C and nice in Madrid tonite.The rest of the week is shown to be sunny highs of 63F and lows of 35F.

The latest from Spain are

Some great Spanish movies in the Film Festival of Sevilla; ‘Niñato’, of Adrián Orr, ‘Algo muy gordo’, of Carlo Padial, and ‘Tierra firme’, of Carlos Marqués-Marcet; they draw always from a different spot on Earth and the retina look the possibility of the new.. More here: http://festivalcinesevilla.eu/es/

You have a tour of secluded nice Cabrera the Mediterranean of Ulises and only one hour from Marbella.  From this lookout you see in your imagination the scenery of the Odyssea in the archipelago of  Cabrera.  An unique natural space that preserve almost intact the Mediterranean essence.  It is only 10 nautical miles south of Mallorca and are a group of 19 islets; with the two biggest are Cabrera and Conejera. All the great civilization passed by here from the primitive Talayotic peoples to the Phoenicians , Carthaginians , Romans, Byzantines, and Arabs.  For centuries the Barbarian pirates ransacked , burned and, stole from this natural harbor in the big islet of Cabrera and started attacks on the embarkations that sailed on these waters.  The rocky Castle on the high hill that welcome the new arrivals to Cabrera; passing centuries and finished the war of Independence it was also the place of prison for almost 9000 Frenchmen.  Now you can enjoy snorkeling, and scuba diving in spectacular waters, and see a blue cave, go up to the castle, or go to the beach at s’Espalmador, visit the museum of ethnography of Celler or the archeological site of Pla de ses Figueres; go up to the hill of Miranda, where you can see the magnificent panorama in the Sierra de Ses Figueres; Bellamirada; or the longest possible on the islet that takes you from one extreme to the other in the lighthouse of  n’Ensiola. You can come to this Idyllic place on tourist boats of Colonia Sant Jordi (Tel +34  971 64 90 34), Palma (Tel +34  971 717 190), and  Porto Petro (Tel +34 971 657 012. More in Spanish here: http://www.mapama.gob.es/en/red-parques-nacionales/nuestros-parques/cabrera/

Who still looking for vinyl records? Well you can find them in Madrid, the favorites according to my family ther

Radio City at calle Conde Duque, 14; tel +34 915 477 767 . You can find vinyls here as well as CD on wooden stands alternationg between jewels of the folk,rock, soul and pop of yesterday and today from the 1960’s to today. The majority of prices are between 15-25 euros .

Another is  Molar Discos y Libros, calle Ruda 19, tel +34 911 725 740. Upper level you find the literary finds and specials next to the records section always in vinyls a complete selection. Domestic and imported like the joint venture of Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnette ,26€. The street level is used for presentations, expos, concerts of small formats.

And the very best  La Metralleta , Calle Postigo de San Martin, 1, tel +34 915 318 264 . The megaclasic of Madrid record shops. The store is divided in various spaces where you can find LP’s, CD’s, cassettes, and other formats of the lost generation; you come here to get your fingers dirty searching the stands. You can find the collection of Serrat for 3€ or a copy of Pink Moon, of Nick Drake for 150€; but the most expensive record is that of Tangerine Dream for 1500€.

Something typical from a very nice historical town , Burgos.  This is the spoonful’s of Las cucharas de Burgos; it will start Thursday November 9th with a dinner entitled El cocido de las estrellas, where you will be serve some of the rounds from various creations and interpretations of the culinary delight of the city from renown chefs such as Mª José San Román (Monastrell), Macarena de Castro (El Jardín), Yolanda León (Cocinandos), Bea Sotelo (A Estación), and  Pedro Morán (Casa Gerardo), Fernando Canales (Etxanobe), as well as Miguel Cobo (Cobo Vintage). Other activities will be music concert as well as a championship of spoonful’s from the 21C delights from the students of the school or Escuela de Hostelería de La Flora; as well as the prizes from the Académicos del  Cocido from the restaurants Lhardy of Madrid , and Los Claveles de Ibeas of Juarros, and guests like  Viri Fernández (El Llar de Viri) representing the stews of Asturias and Cristino Álvarez (Caius Apicius) for the spreading of these dishes and articles in the Hispanic world. More information here: www.burgosentrecucharas.com

A new done place changeover complete. In the famous Cava Alta street of the centro and next to the Cava Baja the oldest spots in Madrid you come to  Matritum . After 20 years it has been transformed with a complete new decoration and menu, even a map of the Côte de Beaune, Burgundy. Plenty of wines here from all over. They offer menu of the day, of the market day, or outside the carte; however, one dish never fails is the costilla de vaca gallega rubia deshuesada y estofada  ( ribs of Galician beef stuffed and without bones ….) They have ice creams from Alicante and desserts such as brownie of Chocolate, and orange. The sommelier is a passionate about wines by the cup or the bottle,and rare great wines such as from Primitivo Collantes, white wines from  Mario Rovira, red wines from Olivier Rivière and international wines like for company a riesling from the  Rheingau, a  pinot noir from Rheinhessen, or the Clos Pepín. There you have it is Matritum, Cava Alta, 17 Tel +34  913 658 237. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays at noon ; more info here http://www.tabernamatritum.es/

Concerts that I like coming up at the Wizink Center of Madrid are

Vanesa Martin : https://www.wizinkcenter.es/eventoinformacion?evento=vanesa-martin-2017-12-06

Raphael ,for the Young at heart : https://www.wizinkcenter.es/eventoinformacion?evento=raphael-2017-12-21

La Térmica at Avenida de los Guindos, 48. Malaga city; will have until January 7 2018 the gallery head by Topacio Fresh with a very fresh presentation of the last years; a showing of bad taste with pop represented by filmmaker  John Waters, known for films such as Pink Flamingos, the king of trash gave the ok to this presentation showing the effigy of Divine of Ana Obregón going out of shell of Botticelli. It has some invited artists such as Octavio Terol and Valeria Vegas ; to match the myths of the  La Movida like those of Las Costus or Fabio McNamara. More information here:  http://www.latermicamalaga.com/

Ok on good weather someone would like to do this; but me never, just recommended by my crazy cousin of Aluche ,Madrid.  Go see the historical towns of the region of Extremadura. Especially in the valley or El Valle del Jerte  known for the well place showing the discoloration of a million and a half cherry trees flowering at the same time on the arrival of Spring. The valley towns in the two ranges of mountains of the range of  Gredos,is covered with a mantle of white flowers thanks to the flower that comes out from this fruit tree.  The biggest however, is the festival of El Cerezo en Flor, the cherry tree in flower organized by the 11 towns of the municipality. Upon the arrival of Autumn this trees give a new spectacle when the leaves are turn into reddish, occre and maroons colors bringing about a new festival ,that of the La Otoñada del Valle del Jerte, (the autumn of the valley of Jerte) that is now coming to its 15th edition. The 11 towns of the municipality  also provides an ample opportunity for enjoying traditions be it cultural, sports, expositions,  contests, festivals and tastings fairs of local products ,theater, etc etc. All this until December 10 2017. Coming up there is an imperial market or Mercado Imperial Carolus Imperator, held in the town of  Tornavacas, November 11-12 ; recreating the arrival of emperor Carlos V and his court to the valley. The festival dates back to the 16C with street animation as well as theater plays , concerts of old times music, tasting of local dishes, talks, and guided visits on the town and the great roasted chestnuts. You have also, the Toñá Piornalega from November 17-19 in the town of Piornal, takes typical local traditions around the local dessert; and the Dulce Otoñada from December 1-3 in the town of Navaconcejo, with pastry ateliers, cooking   shows and desserts markets.  However, the best known are the gastronomic pastoral days or the Jornadas Gastronómicas Pastoriles, available in different restaurants of the municipality in its 12th edition and the festival of the tapas or the IV Feria de la Tapa.  On the first, there are 12 of the best restaurants of the valley offering weekends until December 10 the possibility of tasting exclusive menus, from products of the autumn season at a fix price from 18-38 Euros; the listing of the participating restaurants are in  http://vallecereza.com. In the other one, Tapas festival on November 25-26 you can taste  several creations of the season on the restaurants of the valley.  There is ,also, the plate shooting championship or  Campeonato de Tiro al Plato in the town of Rebollar on November 24,  the festival of contemporary arts or the  IV Festival de Arte Contemporáneo in the town of Jerte from November 24-26 ; the theater festival or Festival de Teatro in the town of Barrado,on December 1-2; and the traditional musical encounter or the  III Encuentro de Música Tradicional in the town of Cabrero,on December 8th. All the programming can be found here:  www.valledeljerte.net).

Something to wet your senses from the bounty of Spain’s wines.

A wine to try which I know the property and have tried them all ; El Rincón from the  Bodega Marqués de Griñón  Vinos de Madrid, 2013,  Tinto con  Syrah (95%), Alicante Bouschet (5%) ready to drink now or to 2022 price is about 16€ ;notes of light violets deep black fruits, opulent, rich, with more ending on black fruits, silky ,a bit freshness. More here: http://www.marquesdegrinon.com/

La Maliciosa from Bodega Vinos Jeromín Vinos de Madrid 2013,  Tinto 100%  Garnacha , ready to drink now and to 2022 price about 20€ Notes: blackcurrants, prunes,peaches dominance; intense with heavy materials and fine tannins , very delicious in the mouth, evolving and long; a garnacha from a hotter zone but light. More here: http://www.vinosjeromin.com/

A curiosity point: the clock tower of La Berenguela  high of 75 meters ,call like this because in the middle ages there was a bishop name like this that built the tower to defend the Cathedral of  Santiago de Compostela.  You can see it from several points in the city as it has the same height as the towers of the Obradoiro.  You will see that the clock built in  1831 the needle is like a tower of a castle and then it more decorated as you move up with a baroque style added.  The clock has one needle because the hours is mark by the bells. The biggest is in the tower it is also call Berenguela and weights 6.433 kgs. According to legend, that if on one midnight it does not ring 12 times and do 13 the devil will have a magic hour to stay loose in the city and raise havocs.

The Royal collections museum or the Museo de Colecciones Reales de Madrid has an opening date for January 2020, in the Palacio Real, you will see wonderful things as 64% of the  700 works that will house are today outside the public eye and only 35% are shown elsewhere.  The different palaces, historical buildings that are part of the National Heritage are works that are not shown to the general public and that for the first time will be shown here.  This is the case of the tapestries collection from the 16C in the glorious period of emperor Carlos V and king Felipe II. More news in Spanish here: http://www.patrimonionacional.es/museo-de-las-colecciones-reales

Back to Malaga to show you that on a wall of the 13C in the gate or Puerta Buenaventura,houses over 120K volumes of books in a building now 120 yrs old remodeled in 2004 and known as the library or libreria  Proteo/Prometeo in four levels. Proteo has a space of 150 sq meters, the top part is a large shelves of books in archives from  A-Z. There is even a lithography of  Antonio Tapiès from 1978 , and a work by Enrique Brinkmann  of 1992. Single out here because it has been awarded the  XIX edition of the Premio Librería Cultural 2017, ( prize of the cultural library of 2017) just in time to celebrate the Day of the library in all of Spain on November 10th. More on it here: https://www.libreriaproteo.com/

And last but not least, the wonderful beautiful National library of Spain or the Biblioteca Nacional de España has open now with free admission, an exposition dedicated to maps and what they have fascinated the world since its history. The expo is call  «Cartografías de lo desconocido» or cartography of the unknown; and its drawn from the inventory in the national library since  its foundation in 1711. You will see high middle ages maps, nautical atlas, renaissance atlas, unique pieces such as «Geografía», from Ptolomeo, 2C, or finds such as “Carta sincronológica de la historia universal» A sincronisation map of the history of the world. In this impressive map of 7 meters you can see the history of humanity from Adam and Eve to our modern times.  All this shown until January 28 2018 . The objective of this exposition is to define exactly ,what is map! More here: http://www.bne.es/es/Actividades/Exposiciones/Exposiciones/Exposiciones2017/Cartografiasalodesconocido.html

As said ,enjoy Spain, everything under the Sun and I must add the Moon ! Cheers!!!

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November 5, 2017

Only in a name Sainte Anne d’Auray

It a sunny cool Sunday, and Bretagne that is going to Church. There is none better here than at Sainte Anne d’Auray, a town about 12 minutes by car from my town. I was there this morning.

I went before the grand Mass of 11H, where persons I came to see were to attend. It gave me the opportunity to come back to this town. Sometimes we passed by, and sometimes we take time in coming here. Sometimes, you are not aware of the beauty, peace, historical and religious significance of places you have around you. I admit the pictures are not that well done even if I am an amateur on it, took them with my old nokia phone ::)

I have written quite a bit on it, and would like to share these older posts here for the newbies to my blog.

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/17745

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/7684

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/8389

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/5289

A bit here, Sainte Anne according to the Bible is the mother of Mary, grandmother of Jesus; and the Patron Saint of Brittany!  Pope John Paul II came here and he is remembered with a plaque. The Memorial to the fallen of Brittany in the WW is here too. As well as many statues and fountain of the Saint all over a beautiful park including a wonderful inspiring stair of prayer where folks climb to pray even on their knees!!!

There are wonderful crêperies some we have tried and are great, and historical quaint unique lodgings ,one I visited this morning after passing in front of it for years ::)

The lodging is the L’Auberge right near the Basilica and on the main road to Vannes, D17. It has a wonderful entry lobby with nice leather bucket seats , TV ,magazines and books to read; all the tourist information for the area. A beautiful stairs to take you up to the dining room for a wonderful breakfast, and very well kept rooms. In addition, to a quaint pretty patio with terrace on back. All of these right on the main street in town close to all and walking distance to the Basilica.

I was impressed by the attentive service given to me and the hellos by all even if just there did not stay, waiting for take this person to my house.  From a simple building outside that I passed by many times, the inside look and description by all, tell me this is very nice place to stay while in the area.

The webpage is here: L’Auberge

The hotel is part of the Logis de France ,and this year won the excellence prize from the as well as Gault Millau as well as the site I recommend in my blogroll below front page of my blog La Fourchette or fork.

The Logis de France in English is here: Logis de France

Gault MIllau site here: Gault Millau

The Fourchette site here: La Fourchette

Of course the main to come here is to get to know history, and faith. The biggest event is July 24-26 where Sainte Anne d’Auray becomes the center of Catholism in France, second only to Lourdes.

In the Basilica cloisters there are nice permanent and temporary exhibition on the history of Brittany.

Enjoy your Sunday, mine is just arriving lunch time and we will have the cassoulet of Toulouse ::)  Cheers

 

 

November 3, 2017

The Wines of Bordeaux, France, simply the best!!!

Bordeaux BordeauxWell here I go again with Bordeaux and its wines. I am a wine aficionado but seldom write about them. This is another try at it. For a starter, I am certified diploma from ICEX the Commercial office of Spain abroad and SOPEXA, Food and Wines from France; as well as working for a large wines store chain in charge of the ordering and inventory of the store as ABC chain in Florida. I have my own cellar now numbering about 50 bottles as said before I enjoy drinking them not storing them!

My previous post on Bordeaux is here:  https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2016/10/20/the-wines-of-bordeaux/

Above link you can find many places to buy the wines even if not able to visit the properties which of course is tops.

And why Bordeaux well after tasting wines from Chile to California, South Africa to Germany, and all of France and Spain, I come to the conclusion that the best are from Bordeaux; I am not alone, it’s the world most recognizable quality wines ever. You want to know officially more of  Bordeaux wines here: https://www.bordeaux.com/us/

I do not want to get into something technical or winelogy talk but rather a primer to tell you about this wonderful region, which by the way has one of the best beaches in France where my family vacationed many summers.

The Bordeaux wine world is divided into sections based on quality, historical trends and efforts by the winegrowers to showcase their particular area. These designation tells pretty much the price and quality of the bottles in a general sense. These are:

Crus Artisans  Small artisan producers of the Médoc; Crus Bourgeois  For producers in the Médoc based on quality assessment of regional character ; Crus Classés de Graves  A classification of producers in Graves from 1953 (amended in 1959); Crus Classés de Saint-Émilion  A classification of top quality producers in Saint-Émilion that is revisited every 10 years. Crus Classés de 1855  A 5-tier classification of producers in Médoc and Graves (and sweet wines from Sauternes and Barsac) from 1855. One producer moved up a tier in 1973 (Mouton-Rothschild).

The Gironde estuary cuts through the center of the region creating two banks: a left bank and a right bank. It is a winery’s location on either bank that determines the proportion of Merlot to Cabernet inside each wine. If the winery is located on the Left Bank, (rive gauche)  (rive droite) the blend created will have more Cabernet Sauvignon than Merlot. If the winery is instead located on the Right Bank of the river, the wine will have more Merlot in the blend than Cabernet Sauvignon. Left Bank blends tend to be higher in tannins, alcohol and acidity. They are powerful, rich wines that are said to age a bit better than wines from the Right Bank. This is also the bank that made the region famous. Right bank blends tend to be softer, less tannic and lower in alcohol and acidity. Because Merlot is the dominant grape, they are much more juicy and usually ready to be drunk much earlier than Left Bank Bordeaux, and they’re often less expensive.

Some have it more simple designation base on general geography and subzones such as Bordeaux & Bordeaux Supérieur ; Le Médoc ; Blaye & Sauternais ; Le Libournais ; and L’Entre-deux-mer.

The varierities of grapes use are many and are as follows  for the Red : Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Carménére. For the whites they are  Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Muscadelle, Ugni Blanc, Colombard , and Sauvignon gris.

The red wines come from these designations Haut-Médoc, Listrac-Médoc, Margaux, Médoc, Moulis, Pauillac, Saint-Estèphe, Saint-Julien, Graves , Pessac-Léognan , Bordeaux Supérieur, Blaye, Blaye – Côtes de Bordeaux, Bourg & Côtes de Bourg , Côtes de Bordeaux, Côtes de Bourg , Canon Fronsac, Castillon – Côtes de Bordeaux, Francs – Côtes de Bordeaux Fronsac, Lalande-De-Pomerol, Lussac-Saint-Émilion, Montagne Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Puisseguin Saint-Émilion, Saint-Émilion, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, Saint Georges Saint-Émilion, Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux, Graves de Vayres , and Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux .

The whites coming from these designations Bordeaux , Blaye – Côtes de Bordeaux , Bourg & Côtes de Bourg , Côtes de Blaye , Francs – Côtes de Bordeaux , Bordeaux Haut-Benauge,  Côtes de Bordeaux Saint-Macaire , Entre-Deux-Mers, Entre-Deux-Mers Haut-Bénauge, Graves de Vayres, Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux. As well as the sweet designations that are not my cup of tea but Sauternes, comes to mind.

Lately, the Le Figaro vins section of the newspaper came with an article on the new Bordeaux giving some great properties as suggestions to be the best. I read the section religiously and abide by Le Figaro always. The link for their wine section in French is here: http://avis-vin.lefigaro.fr/

The rest of the post is from that article and some of my input in English.

It has been a bit over 5 years that Le Figaro created a webpage dedicated to the world of wines or oenology ,and today it has 455 000 visitors per month and many more in Facebook and Twitter.  It has become quickly the French site of reference for the lovers of the vineyards. In the previous centuries Bordeaux has become a symbol of living and knowing about the wine French style.

At the Union des Maisons de Bordeaux, today are 300  négociants members that distribute 2/3 of the Wines of Bordeaux so, therefore  80%  of the territory shipping to 170 countries of our world . More here: http://www.vins-bordeaux-negoce.com/?lang=en

In 1855, on orders of emperor Napoléon III on the occasion of the Universal Exposition of Paris that he ask for a classification of the crus of Médoc. 61 properties divided in 5 levels were created; a club one of the world’s closed and private company that has never has been put to doubts, except in 1973 when Mouton-Rothschild moves up from 2nd to Premier cru classé. The classification provides an excellent tool for promotion that rarely if ever is challenge. Even thus, Bordeaux stay a land ready for recherché and advice.  There are many many vineyards that took the example of Bordeaux to improve their quality, including hiring consultants from Bordeaux such as Michel Rolland, Stéphane Derenoncourt, Hubert de Boüard or Eric Boissenot.  They have gone to the USA, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Greece, Lebanon, even India and China to export the know how of the Bordelais wines.  Bordeaux, is this incredible machine capable thanks to its  120.000 hectares of vineyards propose the whole of the wine markets a quality wine in all the brands levels of price. As long as the actors of the Bordeaux wine scene keep producing crus capable of attract consumers to it, Bordeaux will remain the reference in the World.

Starting from a large data base, the journalists could determine designation by designation (appellations) which are the chateaux the most attractive, and most desire of the public. This precious information has enable Le Figaro to create the Top 100 Bordelais properties.  Especially the Top 100 that takes us to like them for their influence in the Bordeaux market and their great properties in the wine world of 2017,whether real or numeric; which Le Figaro brings along all experts in internet communication including winemakers and other professionals.  They came up with these 3 points;

  1. Bordeaux is very well into the digital revolution.
  2. The image of the vineyard and properties on the web is conforming to what the professionals had in the middle of the 19C.
  3. The young generation of property owners mix well with centuries of tradition and an excellent e-reputation.

The Bordelais  is the most hierarchical vineyard in the world; the dynamic of its price, the critics notes, and the judgment of the professionals help to build solidify or weaken their status. The external problems and emerging values could allows us to understand what can happen even in Bordeaux; the price is only and indicator of the status of the property but with only a commercial look.

The notes of consumers on all platforms with a large following could be an element of instability in the reputation of the crus.  The amateur of wines 2.0 improvise the critiques on the social media via a blog or on applications web. We have gone from an horizontal dialogue (between consumers) to a culture of participation where the public is the co creator of content and choice. The reputation can be issue from the place of production made more accessable, welcoming, open, hospible and beautiful and not just by architectural spectacles. Bordeaux in the last years has had its revolution bringing to the market a huge quantiy of affordable wines , many times under 10€.  However, there still a job to do in selling the brands of a  Côtes de Castillon,  Côtes de Bourg, or Bordeaux supérieurs; a new model is needed on distribution and marketing.

Here are some of the finding TOP 10 on many designations or appellations of Bordeaux

From Saint Emilion, we have in order ;Cheval Blanc, Angelus, Fombrauge, la Gaffeliére, Figéac Ausone, Dassault, Pavie , Grand Pontet ,and La Dominique.

From Pomerol, Petrus, Clos Réné, Tailleffer, Beauregard, La Conseillante,  La Pointe , Gazin , Le Pin, Nenin, and Clinet.

From Pauillac, Mouton Rothschild, Latour, Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Lynch-Moussas, Pontet-Canet, Lynch-Bages, Croizet-Bages, Grand Puy Ducasse, Batailley, and Pedésclaux.

From St Estèphe,  Haut-Marbuzet, Beau- Site, Cos d’Estournel, Phélan Segur, Lafon-Rochet, Montrose, Calon Segur, Meyney, Ormes de Pez, and Lillian Ladouys.

From St Julian, Talbot, Lagrange, Ducru Beaucaillou, Gloria, Gruaud Larose, Branaire Ducru, Beychevelle, Leoville Las Cases , Leoville Poyferré, and Glana.

The whole article in French in Le Figaro is here: http://avis-vin.lefigaro.fr/vins-bordeaux/o134218-les-100-chateaux-qui-font-bordeaux-sur-le-web

Enjoy the wines in moderation but always drink them, not only good for your health but culturally enriching, and chic, with cachet ::) Salut!!!

Bordeaux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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November 1, 2017

The wines of La Rioja, the red wine of Spain!

Wine is part of my life since birth, my maternal grandmother was the one who offered me a tiny bit of wine at age 8! It has been a love affairs ever since and in my house we cannot eat without wine. That is wine as culture in our home, we know how to drink in moderation.

That first sip of wine came from Marqués de Riscal in the Rioja region of Spain. It was, also, my first bottle of wine I purchased; many many years ago. From then , I even worked in a liquor store wine department, the ABC of Florida. Went on to have diplomas from ICEX the commercial office of Spain abroad and Sopexa ,food and wine from France. My cellars is not big but any day you can find 50 bottles in it , ready to drink shortly; who wants to aged the wines, they are meant to be drank!!!

Rioja is Spain in a glass of red wine. The wine is known for its structure and tannins, similar to Cabernet Sauvignon , but it also has a fruity characteristic. This is a wine perfect for a drinker who loves Cabernet but is also looking for the dominant cherry flavor that’s often present in a wine like Pinot Noir. Rioja is made from a blend of grape varieties, with Tempranillo the dominant grape (Garnacha is typically included in the blend to add some fruitiness. Mazuelo and Graciano may also be included). Spain is very proud of its indigenous Tempranillo grape because they have been making it into wine for over 2,000 years. When choosing to buy a Rioja, the most important thing to know is that the wine separates into four levels of classification, which depends on the amount of time the wine spends in oak. The classification of each Rioja will be labeled clearly on the bottle.

Rioja: This is the basic form of the wine. It has been aged for only a short amount of time in oak, potentially only a few months, and then the wine is bottled and sold. It is in this wine where the juice will taste the “ripest” because the wine is very young. Therefore, sometimes is sold as Joven or young on the label.

Crianza: For a wine to be labeled a Crianza, it must spend a minimum of 1 year in oak. Following its removal from oak, the wine must spend at least another few months in the bottle, before being sold. This is the level of Rioja that is most affordable.

Reserva: This is a Rioja made from the best grapes of the harvest, and is only made during years that were considered to have a good growing season. A Reserva must be aged a minimum of 3 years, with at least one year being in oak, and the rest in the bottle.

Gran Reserva: This is a Rioja that is only allowed to be made in years with exceptional growing seasons from the most exceptional grapes harvested. Gran Reserva’s must be aged in oak for at least 2 years, and then must spend at least 3 more years in the bottle.

Rioja wines are aged in 225-liters oak casks, with periodic racking, followed by a further period of bottle ageing. There are over 368 ageing bodegas in Rioja which have a total of 1,266,154 casks.

The Rioja wine region is located in northern Spain, on both sides of the River Ebro. The local terrain perfectly delimits the region and sets it apart from surrounding territories. From an administrative point of view, however, its 63,593 hectares of vineyards are divided between three provinces on the Upper Ebro – La Rioja (Rioja Alta) (43,885 ha), Alava (Alavesa) (12,934 ha) and Navarre( Rioja Baja)  (6,774 ha). The grape varieties that are currently authorised by the Regulations of the D. O. Ca. Rioja are:

RED: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano, Mazuelo, and Maturana Tinta.

WHITE: Viura, Malvasia, Garnacha Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco, Maturana Blanca, Turruntés, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Verdejo.

To help with the ranking of harvest years  ,which are only to be used as a general rule, the most important one is who is the producer. These are the rating on last few years from the wine council. 2009 MB (very good), 2010 E(excellent), 2011 E (Excellent), 2012 MB( Very good), 2013 B( Good), 2014  B (Good), 2015 MB( Very good), 2016 MB( Very good).

Since it was begun to harvest this past August 10th, the earliest time in the history of the Designation of Origin , it has been already harvest up to Sept 5th  8,7 millions kg of the White grapes and  12,8 millions kg of the Red grapes, for a total of 21,5 millions kg of grapes  with the most part from the sub zone of Rioja Baja.

Rioja wines are protected by the oldest Designation of Origin in Spain, officially recognised in 1926. In 1991, it was awarded the highest category -Calificada- making Rioja the only designation in Spain to be so honored.

To learn more of Rioja from official sources see the Rioja designation site here: http://us.riojawine.com/en/home.html

If you can read Spanish or good of translation services like Bing or Google you can see this site to learn all about the Rioja from harvest to the bottle. http://www.lomejordelvinoderioja.com/saber-de-vino/

And on the same site, you can find information just by knowing either the name of the label or the town from where it comes from here in Spanish ;  http://bodegas.lomejordelvinoderioja.com/ 

A site that I have below in my blogroll and I help input info when it began many years ago, now much better. IN Spanish, but you have all info here even contact information for all Bodegas in Spain. http://www.apoloybaco.com/vinos/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=36&Itemid=136

OF course, it would not be complete if I do not give some of my best bottles of Rioja wines. Again, the main thing is the producer, if he/she/they are good, the bottles eventually will be good on any given year, all else been equal. I stick to them over the years and never disappointed. Of course, again, tastes differ and new ones are coming in the market, and we should try to taste ,but these will never disappoints . Enjoy the wines, even if not all with photos….. Disfruten de los vinos de la Rioja, mi España!

Ramon Bilbao https://www.bodegasramonbilbao.es/es/vinos/

Marqués de Riscal https://www.marquesderiscal.com/

Bodegas Palacio www.bodegaspalacio.es

Unión Vitivinícola, S.A. better known as Marqués de Caceres http://www.marquesdecaceres.com/?lang=en

Montecillo, S.A.  part of the group Osborne http://www.bodegasmontecillo.com/en/

Bodegas Lan, S.A. http://www.bodegaslan.com/?lang=en

CVNE is Compañia Viñicola del Norte de España: https://www.cvne.com/en/

Bodegas Bilbaínas, S.A. part of group  Codorniu http://www.codorniuraventos.com/en/wineries/bodegas-bilbainas

Bodegas Muga www.bodegasmuga.com

Bodega Lopez de Heredia www.lopezdeheredia.com

Bodega Rioja Alta www.riojalta.com

Bodegas Berceo, S.A.  part of Group Gurpegui  http://bodegasberceo.com/en/

Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta www.marquesdemurrieta.com

Campo Viejo, S.A.  part of Pernod Ricard group https://www.campoviejo.com/en

Bodegas Baron de Ley www.barondeley.com

Bodegas Luis Gurpegui Muga S.A. part of Manzano Entreprises group  http://luisgurpeguimuga.com/en/

Bodegas Beronia http://www.beronia.com/en/

Bodega Navaja SL http://www.bodegasnavajas.com/

 

And you can’t come to these bodegas ,you can shop their wine in your local wine shop or as I past by Madrid quite often ,I get mine at Lavinia, airport or Ortega y Gasset store,  many nice sales on some of the bottles above going on, more info here: http://www.lavinia.es/es/paginas/tiendas–2

And another old time favorite in Madrid is Santa Cecilia at Bravo Murillo location, here is more info: https://www.santacecilia.es/tiendas-de-vino-madrid

There you, now you have a choice go out and try them, love them you will. Again enjoy the wines of Spain, with moderation. Cheers on the holiday of the Dead or All Saint’s Day; I am off ::)

Pluvigner Pluvigner Pluvigner Pluvigner Pluvigner Pluvigner

 

 

 

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October 28, 2017

The streets of Paris, a museum to the world!!!

Who would not want to walk in Paris? The question might make you think a bit…but really should be a go; as the streets of Paris are an open air museum, a grand museum at that. I have done some traveling in France and Paris specifically as working in the city for 10 years while living in Versailles and now visiting often again next month. However, walking the streets is a must, a dire hard must for all.

And yes, that means forget about that wonderful metro experience you have heard or the bus or the tramway or the RER trains, nothing compares to walking in Paris. Oh yes I drive in Paris too, but even that is second to the thrill of walking the streets of Paris. That is the title of my post; The streets of Paris!

How about start with a nice youtube video taken by Bahador Alast which I don’t even know him but the video is nice and makes a good point on my post.

 

Moving on in my Paris, and will put some photos at the end to show a bit more of what I mean. Paris is a movable feast well it happens all in the street. A bit of a story. When I started working in Paris I came by train from Versailles to Gare Saint Lazare and took metro line 12 to Concorde near my office.  The walking in the underground passage ways was horrible and the folks walk very fast taken me about 18 minutes to get to the office. One day I ask one of  my colleagues for a way to come walking if possible. The colleague told oh yes this is what you do. Go out of gare Saint lazare past rue Saint Lazare and bear slightly left into rue du Havre; past blvd Haussmann by the great department stores, Au Printemps; and continue into rue Tronchet right into the place de la Madeleine; bear left on the Madeleine church and continue on the back on rue Duphot, cross Rue Saint Honoré and bear left than a quick right into rue Cambon; then left on rue du Mont Thabor , then right into rue Rouget de Lisle into my job; time 18 minutes!! The end of public transports in Paris ended, this was back in 2004.

From that moment on, I can go by car into Paris, parked and walk all over even kilometers, miles ; it is an open museum I tell you. Really! and free!!! Many have said it but some picturesques street routes are the rue des Barres by the Church Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais around 15C houses! Rue de l’Abreuvoir in Montmartre;  Cour du Commerce-Saint André right by parallel to the rue de l’ancienne comedie and before reaching blvd Saint-Germain; Rue Montorgueil crossing rue Etienne Marcel; Rue Cremieux by the gare de Lyon, falling into rue de Bercy;Rue des Rosiers in the old jewish quarter ; rue de Lepic into Montmartre again; Rue Saint Antoine from the Bastille area into Saint Paul passing by the place des Vosges nearby; Avenue Winston Churchill ending in the Pont Alexandre III and bisecting the Grand and Petit Palais; and the Quai de Jemmapes along the Canal Saint Martin ; just to give some starting points as they are many many more in Paris.

Another site I would share is the one I even use myself when in doubt about a street of Paris; this is Parisrues, in French of course but the names are universal! Parisrues

Of course , speaking of streets , there are many hidden passagesways some private and other historical passages that connect you underneath some buildings from one street to the other, great! They are here in English from the Paris tourist office: https://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/themed-guides/Paris-a-fabulous-heritage/visiting-parisian-outdoor-heritage/the-unique-charm-of-parisian-covered-passages

Another site I use for my research is the Paris Balades also in French but plenty of information if you can translate or undertand it; full of historical facts on each district and street of Paris. http://www.parisbalades.com/default.htm

Another site in French I use is Le Paris Pittoresque , full of old historical facts on the streets and more of Paris. https://www.paris-pittoresque.com/rues/index.htm

Another site I use and my kids used it for even schoolwork help is the Internaute, in French of course but an alphabet A-Z and listing all the streets of Paris with some info on each and a map showing where it is. Cool!! http://www.linternaute.com/sortir/rue-paris/index/rues

Now, I like to tell you about some of my nicest walks in Paris over time.

I like to walk between the Pont d’Austerlitz and the Pont Saint Michel!  You start on the pont d’Austerlitz (b. 1885 en cement)  by place Valhubert  and walk along the Seine river and continue along the quai Saint-Bernard and go down the stairs to the port Saint Bernard where the 5eme arrondissement starts and the neighborhood or quartier of Jardin des Plantes; right here you have the musée des sculptures en Plein Air de la Ville de Paris! More on it here: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71487/Musee-de-la-Sculpture-en-plein-air

You continue along the Seine and pass the Pont de Sully (b 1876) rapidly you arrive at the Pont de la Tournelle (b 1928)  , where you will see the statue to Sainte Geneviévre (saint patron of Paris) and right by here you see the building of the Tour d’Argent well known restaurant done in 1582!!! and on a terrace since 1937 on the 6the floor.  This bridge or pont de la tournelle finish at the pont de l’Archevêché, the narrowest bridge in Paris for traffic with only 11 meters wide;  from here continue to the port de Montebello where you can see the the re routing of the Biévre river windmills that gave the name to the rue de la Biévre (where had to go many times on business runs to office there); from here you can be at  the square Jean XXIII and see the Cathedral Notre Dame back ; continue your walk along the Seine without crossing over the bridge and you find by the pont au Double (b 1883)  ;you can walk on it by the square Jean XXIII and continue in rive gauche or left bank side to the rue de la Bûcherie and rue de la Huchette.  You see the Petit pont (b 1853)  only bridge done in molded stones and the oldest passage of the  Seine river that were done since Roman times, and also the shortest bridge in Paris with only 32 meters long!  It was by here the last fire of Paris in 1718 determine forever not to built homes on the bridges.  After this bridge there is no more harbor or port area but continue walking along the Seine to the Pont Saint Michel with the big N of Napoléon III the bridge built in 1857 in cement. Here was the last houses on the bridge in Paris lasting until 1808. The quai Saint Michel was not done until 1816 while the follow up wharfs that of quai des Grands Augustins was already built since 1313!  Go over the bridge or pont Saint Michel to leave the 5éme arrondissement and enters into the 6éme arrondissement of Paris and the quartier Monnaie (Info/ Paris is divided into 20 arrondissement or districts and each district is divided into four neighborhoods or a total of 80 neighborhoods or quartiers where Parisiens really live::))  Here you go up by the Place Saint Michel to see the monumental fountain of 26 meters !!! Lovely !!!

Another great walking trip along the Seine river is that one from the Pont de la Concorde to the Pont de Bir-Hakeim.  Right along my old working area of Paris you start at the wonderful pont de la Concorde (just off the place de la Concorde go down by the ramps into the Seine river by the port des Champs-Elysées done in 1938 in a pleasure harbor and today housing péniches or boats on the Seine.  You see on the rive gauche side the beautiful mansions of the Palais Bourbon, hotel de Lassay (later the petit bourbon) and now houses the resident of the president of the house of representatives of France or the Assamblée Nationale. Later you see the building of the ministry of foreign affairs done in 1854 and now locally known as the quai d’Orsay, and just before the esplanade des Invalides you see the building with columns and balustres that was from 1900-1946 the train station of the line Invalides-Versailles and today the line RER C underground. There is a stairs giving you access to the cours La Reine at the angle of the bridge or pont Alexandre III (b 1900) ; the bridge is a bit lower to not hide the view of the Invalides; the first stone was laid by czar Nicolas II of Russia in 1896 and becoming the most prestigious bridge of Paris. You continue on the port des Champs-Elysées by an oval stair with great views of the Tour Montparnasse, left the Invalides and high up the equestrian statue of La Fayette was later transferred to the cour Napoléon in the Louvre museum!

You go up to find the Place du Canada (by cours La Reine and cours Albert Ier) to continue your wlak along the Seine river. You will arrive at the Pont des Invalides (b 1856) ;you can continue on the port de la Conférence by the pont de l’Alma going up the ramp at the end into cours Albert Ier where you arrive at the traffic circle or place de l’Alma.  Here you see the wonderful pont de l’Alma (b 1974) after several renovations since the original of 1856.  Here the 8éme arrondissement gives to the 16 arrondissement of Paris in the quartier Chaillot.  Continue along the Seine river into the avenue de New York (quai des Bonshommes in 1572, then quai de la conference 1769, quai de Tokyo 1918-1945 and finally New York since 1945); many meetings in this avenue de New York wonderful Mona Bismarck foundation ;more here: https://www.monabismarck.org/?lang=fr

You have the corner angle of the Palais de Tokyo leave the sidewalks of the avenue NY by a stair that descend on the Seine river ,as the port Debilly and the nice walkway or passerelle Debilly (b 1900); done to link the two portions of the Universal Exhibition of 1900;now it is at the rue de la Manutention.  Leaving the rive droite we come into the port de La Bourdonnais (from the rue de l’Université to the rue Jean-Nicot in the Champ-de-Mars); going up you reach the quai Branly just before the pont de l’Alma now in the 7éme arrondissement , quartier Gros Caillou!  Go right into quai Branly until the ramp coming from the port with a stair, many parking spaces here ::) you see the Tour Eiffel and the Palais de Chaillot, before reaching up the pont d’Iéna (b 1814)  and continue below on the port de Sufffren (of many wine and gourmand tastings in the Pierre Cardin boat Maxim!!!)  many cruising boats here, batobus including good parking yes! and see the pont de Bir-Hakeim ! (b 1905) viaduct metro line 6 above ground as it was known viaduct de passy until 1949. It is the longest of all the bridges in Paris with 237 meters long. Before 1860 you come out from here as Paris to go the town of Grenelle! now part of Paris thanks to Baron Haussmann and Napoléon III! Very nice indeed!

Well you get the idea and so many more wonderful walks, again believe me when I said Paris is an open air museum and meant to be preserve as such. We all have our favorites but I keep saying my favorite every time I write a post lol!!! IN essence ,they are all my favorites.  I will post some photos now.

Enjoy your weekend and happy travels. Cheers!

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October 27, 2017

The train stations of Paris and how to get around them.

Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris Massy Versailles  Versailles  Versailles  Versailles  VersaillesI guess I am on my travel mood…after going all over France by car, train and sometimes bus, I did wrote on getting public transports in the Paris area and even Brittany. Going to the airports etc; but what about the train stations? So many go by them, they are one of the most used in Europe!! And Paris Nord or gare du Nord is tops in Europe!

So, therefore ,why not telling you a bit on them even if always in a general view as there can be so many options, you are free to ask me for details.

Of course, bien sûr   , I have to tell you a bit of history as well. Heck, these train stations all have a story of their own. Sorry, can’t tell you the whole story, too long a history but at least a bit…ok

No particular order of liking it let’s start with the venerable Gare du Nord or popularly call Paris-Nord.

The company that created the station was call the Compagnie des Chemins de fer du Nord, therefore the Gare du Nord in 1846.  The current building dates from 1864. It handles the intercités trains to the North of France ; the Thalys towards Belgium, Nethersland , Germany (with connections to Scandinavia, Poland, and Russia ; the ever popular Eurostar towards London ; the TGV Nord line to  Lille and the main Northern towns  ; the suburbian trains north of Paris such as lines ligne H and K of the Transilien ; TER Picardie ; and stops of the lines RER B and D ; and close to the station of  Magenta on the RER E line. As said , it is Europe’s busiest train station. The Gare du Nord has recently been earmarked for a well-deserved makeover.  The current building has  nine statues crowning the rooftop facade, each representing destinations outside France, with the figure of Paris in the center.  There are 14 more modest statues lower down, representing French regional cities.

Two good sites to get to know this station are here: https://www.voyages-sncf.com/train/gare/paris/paris-gare-du-nord

https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frpno/paris-gare-du-nord

And we are just starting, moving on to the Gare de l’Est (my first ever station visited in France as from my wife town it comes into Paris here).  The company was created as the Compagnie des chemins de fer de l’Est , therefore, the Gare de l’Est in 1849. It handles the traffic from to the East of France, Germany, Switzerland, and Luxembourg.  Night trains to Munich and connections to Vienna, Budapest, as well as Innsbruck, Hambourg, and Berline. Also ,the Moscow express trans-european to Minsk and Moscow ;Venice Simplon-Orient-Express : luxury train to the United Kingdom, Italy, Austria, the Balkans, Istanbul and the suburbian trains of the east of Paris such as the line P of the Transilien; near stop at the station of Magenta on the line RER E . Also, future terminal of the  CDG Express towards the  Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport. The Gare de l’Est is just about a five minute walk to the Gare du Nord; its  main claim to fame is being home to the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, the privately run luxury travel experience that became a household name through Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express.” Confusingly, there’s more than one Orient Express: both traveled through Gare de l’Est, but the Venice-Simplon Orient Express is the one Christie wrote about.It stops here on the way to Venice once a week, but the service to Istanbul has sadly been downgraded to once a year.You’ll know it by its royal blue carriages and upscale dress code (smart casual by day, black tie by night).The Venice-Simplon Orient Express began in 1919, but the original Orient Express service, which connected Paris with Vienna from 1883 to 2009, was a regular overnight express train.

Again more info here: https://www.voyages-sncf.com/train/gare/paris/paris-gare-de-l-est

https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frpst/paris-est

And we are stepping up to the Gare de Lyon: The company was created as the Compagnie des chemins de fer de Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée (PLM) in 1849; therefore, call the Gare de Lyon. It does the TGV trains to the Franche-Comté region and the south of Alsace connecting with the LGV Rhin-Rhône. Also, the trains to the south of France and the Languedoc-Roussillon area; the TGV to Switzerland (myself do the runs on lyria), Spain, and Italy.The TGV Sud-Est, Rhône-Alpes and Mediterranean, the night train Thello to Italy, suburbian southeast trains of Paris, the arrival point for the line R of the Transilien; the stops of the RER A and D. The train station was built for the World Exposition of 1900 and was regarded as one of the finest examples of architecture of its era. Its clock tower is modeled after that of London’s Houses of Parliament,home of Big Ben. I believe it is the prettiest in Paris. It’s also home to one of the city’s most famous restaurants, the Le Train Bleu opened in 1901 with a grand decor to rival the palace of Versailles; painted ceilings, gold leaf and shimmering chandeliers hint of the gilded prices on the menu.Just below is the Montreux Jazz Café, much cheaper and arguably more fun. Between July and August this is one of Paris’s busiest station, with families leaving for the south of France.

More details on Gare de Lyon here:  https://www.voyages-sncf.com/train/gare/paris/paris-gare-de-lyon 

https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frply/paris-gare-lyon

Moving right along to the lesser known gare d’Austerlitz. This was created as the Compagnie du Chemin de fer de Paris à Orléans (PO) in 1840 as the gare d’Orléans located in the quai d’Austerlitz of which later it took its name to the Gare d’Austerlitz; after France greatest victory during the Battle of Austerlitz by Napoleon. The PO folks decided to extend the line to the center of the capital city and the gare d’Orsay was opened in 1900; unused from the Second World War and transformed in a museum in 1986:Musée d’Orsay; we come to know and love.  The only operating station beside the Seine, Gare d’Austerlitz offers great views across the river, and is one of only two stations on the Rive Gauche, the left bank. On the quayside, the turquoise metal entrance from the Metro bridge into the station offers a contrast to the old stone building, and features a statue representing the destination of Orleans.  The trains to towards the center of France, Toulouse, pyrénées and all night trains of the Intercités network towards the south of France ; Also, Intercités towards Orléans ,and Tours ; The TER Centre-Val de Loire network towards  Vendôme and Orléans ; Stopping point of the line RER C.

More on this station here: https://www.voyages-sncf.com/train/gare/paris/paris-gare-d-austerlitz

https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frpaz/paris-austerlitz

Next we come to my neighborhoods; the company created was the Compagnie des chemin de fer de l’Ouest , purchased in 1908 by the Administration des Chemins de fer de l’Etat that serves the two lines to Versailles,one on the right bank or rive droite,the other the left bank or rive gauche, and that explains why there are two additional stations in Paris.

The gare Saint-Lazare head of the line Paris-Saint-Lazare-Saint-Germain-en-Laye and the line Paris-Saint-Lazare-Versailles-Rive-Droite (rue du maréchal Foch, closest to my old home) .  This line serves the trains to Normandie, suburbian trains of the Paris west, line J of the Transilien, connection by a passageway to the gare Haussmann-Saint-Lazare terminus of the RER E. The station is in the heart of Paris, close by the Place de la Madeleine, Opéra Garnier, and the city’s grand department stores, this is the capital second busiest station! When it opened as a simple wooden structure in 1837 it was the first train station in Paris, but the terminus was soon expanded into its current form. These days it’s largely a commuter terminus,  but it was once the hub for glamorous ocean liner traffic arriving via Cherbourg.  Travel-inspired artwork — a teetering pile of bronze suitcases, a stack of clocks — live in the main square in front of the entrance. An enclosed walkway, La Galerie Marie Antoinette, connects the station with the old world splendor of the Hilton Paris Opera Hotel. As well as a great shopping arcade à la Parisien.!! More on the shopping here (superb!) CC Saint Lazare shopping

More on Gare Saint Lazare here:

https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frpsl/paris-saint-lazare

http://www.sncf.com/en/gare/horaires/paris-saint-lazare

The other that I used now the most coming from Brittany is the Gare Montparnasse ,head of the line Paris-Versailles on the rive gauche (this is Versailles Chantier station, Rue de l’Abbé Rousseau ) ,and Paris-Brest.  This station serves the south express to Lisbon, TGV Atlantique (west and southwest of France so like Brittany) TER Basse-Normandie or now just Normandie, Intercités network line Paris-Vaugirard to Granville via Argentan; TER Centre -Val-de-Loire on the line Paris to Le Mans via Chartres; line N of the Transilien serving the suburbs west of Paris. It is a very nice modern glass and steel facade station, you’d be hard pushed to believe it was originally opened in 1840 as Gare de l’Ouest (west). The original building was torn down in 1969 to make way for the 59-story Tour Montparnasse, one of Paris’s least loved buildings.  The views from the top are said to be the best in Paris ; the popular joke being that it’s the only spot from which the tower itself cannot be viewed!

More on the station here: https://www.voyages-sncf.com/train/gare/paris/paris-gare-montparnasse

Thttps://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frpmo/paris-montparnasse

The seldom used (at least by me) Gare de Bercy  has trains Intercités goings towards Auvergne ; the  Auto-train service; TER Bourgogne (Burgundy) ; and the Pullman-Orient-Express . The station opened in 1977), and  is, also, the smallest and the one located in the least glamorous area. More on it here:  https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frpbe/paris-bercy-bourgogne-pays-dauvergne

There is a good service in English put out by the SNCF the webpage is here with plenty of information, some locally we like to shorten it such as Gare du Nord we call Paris-Nord (north) , and Gare de l’est ; Paris-Est.(east). The destination guide in the region of Paris here:  https://en.voyages-sncf.com/en/destination/France/paris-region/paris

and even more on each station information in English here:  https://uk.voyages-sncf.com/en/destination/france/paris/train-station

Of course, the Paris tourist office has a good layout in English on the main stations here with additional good information: https://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/themed-guides/Paris-a-fabulous-heritage/paris-monuments/paris-train-stations-19th-century-architectural-heritage

Two other popular stations that even thus not inside Paris are use regularly by many and of course many visitors; these are the Disneyland Marne-La-Vallée-Chessy station and the Roissy CDG Airport T2 station for the TGV.

Marne La Vallée Chessy station is a purpose-built train station sitting right outside the gates of Disneyland Resort Paris. Marne La Vallée Chessy station welcomes Eurostar trains from the UK to Disneyland Resort Paris. Plus you can catch high-speed TGV trains from the station for journeys across France and beyond. Marne La Vallée Chessy station opened in 1994, two years after Disneyland Resort Paris. It is a smallish station, housing three platforms and five high-speed tracks. Automatic Left Luggage from 07h-22h ; Monday-Sunday & Holidays. Luggage trolleys are also available inside the station. There is a foreign exchange in the station. Disabled facilities: 07h-22h30 Monday-Sunday &  Holidays; at the Welcome Desk;  You should turn up to the reception 30 minutes before your train leaves if you need assistance boarding. Wheelchairs and boarding ramps are also available if required.. You can You can come to the station by RER A. By bus:Disney operates a free shuttle service from the station to all the Disney hotels. By taxi: You can catch a cab at Place des Passagers des Vents in front of the station. On foot:The station is in easy walking distance from Disneyland Resort Paris. More on the sites below.

https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frmlv/marne-vallee-chessy

https://www.transilien.com/lignes/rer-trains/rer-A

The Roissy CDG Airport station at Terminal  2 TGV is the train station The station serves both TGV trains and  the RER B line rapid transit system. RER B connects to central Paris, calling at Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est on the way. TGV trains from the station run to many destinations, including Bordeaux, Brussels, Lille, Lyon, Marseilles, Nantes (where I have taken several times), Perpignan, Rennes and Toulouse.  Aéroport CDG Terminal 1 is the next stop on RER B ; the CDGVAL monorail train runs between the terminals as well as shuttle buses. At Paris CDG Terminal  2 , you can securely deposit your baggage at the central lockers located at the CDGVAL station’s exit, near the RER B train station. This service is available 7 days a week, from 6h to 21h30. You can get to the CDG T2 TGV station by Taxi: Go to Level 5 and use the ‘south/sud’ exit. A taxi between central Paris and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) takes about 45 minutes. Cost is around 50-60 euros depends on number of people, luggage and time of day. By Bus on Air France (no need to come on AF) : Buses run every 10 minutes from Place Charles de Gaulle (Arc de Triomphe) , via Port Maillot to CDG Terminals 1 and 2. Journey time is around 40 minutes. Between 07h  and 21.30, buses run every 30 minutes from Montparnasse, via Gare de Lyon to Terminals 1 and 2. Journey time is around 40 minutes. Roissybus service runs between the three airport terminals and rue Scribe in the Opéra district of central Paris. Between 06h and 22.30, shuttles run every 15 minutes and take approximately 45 minutes. By Train: RER line B trains run every 8-15 minutes between the airport and central Paris, with a journey time of around 35 minutes, prices change in July and sometimes January so check the official sites of RATP for updates.

. https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frmlw/aeroport-charles-gaulle-2-tgv

https://www.transilien.com/lignes/rer-trains/rer-B

https://www.ratp.fr/en/itineraires

And let’s see , there are connection between all train stations in Paris. Generally, they are all mention on this official link: https://www.voyages-sncf.com/aide/infos-gares-aeroports

Long but on the above link, click on or below:

To come or leave from the gare Marne-La-Vallée-Chessy or Disneyland Paris  you take the RER A direction marne-La-Vallée-Chessy or Paris; the trip takes about 45 minutes to Châtelet-Les-Halles in Paris for example. From the airport, see my previous post on travel from to airports of the Paris region.

Hope it helps your quest to come and enjoy Paris and its region île-de-France a lot better. Again any questions, ask. Is that easy. Enjoy your weekend and happy travels.Cheers!!!! 
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