Posts tagged ‘Europe’

July 23, 2017

Historical Auray, a lot more than a harbor Saint Goustan

I just checked my blog, the last time wrote on Auray was in December 2015!!! Unbelievable if you notice that I live just 11 km from the town and my train station is there lol! It goes to show you the choices we have in our beautiful Brittany and especially the Morbihan Breton!

Auray is Saint Goustan and a lot more up hill in the haute ville.  The tourist office is here:

And the region of Brittany in English is here:

We love to go by the place Notre Dame because that is where the town’s main Church Saint Gildas is located.  Even thus, they claim it is the place Gabriel Deshayes. An imposing building as all these old Churches.

The Church of Saint Gildas is given this name due to a priory of the 12C that depended from the Benedictine Abbey of the peninsula or presqu’île de Rhuys. Worked began in 1623 and were not finished until 1663.  The bell tower is square of three levels and was finished in 1701. It has two porches of Baroque and Renaissance style and in the interior there is a statue of Christ from the 16C. The nice marble altar in the Levallois style dates from the 17C. The organ is a Waltrin dating from 1761.

All around this area you will find plenty of shops and restos to please everyone. There is also the city hall or Hôtel de Ville nearby. Then ,you go to the Baisse Ville or lower town. This is Saint Goustan.

At Saint Goustan, a very steeply area by the river Loc’h (confluent of the Auray), you can get on the little train or petit train in the Place Saint Sauveur. Here along the Quai Franklin you can see the sleeping house when Benjamin Franklin entered France in 1776 to seek support of France against England possible re invasion and he got it from King Louis XVI in Versailles.

On this harbor today, you can set sail by cruise up the river Auray or into the islands in the Gulf of Morbihan with the Navix boat company.

You will see the still in renovation Chapelle de Notre Dame de Lourdes dates from 1878.  You get to see the Church Saint Sauveur, very nice condition and overlooking the high hill of Saint Goustan. The Church is on rue Saint-Sauveur, dates from 1469.  You can still see the lower gate entrance from this time, as the rest was lost on fire in 1886 then rebuilt. Plenty of wooden sculptures such as the pulpit or throne of Saint Goustan, and the choir enclosure done in 1929.

I believe I have mentioned this before but here it goes again; who was Saint Goustan? The district bears his name now, the patron Saint of the fisherman and marines. He was born in 974 in Cornouailles and raised by pirates at 18 yrs old, wounded he was left abandon in the island or île d’Houat  (in the Gulf of Morbihan) where he lived by providence that provided him with fish (so he is represented by a fish) and the care of Saint Félix, that will convert him to Christianism.  He became a monk in 1025 and founded a priory on the island or ’île de Hoëdic (Gulf of Morbihan). He now rests with his brother monks in the abbey of Saint-Gildas de Rhuys (Presqu’île de Rhuys).

More in French from the city of Auray here:

A whole new (or old) world at your fingertips with wonderful restaurants/bars, one of our favorite areas in the Region of Brittany! I guess we come so often we do not write all the time ::)

Not only Benjamin Franklin has a plaque, and wharf name after him but also a bar, resto, and the auberge with a plaque. We remember Benji a lot!!! However, here ,also set sail for Acadia (Canada) “Razilly’s expedition of three ships, holding 300 men, perhaps a dozen or so women, and supplies aplenty, all financed by his own trading company, departed Auray in early July 1632 and arrived at La Hève three months later.  He left most of the men and supplies at La Hève(Nova Scotia), until then just another fishing station on the Atlantic shore of Acadia but now his new headquarters, and hurried to Port-Royal( today Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia )to take possession of the old post from the surviving Scots, who he returned to Britain via France.  After 18 years of neglect and English interference, French suzerainty in greater Acadia finally was restored. “As per Wikipedia.

Ok so welcome to Auray, you will find it plenty of history, quaint, magical and seafaring strong. Enjoy your Sunday,cheers.

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July 21, 2017

A return to Sainte Anne d’Auray,and Sainte Anne!

Hello,again is me ::) I have not written on this religious town since 2014 even if it is just 20 minutes from my house. However, on July 25-26 it will be the pardon holy day of the Saint in the town, and we passed by it for just an opener. More on the pardon here:

I am talking about Sainte Anne d’Auray and the Basilica of Sainte Anne; the patron Saint of Brittany. According to the Bible, the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus.  The official page is here in English:

The Auray area tourist office in French:

I would not go into more details as I have written on the story and history of this high religious stop in the Morbihan Breton on several occasions. Suffixes to say it is a wonderful complex of the Basilica of Sainte Anne, to the statues of her all over the park, the mausoleum to the dead for Brittany in the wars, to the area where Pope John Paul II visited in 1996.

The importance of the statue monument to the Count of Chambord is here as well; very well mentioned in the history of France. The monument has four faces, including the two Saints of France and Paris, Sainte Jeanne d’Arc in the front , and  Sainte Geneviève behind, as well as two great heroes of France ; Bayard on the left and  Du Guesclin on the right, all standing on foot.  On top of the statue you will see a golden crown on his right, representing the monarchy of France.  It is here where the prayers were said  on the apparitions in August 1623 to March 1625 and 1628 ,when  Anne d’Autriche (Austria) ask to make  Sainte-Anne public prayers and daily to have a descendant of the crown to the throne.  It became a tradition thereafter by the house of France or  Maison de France  to ask of Sainte Anne the birth of future princes of France.  More here on official Chambord page in French:

You will see the stairs or Holy Stairs. This monument was built in 1662 by the Carmelite Fathers. Currently located in the area of ​​the spine, the Scala Sancta was until 1870 the front porch of the Basilica and thus defining the place reserved for prayer. You can read more in the official page given above on the Basilica.

On the same webpage you will find info on the monument plaque to Pope John Paul II visit in September 26 1996. It is made exactly 16,129 blocks offered by the pilgrims. It is surrounded by 12 granite columns, recalling that these are the twelve bishops of the twelve dioceses of the ecclesiastical region of western France who invited the Pope to come to this region: Angers, Bayeux, Coutances, Laval, Le Mans, Luzon, Nantes, Quimper, Rennes, St. Brieuc, Sees, Vannes. There is figure stele bearing the image of John Paul II.

You see the baptismal fountain or fontaine, the place of the first prayer and statue of Sainte Anne right coming straight to the Basilica. More in the webpage of the Basilica, a primer here: By choosing the fountain as a place of its first appearance, St. Anne reminds us of the importance of source water, but above the water of baptism: as water is essential to our lives, baptism is essential to grow in faith. The water of baptism makes us children of God and St. Anne, by appearing at the fountain, invites us to return to our baptismal promises.

More on the webpage above and on this wonderful site here: The Basilica dedicated to Saint Anne is the heart of the sanctuary. It replaced, in the late 19C, in 1872, the first chapel built by Yves Nicolazic chapel became too small to accommodate the crowd of pilgrims.  It was built in the same field of Bocenno which was found the original statue of St. Anne by Yves Nicolazic.  Neo-Gothic combines the grace of the Renaissance, model houses the tombs of Yves Nicolazic (1591-1645), the man who saw St. Anne and Pierre de Keriolet the penitent (1602-1660).  A bas-relief on a pillar of the choir, right, points out the spot where Yves Nicolazic and its neighbors, discovered the statue of Saint Anne March 7, 1625.

In the photos you will see a Chapel dedicated to Sainte Anne (St Anne) and another one to Sainte Marie (St Mary). The beautiful organ is spiral right against the left side wall of the altar.  And the stained glass is wonderful vivid and bright well done and tells the story well.

Again, a day is needed to see this wonderful spot and very worth the detour for those traveling along the N24 or N165.  Enjoy the photos and have a great weekend. Cheers

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July 19, 2017

Domaine de Villarceaux in the Vexin!

Here is another one, I have written in one of my compost posts and not given a deservently post. This is the Domaine de Villarceaux in the Vexin park of Val d’Oise dept 95 north west of Paris.

The Domaine de Villarceaux, is located in the middle of the park or parc naturel régional du Vexin français along the A15 road direction Rouen from Paris. It is a castle from the 12C 13C eras.  It was part of the defensive line to Paris from Normandy and on the 16C it becames an agriculture area.

By the 17C it houses memorabilia of the love affaires of Louis de Mornay, marquis de Villarceaux, and Ninon de Lenclos. In the 18C Charles-Jean-Baptiste du Tillet, marquis de la Bussière, nephew of the Marquis de Villarceaux, inherits the property. He dismantled it from a feudal look and built the castle we see today.

In 1989, the regional council government of the region of Île-de-France agrees to it’s renovation and maintenance as well as open it to the public.  They signed a leasing bail for 99 years with the Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer. Eventually, it opened to the public in 1990.

It has other elements exteriors such as the tour des condamnés » (or tour Saint-Nicolas) , and the pavillon de Ninon. These common areas form an enclosure with two other smaller towers or tours still visible. One of the them houses the artisans working there. They were completely renovated in the 16C.

The pavillon de Ninon is a building with nice decorations from the 16C and 17C and it’s open in rare occasions and for small groups, you can ask to see it.The Tour Saint Nicolas and the medieval terraces with medicinal plants and is open to visitors. The Parterre sur l’eau are a rare example of the jardin sur l’eau or garden over water.   The miroir de Ninon17C a water space in   mirror because the castle from high up reflects on the water with a nice cascade.

And the Castle high up or château dit   du haut. Done in the 17C , this is the new castle done by the Marquis de la Bussiére. The windows are big with nice views towards the French gardens on the hills of the castle all the way afar. You can see the country side of the Vexin from here too. The Vertugadin from the 18C name from the skirt weared by the women of the times. It gives you a perspective of view from the high terraces to the lake 530 (1749 feet) meters further down!Statues of the 17C and 18C coming from Rome (palace Altieri) and of Côme (Villa d’Este) are all along the promenade.

The  cour d’honneur from the 18C; encircled by the common buildings and the coat of arms of the owner as well as a Chapel dedicated to Saint Antoine (Saint Anthony) and Saint Michel (Saint Michael) . it allows the carriages to arrive on the hills high ground of the castle. There is great view from here too. There are moats on the borders to stop the access without hiding the view like a wall would. The Orangerie 19C with two greenhouses one warm and the other cool to culitivate oranges and exotic fruits . They were conserved in a fridge underground still in the park; and ice was taken from here to mix with the grass and keep for the summer.

Here you have a nice page with a beautiful video of the property text in French:

Contact and info in English from the department 95 Val d’Oise tourist page here:|MoCulturePatrimoine|CulturePatrimoine|ComPlusAlpha||-TT|&tfo[page]=16#.WW-tSsIUnmI

There is a nice market there like in the old days which when we have been here.  These are call the European Days of trades of art, with artisans in the common building showcasing all kinds of old and new trades. As well as a gourmand market later on in the year. More in French here:

A lovely way to spend your day not far from Paris. How to get here:

From Paris porte de la Chapelle by car, get on the A15  direction Rouen which becomes the N14,same road ,continue direction Magny-en-Vexin, exit or sortir at Vernon / Hodent. Continue on the road D86, direction Chaussy. You will then see signs for the castle. In Summer ,like now, there is the Baladobus for 4€, take the regular train from Gare Saint Lazare to Cergy Pontoise and take the bus or take the RER A from several locations in Paris to Cergy-Préfecture and take the bus.  More on the directions here:

And the Parc Naturel Régional du Vexin Français in French with more on the region and transports.

Enjoy the ride and get out of Paris, France has a lot more to offers. Cheers

Villarceaux Villarceaux Villarceaux




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July 16, 2017

Port Haliguen in Quiberon peninsula!

I am back , just another wonderful day this morning into my best backyard and it was packed, fortunately know my way around here very well ::) found street free parking behind a hotel lol!!

What I am talking about, well it’s Quiberon, the peninsula south of me, my backyard. And more specifically Port Haliguen; which not written much about yet….

There is a nice lighthouse done in 1856 and the marina was done from 1968; it is now on its way to be improve and enlarge from it’s current 1200 moorings. The governing body is on a plan right now and you can read more on it here in English as well :

There are beaches in between very nice, the wild and secluded plage de Castéro  and Kermorvan to the left facing the harbor and plage de Porigo to the right all the way to the plage du Fort Neuf.  Several fishing, boating, beach shops have opened up here as well as créperies, restos and bistro à vins. You can, also, see the expositions in the Maison du Phare a sort of events place for the area.

More info on the above on my favorite beach website here:

Current and next expos on the Maison du Phare here in French:

You find all kinds of boats here from cruisers to dingy zodiac types , from motor to sails ,combine, and catamarans. It is really a gorgeous spot to be in . We parked behind the Port Haliguen hotel right facing the harbor on a side street for free! Plenty of this type of parking if you come early.

The lighthouses are always a pretty sight, and the bigger one from 1856 or phare de Port Haliguen can be seen for 10 miles with a height of 12 meters and no more in operation. Two smaller red phares or lighthouses are on the causeway out to see; the one on the left has 11 miles vision at 8 meters high; the one on the right has 8 miles vision of a high of 7 meters. On the north dam, there is another lighthouse,this one green with a vision of 6 miles and  9 meters high.

Then, there is the Maison du Port or house of the harbor where the Yacht Club de Quiberon is house with a full program and plenty of boats in its yard. If interested, more info here in French:

Then ,you have the Capitainerie or harbormaster in Port Haliguen, VHF Chanel 9. Contact on right hand column of this webpage:

Oh yes if you are looking to stay close to the action than by all means consider the Port Haliguen Hotel right across from the harbor! More here:

And if you are looking for a nice hotel and thalassa spa for relaxation and not far from the beaches than take a look at Sofitel Thalassa Hotel  more here:

There is always time for a Casino de Quiberon (over 18 yrs needed), not too long thus ::) but its right by the beach and very near the Grande Plage or big beach center of it all here. More on the Casino;

You have a nice train station where you can walk to the Grande Plage and all the rest is not far, we parked and walk all over… the train station only in summers a special service from Auray on the Tire-Bouchon service or screwpull train. More on it here:

There is plenty of shopping in town and of course a supermarket for groceries and sundries items, we have visited the Casino supermarket lately and it is very good for a tourist beach town. The hours are : Mondays to Fridays from 8h45 -12h30 and 14h30-19h15, Saturdays 8h45 to 19h15 continuous and Sundays mornings from april to September. In Summer, it is open continuously from 8h45 to 20h Mondays to Saturdays,  and open full day on Sundays. More and for updates here:

Driving out of town it is great to do so on rue du Port Haliguen where the Casino is on, and you past just in front of the Church of Notre Dame de Locmaria in city center. I have written on it several times before. You ,also, drive on the causeway in and out, one road two lanes in and out, and past the historic fort of Penthievre, still a military installation but a site of firing squads assassination during the Nazi occupation.

All the above on photos posted here. Enjoy Quiberon, we came out alright, the crowds were coming in, just need to know the swing ::) Enjoy your Sunday and until next blogtime; Cheers.

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July 5, 2017

Some news from Spain XLVI

And here I am again back to my beloved Spain, and to tell you of the latest. The summer is already here and I can’t wait for August in Spain !!!

Some of the actions there are:

The wonderful water parks with the top in Tenerife ,the Siam Park chosen for the 4 year in a row as the best water park in the World by TripAdvisor surveys.  However, there are other nice waterparks in Spain such as Aqualandia in Benidorm 2nd place in Spain, Then, you have Water World in Lloret de Mar in 3rd place in Spain and named the best aquatic attraction in the Costa Brava; others were the Aquapark Flamingo in Alicante, port Aventura Caribe Aquatic Park in Salou ; Aquopolis Costa Dorada in La Pineda, Aqua Brava in Roses, Aquapark Ciudad Quesada in Alicante, Aqua Natura in Benidorm,and Parque Acuàtico  Aquarama in Benicassim.

See the new Centro Botin designed by Renzo Piano ,which,you can enjoy while the exposition on the artist Carsten Höller is on. This is a round bed for two persons that comes equipped with all the amenties of a luxury hotel. Elevator bed has its own rotating structure that can be raised 3,5 meters above floor. The design allows the guests to enjoy wonderful views of the exposition and the priviledge views of the bay of Santander thru impressive windows. To enjoy, you need to reserved thru the Hotel Real de Santander at a price of 250 to 350 euros per night and the room is available from June 30 to September 9th coinciding with the period of the exposition.  More here:

And as the Feast of San Férmin in Pamplona and the running of the bulls is approaching; a bit of history and information.  According to legend Fermin the son of Firmus ; a senator in the Roman city of Pompaelo or current Pamplona was converted to Catholicism by the pervert Honesto and made bishop with only 24 yrs old in the French city of Toulouse.  After ,he evangelise the Galia (France) and traveled a bit ,he ,also started to do miracles like curing lepers and paraplegic people, return the sight,and calm the epilectic suffering. After this incredible acts and to recuperate the cult of Jupiter and Mercure, the Roman governor Sebastian ordered Fermin to be jailed and finally decapitated with a sword.  This is why now to remember his martyrdom, the local folks of Pamplona weared a red hankerchief on their neck during the nine days that last the festivities including the Sanfermines. This later one that dates from the Middle Ages is celebrated on October 10th to remember the entrance of San Fermin in the Cathedral of Amiens (France).

This is now done in July 6 in the Plaza Consistorial that gives the beginning of 204 hours of uninterrupted festivities with music, folklore concerts etc.  The bulls running or  encierro is done every morning by running the bulls thru the streets to take them from the Corrales of Santo Domingo to the bullfight arena.  This year we will have the bulls of Cebaga (second farm with the most encierros and most horns wounds has left). After the running you go the religious celebration of the procession of San Fermin from 10h in the Church of  San Lorenzo.  There is solemn Mass to honor the Saint here presided by the bishop of  Pamplona .  Later by 18h30 every evening until the 14 July you have the Feria de Toros or the bullfights most prestigious of Spain with the principal matadors of the day with colorful local costumes dresses for men and women animated with singing and music.

More info here:

And now how about try the local delicacies with the Salpicon de Madrid and where to eat it, well some of my favorites. Ahhh  oui the Salpicon is a dish of fish or seafood cut in pieces and spread with  a vinaigrette and you eat it cold….

El Pescador, Calle José Ortega y Gasset 75 , langoustines, mussels, onion oil vinager and lemon for aobut 24 euros. More here:

Casa Toribio, Calle Cardenal Belluga 14, lobster tails, hard boiled eggs cutup , virgin olive, vinager, and salt about 27,50€; more here:

Viavélez, Avenida Del General Peron, 10, bogavantes, onions hard eggs , pepper morron red, 27,75€ or half ration 19€; more here:

Bibo, Paseo de la Castellana 52, half a bogavante cook, special sauce DG, mimosa and avocado, 28€; more here:

How about trying some of those homemade artisanal beers of Spain, I will certainty try a few of them next August.

The first one is the Dougalls Happy Otter; Cantabrian brewery of 50 years harvesting the Malt Maris Otter, with orange color and citric aromas light body and 5,6% for about 2,50€; more info here:

Domus Snowhite; from Toledo, cooperation of breweries Domus and Daniel Anagon or Sr Bu, wheat beer with orange, cilander, and manzanilla great for summer at 4,5% and about 2,20€; more here:

Edge Sangría Sour from Barcelona; rose color tropical fruits and woood without acidity ideal for desserts only available from May to Agusut ,6,3% for about 2,90€ ; more here:

CCVK VII Tits APA; the brewery from Vallecas (just out of Madrid) an American Pale Ale of long in the mouth and light body, very popular beer in the region; 5,5% and about 2,75€; more on it here:

La Virgen Trigo Limpio from Madrid; pure wheat in the German style with touches of fruit of banana with 4,9%; price is 14€ for a pack of 6. More here:

Naparbier Light Cloud  from the Navarra region, light body, citric aromas low fermentation  and great for the summer with only 2,7% and about  2,90€ ; more here:

And now for some culture in the theaters; until July 9 the Clàsicos en Alcalà, with shows on Hamlet, of Boris Nikitin; La última noche de Don JuanPlease Continue, Hamlet.especially this one.texts from  Zorrilla, Espronceda or Tirso de Molina.  Also, the company Grumelot (Los brillantes empeños) showing its #Sobre Julieta y el rompedor . More here:

Festival Internacional de Mùsica y Danza de Granada, until August 13. Shows of  the  Ballet del Teatro Di San Carlo de Nápoles (Napoli), Ballet Nacional de Holanda(Netherland) , María Pagés, Ballet Nacional de España.(Spain).  At the La Alhambra on its 66th edition with a new production of Cenicienta (snowwhite) and along it the show of Roland Petit with Pink Floyd, HET (Ballet Nacional de Holanda(Netherland)), with classics like Don Quijote. From Spain, María Pagés, that will interpret Yo, Carmen, or with the Ballet Nacional de España (Spain).  The group of Antonio Najarro playing  Homenaje a Antonio Ruiz Soler (homage to )  as well as time for the classical music by the London Symphony Orchestra. More here:

Veranos de la Villa until September 3 and shows such as Acceso,of Pablo Larraín; Compañía Losdedae. The Great Tamer, of Dimitris Papainounnou…concerts with Christina Rosenvinge or Santiago Auserón,  as well shows showing in the  Naves del Matadero .  The current center  or Centro Internacional de Artes Vivas  will be the site of Dimitris Papaioannou, one of the most important coreagraphers of Europe and showing  The Great Tamer.  Also dance with the group of  Losdedae, Chevi Muraday,  and  Kamikaze, with its new work named Sumérgete. More here:

Festival de Verano de San Lorenzo del Escorial from July 20 to Agust 5. Shows such as  the  Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Ballet Víctor Ullate Comunidad de Madrid.; all at the Teatro Auditorio de la Comunidad de Madrid en San Lorenzo del Escorial. Program of classical music and dance with such showing as  Free Bach 212, from La Fura del Baus ; a contemporary poetic flamenco and electronic music from Bach.  For the dance you can enjoy the antology of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, headed by Alicia Alonso showing such classics as GiselleLa bella durmienteEl cascanueces or Coppelia. And the Ballet Víctor Ullate Comunidad de Madrid  will show the upswing version of Carmen. More here:

For the arts in museums , see Renaissance in Venice triumph of the beauty and destruction of the painting  or  El Renacimiento en Venecia. Triunfo de la Belleza y destrucción de la pintura.  Portraits by  Caravaggio, Tiziano,and Tintoretto. All in the Museo Thyssen Paseo del Prado,8: Until September 24th: more here:

Last but not least , a phenomenon that is happening in Spain. In part to places like Tinker an Android, iOs application created in 2012. The number of nightclubs has fallen by 5,4% from 2014 to 2017 to reach a new total of  17.591 establishments in January , data from Nielsen . As well the hotels federation or the  Federación Española de Hostelería (FEHR) has seen a drop of 1,5%  in lodgings available in 2016 vs the previous year. The effect  El Botellon (bring own bottle) and  ‘quedadas’ (stays) with friends at home are leaving the discotheques in a second rank. Also, each year we have less youngs and few new babies born so the tendancy will be hard to revert. The fertility rate in Spain is 1,3 children per women while the median in the UE is between 1,8 and 1,9!!!. Food for thought here.

And this is it for Spain for now, keep cool it is very hot 33C or 92F out there ;cheers

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July 4, 2017

Versailles, and Madame Elizabeth!

I can’t help been a lover of travel fares to indulge on history. It is rather condense and long, but writing about a wonderful personage of my Versailles merits an effort. I will tell the story of Madame Elizabeth. One of my favorite personalities of the history of Versailles and France and have visited her places several times.

Élisabeth Philippine Marie Hélène de France, dite Madame Élisabeth, was born May 3 1764 in Versailles and baptised at the Royal Chapel in the castle in the presence of her grandfather king Louis XV, and her grandmother the queen Marie Lesczynska  ; as well as the godparents the princess and her uncle Felipe I of Spain duke of Parma and her godmother the great aunt Elizabeth Farnese, princess of Parma that gives her the name and represented there as well by Marie-Adelaide de France daughter of Louis XV. She is registered in the Church collegiale of Notre Dame. She died under the abusive guillotine on May 10 1794 in the revolution square today Place de la Concorde. She was the 8th and last children of the dauphin Louis Ferdinand and Marie Josephe de Saxe, and sister of king Louis XVI.

She was imprisoned in 1792 same time as the king and ask to present in front of the revolutionary tribunal under the terror and ordered to be executed ,simply for defending her brother. Recognised by her piety and acts of charity as well as her death associated as a martyr she was declared a Servant of God by the Catholic Church in 1953.

Early on she is left orphan after the death of her father from tuberculosis and the two years after the mother. Both of them only 36 years old leaving five children including the oldest at 13 the future king Louis XVI.

Madame Elizabeth received an excellent education and is interested in the arts. Where she is introduce to the arts by her nanny The countess de Marsan along with her older sister Madame Clotilde (by 6 yrs). With great influence from her Aunts she follows a Catholic course of great piety and devotion while at the same time certain liberties.

On May 10 1774 the king Louis XV died and Louis-Auguste at the age of 19 yrs old becomes king Louis XVI. The education of Madame Elizabeth changed to a new nanny that of Baroness de Mackau that gains her confidence as well as her own daughter. Shortly, after the coronation, the older sister Madame Clotilde is married to the Prince of Piemont ,leaving for Turin, and the young Elizabeth finds herself alone in Versailles at the age of 11. At age 15, she obtained the ok to have her own house and proper revenues from the court.

In 1783, the king offered her the Domaine de Montreuil, purchased from the Rohan-Guéméné and located in the village of Montreuil not far from the Château de Versailles. Now it is a district of Versailles well praise and the home sits in a lovely park still named the Domaine de Montreuil. From 1784 to the revolution, major reconstruction and development work was undertaken. The buildings are rebuilt in the neo-classical taste and the gardens in the Anglo-Chinese taste then in vogue (dummy cave, streams, waterfall, etc.). Some of the cabinetry work in the house is now display in the  Louvre Museum and the Nissim-de-Camondo museum of Paris.
Madame Elisabeth will be close to her sister-in-law Queen Marie AntoinetteFavorable to smallpox, which allows to guard against smallpox, a deadly and frequent contagious disease, which affects all the layers of the population, leaving the best of horrible scars on the face, she calls her doctor. The latter is surprised to find her surrounded by her ladies, but also by the peasants of her land, who can thus gracefully benefit from the progress of medicine. She, also deprived herself for four years of the gifts which the king gave him so that one of his ladies in her entouraged, Mademoiselle de Causans, could constitute the dowry necessary for her marriage with the Marquis of Raigecourt, a gentleman from Lorraine, of whom she was in love.
On May 3, 1789, Madame Elisabeth  reached the legal age majority. The next day she attends the Church of Saint Louis de Versailles at the opening of the general states.  On 4 June 1789, the dauphin (heir to the throne) died at the age of 7 years at the Château de Meudon.  Madame Elisabeth  approached the Queen, her sister-in-law, to support the king. On October 6, 1789 , the Royal family is forcibly brought back by the people to Paris.  While, she could easily withdrawed to the Bellevue Castle near Meudon, she chose to share the fate of her brother. The princess (Madame Elizabeth)  adopted an ultra position, without any concession to the supporters of a constitutional monarchy.  As early as 1790, she supported the principle of an alliance of emigrants with the foreign powers which it awaited salvation. Through the Count of Virieu, among others, she regularly corresponded with the count of Artois, his brother, who emigrated to Turin and then to Koblenz, whose ideas she shared.
One of her letters to the Count of Artois  (Louis XVI brother; and later Louis XVIII) was discovered one day on an officer who carried it, and the missive was given for examination at the National Assembly. Princess Elisabeth said of the king that he was allowed to be led by his ministers sold to the Assembly, and that there was nothing to be hoped for without outside help. She recommended to the Count of Artois to act by himself, committing him to put the other sovereigns of Europe in their interests, for, she said, Louis XVI is so weak that he would sign his own condemnation if required of him.  She also objected to the civil constitution of the clergy and to any measure that diminished the royal prerogatives or those of the Church. The Aunts and nannies ladies went for the papal states in 1791 and offer the niece to accompany them; however, Madame Elizabeth once again choose to stay with the Royal couple. She followed her brother and sister-in-law on the foiled flight to Montmédy on June 20, 1791.
When the king was suspended by the legislature on August 10, 1792 and dethroned a month later, the assembly decreed that  Louis Capet (Louis XVI), his wife(Marie-Antoinette)  and children (Louis-Charles and Marie-Thérèse), as well as Elisabeth, would be detained until further notice at the Temple prison.  A letter from the Marquise de Bombelles  informed by her daughter, Madame Alissa de Chazt, who secretly communicates with the prisoners , gives this news to the Marquis de Raigecourt, husband of her best friend:
“I had as you the same information about our unfortunate princess, her thinness is, it is said, scary, but religion supports her, and she is the consoling angel of the Queen, of her children;” Let us hope that she and hers will not succumb to so many evils. How could one complain by having the imagination filled with the painful picture of the inhabitants of the temple? »
The king was executed on 21 January 1793. Early July, in order to avoid any attempt to escape, the young Louis-Charles,then 8 yrs old (would have been Louis XVII but strangely disappeared without trace), was separated from his mother and aunt, then Marie-Antoinette, on the decree of Barère, Reporter of the Public Salvation Committee, was sent back to the Revolutionary Court and sent on August 1st to the Conciergerie.  In the winter of 1793, Madame Elisabeth, ignoring the execution of her sister-in-law, shared her cell with her 15-year-old niece on which she saw after the execution of her parents and the separation of her brother the little “Louis XVII”.  The “sister of the tyrant” gave the political police an opportunity to hold a trial after which Elizabeth was sentenced to death. To the public accuser who treats her as “the sister of a tyrant”, she would have replied: “If my brother had been what you say, you would not be where you are, nor me, where I am!”
On May 10 1794 , she was driven by cart in the place of the revolution(Place de la Concorde), the last of a batch of 25 persons. It is at this moment that she learns from her companions of misfortune the fate of Marie-Antoinette. Before she was executed, she unsuccessfully claimed the help of a priest that Fonseca-Tinville refused with derision.  After her  guillotine altar, she continues to comfort her companions and companions of misfortune. She saves the life of one of them, Madame de Sérilly, convincing her to reveal a possible early pregnancy.
Her truncated and stripped body was thrown into one of the common graves of the Errancis cemetery. After the revolution, the remains could not be identified despite the testimony of a gravedigger who located the common grave. The bones exhumed during the work of piercing avenues are placed in the catacombs of Paris with those of the other people.  A medallion represents her in the Basilica of  Saint-Denis.
In the continuing process of beatification, as Madame Elisabeth died in the smell of holiness. According to Madame de Genlis, a rose smell spread over the Place de la revolution (now Concorde) after her execution. Her cause in beatification was officially introduced on December 23rd 1953 by the Cardinal-Archbishop of Paris Maurice Feltin. She was thus declared Servant of God. As the procedure did not start, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois  proceeded to reopen her cause of beatification in 2016. It was then Abbé Xavier Snoëk, parish priest of Sainte-Élisabeth of Hungary Church in Versailles, who was appointed postulator of the cause. In May 2017, the Archdiocese of Paris recognized as the private Association of the faithful the actors of its cause of beatification!!!
The domaine de Montreuil is a park of 7,2 hectares of beautiful trees, and nice clean gardens, in which the house where she lived after a gift from her brother king Louis XVI in 1783. There was already a fortress here in the 1375 and was later acquired by the  Prince de Rohan-Guéméné (of Brittany!) and his wife Madame de Guéméné in 1772.
The house is a two level building in stone streaked with horizontal slitting and surmounted by broken attics. The ensemble included a chapel on a circular plane and zenithal lighting, as well as a Turkish boudoir. The fence wall, along the avenue of Paris, crowned by a balustrade, it served as a terrace from which one could admire the park and the garden ; the drawings are preserved in the National Library, the Musée Carnavalt and the Musée Latha, to keep the memory of this building domaine.
Madame Elisabeth establishes a small health center in Montreuil in a room in the house for the poor in the vicinity. These are cared for by the doctor and botanist Louis Guillaume Le McCann, who brought rare plants into the garden of the estate. The revolution ends these occupations.
Having escaped the fragmentation of properties during the French Revolution, the Clausse family became owners in the early 19C, Charles Louis Clausse, Mayor of Versailles died on September 10, 1831. Between the WW important restorations are done by the next owner Jean-Baptiste Chantrell. In 1955 his daughter Lydie sells the property to a real estate company. The maison de Madame Élisabeth belongs since 1984 to the General Council of the Yvelines dept 78. The Orangerie, acquired byt the deparment of Yvelines 78 since 1997 serves as a temporary exposition center.  There was a milking barn and cows now gone.  What remains of the original building are just 3 rooms: the apartment bedroom of Madame Élisabeth (never used as under aged she needed to sleep in the castle); the Turkish doudoir and the Harpsichord Room
The link here is of the current owners, the General Council of the Yvelines, the regional government entity. It has nevertheless a nice Video of it! In French;
The Catholic site on her beautification process and more history in French:
And more in English at the Chateau de Versailles official page here:
Truly remarkable and so sorry so many comes to Versailles and just don’t walk the 10 minutes to go her house at 73 Avenue de Paris (road D10) up straight from the castle/museum. Go for it, it’s a beautiful walk in Royal Versailles.
enjoy your week wherever you are and happy travels. cheers
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July 3, 2017

Honfleur in Normandy, and the sea

There is a vivid lively quaint small town in Normandy that is always in my mind. This is special and personal as my Mother lies there in the ocean off of it. This is Honfleur, Normandy. We all will be going there eventually. I have written before on it in my blog.

Honfleur is a city of painters, artists, some of them were Gustave Courbet, Eugene Boudin, Claude Monet, and Johan Barthold Jongkind that created the school of Honfleur style and contributed to the creation of the Impressionist movement; Alphonse Allais and Erik Satie were born in the same street. You smell and see the flavor of seafood all around it, nice old history, quaint streets and Sainte Catherine Church. However, the most is the sea and all related to it.

The tourist office in English is here:

The region’s tourist office is here in English:

The department 14 Calvados page in English is here:

And the city page in French on the sea here:

You have two salt depot from the three originally there, the one was destroyed by fire. The two remaining can store 10K tons of salt used to preserve the fish in the fishing harbor; and both were built in the 17C

My favorite is the old bassin or vieux basin  in the center of town. They were ordered built by Colbert in 1681 and finished them in 1684.  It has a space of one hectare or 10K M2 and a lenght of 130 meters (429 feet)  by a width of 70 meters (231 feet) on the south side and 85 meters (281 feet )on the north side where you see the channel to the front harbor of Honfleur . It is completely surrounded by wharfs and walkable.

Along the wharf or quai Sainte Catherine you see wooden houses from the 17C and 18C.  The south side extends the quai Sainte Catherine to the rue Montpensier on an underground stream of La Claire that feeds the bassin. The western part is built around some more houses that are part of the quai Saint-Étienne. One of these houses is the Hôtel de Ville or mayor’s office and the Church of Saint Etienne(marine museum). On the north side or sea side you have the quai de la Quarantaine , and the only building is the Lieutenance that was the home of the lieutenant governor of the King.  There is a movable bridge on the channel towards the front of harbor that makes the tour of the basin final.

You can see the pont de Normandie from above the côte de Grâce or the Mont Jolie hill nearby. This is an impressive bridge and you can have boat rides right underneath ; like with the Jolie France. The technical details are here in French:

There is station of SNSM lifeguards volunteer corps with the main boat Notre Dame, the one that took my Mother’s ashes to sea. Wonderful guys very much close to them still. More on them in French here:

There is a small beach on the north side almost facing Le Havre and just underneath the côte de Grâce; more on the beach here:

On the côte de Grâce there is a nice small chapel church Notre-Dame de Grâce Chapel; we go there for service couple times a year and especially during the Fête des Marins already about 156 years old tradition where the Virgin is taken out to sea for a ride and blessings. More on the côte de grâce here:

More on the Fête des Marins here:

In all a wonderful town , pleasant for the whole family ,and good seafood. Tops to see are the   L’Enclos  and the old basin or Vieux Bassin, the Lieutenance, Church of  Saint-Etienne (today a marine museum), the salt stockages or Greniers à Sel, the Church of Sainte-Catherine (biggest wooden Church in France, actually an upside down boat!) . The wall of the sea or Le mur de mer,a long promenade along the harbor channel on the river Seine.  Museum or Musée Eugene Boudin at rue de l’Homme de Bois. And the museum or musée d’Erik Satie, 67 boulevard Charles V.

Enjoy Honfleur and Normandy on me;cheers

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June 28, 2017

A love affair with Madrid

Madrid is big on my map, once bitten it is very hard to forget. There is a saying in town, that said, From Madrid to heaven, and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday! I am always looking at it from wherever I am.

I have written many posts on it here in my blog, just search Madrid and you know what I mean. However, today ,I will tell you about a book; yes a book about Madrid that made me think of how wonderful this city is and how lucky that I found it and also to read the book and exchange notes with the book writer.

The book is titled: A Load of Bull: An Englishman’s Adventures in Madrid; written by Tim Parfitt on Pan MacMillan Publishers London ISBN 978-1-4050-4619-0 year 2006.

It’s the real story of Tim Parfitt who in the 1980’s was given the task to start the publication of Vogue and later GQ Spain. He was working for Conde Nast in London and got a 6 weeks assignment in Madrid. This 6 weeks turn into 9 years and during this time he discovered the real Spain. “there wasn’t any other type of Spain, was there?” But there was, “there was Madrid”

He goes on to tell his story from his arrival in Madrid in January 31 1988 at the tender age of 27.His office was by the Plaza de España.

I am not going to tell you the whole book, if you like Spain and Madrid specially then it is a require reading.

He goes on to mention many of the places I went as a teen living in Madrid ,I arrived December 30 1971. Here is my first entry on Madrid about me there , a bit….

Some of these places still memorable for me and always seems to stop by either going in or just passing by again for the memories, the first that comes to mind is the Gran Café de Gijon:

He went on to Riofrio under the Centro Colon ,now gone:

He talks about his life there and the struggle with the Spanish language (poor guy not my case) ; the funny translation and the nuances of Spanish street naming.  Speaking of the Plaza de Cibeles and Paseo de Recoletos, the communication palace then now palace of Cibeles  passing under the Puerta de Alcalà where the Cafeteria Simpatia was now, also, closed….

At the corner of Calle Serrano and Calle de Recoletos was the Vogue building at No 4 Izda (izquierda=left). And where the welcome to Madrid was “where 8pm means 10 pm”!

Where he tried his first dish of testicles or Criadillas! where he assembled his team of collaborators.  Vogue magazine was created in the USA in 1892, then UK in 1916, France, 1921, Australia 1959, Italy 1965, Brazil 1975 Germany 1979 and now Spain in 1988!!!

He learned that in Madrid the rush hours were 2PM and 4:30PM the times to go to lunch and come back, no one is in a hurry in the mornings nor to leave at night.

He speaks about my beloved Retiro park Parque del Buen Retiro especially on the side of plaza de la Independencia and go into the Palacio de Cristal. He learned to tapear or go out for tapas from 8pm and better to stand by the bar counter as locals do.

Going for more old authentic Madrid he headed to El Timon near the Centro Colon  business building. Now totally change new owners deco menu etc the location here:

The Plaza de España and it’s statue of Don Quijote with Sancho Panza and the donkey and wandered down Gran Via to Calle Preciados off Plaza Callao and down towards Plaza del Sol; glorious!!!

You cannot missed the Museo del Jamon now a chain of restaurants and the wonderful Plaza Mayor. Go onwards to the Plaza de Oriente and into the Palacio Real; get the cable car or téleferico and ride over to Casa de Campo . One day try the walk or jog from plaza Colon to Las Ventas Monumental bullfight arena….!!!  

Buying an old typewriter from a gone shop in Calle Hortaleza and try those different Spanish letter keys !!! How about the first date driving a taxi from Paseo Recoleto to the fountain of Neptune in the Plaza de Cànovas del Castillo ,then un to San Jeronimo and to Las Cortes or Spanish parliament out into Plaza Santa Ana to land in nearby Cerveceria Alemana ,who of course, this one is still there!

And the party continue to Los Gabrieles (now gone 2004) and then Viva Madrid (still open) on the Marcha or walk of Madrid following the Movida . more on them here:

How about going to Segovia and having lunch at Pedraza while looking up the Aqueduct in the Plaza de Azoguejo and leaving Segovia by the road to Soria and into Pedraza. See more in Spanish in the guias viajar here:

Stop in Madrid at one of my all time favorites Cafe el Espejo en paseo Recoleto. More here! but just sit at the bar and enjoy the view in and out!

Try the old yuppie place of Cafe Bar Castellana at paseo de la Castellana ,8. Well now there is Otto there but this was it:

He found out the Spanish way that we call just about anybody a “friend” even if hardly met and of course we refer to an intime friend those higher up that makes us look good; actually as the book ” THIS IS A LOAD OF BULL”. And of course, the other is ” mi casa es tuya” my house is yours, but we rather meet in a bar lol!!! Or the Viaducto or viaduc meaning we take the bridge over off days to connect into several like a long week lol!! old practice not anymore as it is the siesta….

He found out the big party is May 15 San Isidro for a long party…and into the late nights in bars like Archy, Pachà , Cafe Central (Plaza del Angel) and El Sol or the Cock bar in Calle de la Reina or Museo Chicote in Gran Via to end at Almonte a Sevillian club in calle Juan Bravo. Or a fancy Botin in calle Cuchilleros.

Archy now closed:

Pachà is now Barcelo but this was pacha:

Cafe central still there:

El Sol still there:

Cock bar still there more subtle nowdays:

mythical museo chicote is still there:

Almonte for a taste of flamenco is still there:

Botin a tradition still there:

Also, moving apartment to one by Calle Lope de Vega nearer the Prado Museum. A practice of hora intensiva or intensive hour ;this was done in summers so you worked only until about 3PM to avoid the heat without a lunch break;then do this after 3PM for lunch and then Siesta until the evenings. Finding out in summer of operacion salida or exit operation when folks leave Madrid to escape the heat; and they all leave at the same time lol!!! And by August 31st is operacion retorno, operation return and they all come back at the same time lol!!!

One more tried Taberna  La Bola  a classic in Madrid still going strong.  more here:

See more of the nearby towns such as Aranjuez and Chinchon. Back to Madrid for something exotic El Cuchi Mexican restaurant near Plaza Mayor. Already gone thru two different restos in the address El Cuchi is gone. This was it:

See and pay a visit to Las Ventas Monumental bullfight arena for a look of tradition. All official in Spanish here: and of course do not forget to see the Museo Taurino behind it on the story of the bullfighter. more info here:

You come to the Calle de las Huertas and stop by La Fidula for a fino sherry or go on to Casa Alberto for a glass of red with a pincho.  You continue the food frenzy in the Calle Marqués de Cubas at the Catalan resto Paradis. Go back to the Plaza Mayor and visit the Cava San Miguel  for a nice cold beer. You should not missed two great ones of Madrid , Casa Paco and Casa Lucio,and one of the classic upper upper Zalacaîn

La Fidula today is a concert hall:

Casa Alberto; still there :

Paradis still there:

Cava San Miguel now la Taberna Chiquita;

Casa Paco :

Casa Lucio :

Zalacaîn: now closed for renovations:

Getting back to the apartment at Lope de Vega, you can try La Dolores bar; ; and further you come to Villa Rosa tablao flamenco off the Plaza Santa Ana, now closed:

Some fancy visits to the British Chamber of Commerce; club Puerta de Hierro, Club Equitacion de Somosaguas all special visits. Then go up to wonderful Navacerrada and eat at Casa Felipe Asador. Navacerrada was my first attempt of skiing at the tender age of 12, well did not work out ::) fell all over the place and decided it was not for me.  The resto here:

And the activities at Navacerrada continues:

Time to move again this time to Serrano, 145 corner of calle Guadalquivir;nicer area still today. Here it is nice to jog alone Paseo de la Habana and along Plaza Sagrados Corazones next to the Bernabeu Stadium at the corner of Castellana and Concha Espina.

You came to the old ,Club 31 in Calle Alcalà 31; and for ligher meals go to Delicatessen Mallorca. The first one change owner and location but still Club 31 here:

The second one

He continues writing about the new things found in Madrid and of course learning Spanish, this was already 1992 the year of the Barcelona Olympics. However, Madrid had totally seduced him. And he visit Carmona near Sevilla to be with a women he met Patrizia and visit her parents.

He found La Parra a Seville style restaurant in Monte Esquinza; more here: , visited the bullfight arena at Aranjuez and had a nice party in Palacio de Gaviria , which was and is a great place to be/ more here:

The hit came later meeting Kirza half Dutch and half Danish but born in Malaga, hey welcome to Spain. She had two kids from previous marriage and was only 29. He move in with her and the kids on January 1993. New place Calle de Povedilla 13 parallel to Calle de Goya in Salamanca district. They tour together deeper into Spain, Sevilla and Ronda and going to parties together. Even to Barcelona where the stays were at the Hotel Arts in the Olympic Port. They were married in Holland and photos splashed all over the medias.

And they move out of central Madrid into a bigger home in Calle San Martin de Porres by the Puerta de Hierro. Location distrito here:

Kirza was pregnant and his best friend Luis was diagnose of leukemia eventually passed away at 58. And Tim became the managing director/General Manager of Conde Nast Spain.  The son finally arrive Toby in July 7 1994 at the Clinica Nuevo Parque.

And this needed another moved to Monte Alto in Humera just outside Madrid. and a moving in nanny and the black retriever dog Barnaby. And the new born child was baptized in the Church of Humera. Location of new house:

And the journey is over. Tim said it, Madrid is one of the most perplexing, anarchic, and exuberant cities on earth:Madrid. He fell in love with the country, the city and its people and do we once bitten by the Madrid magic. Or From Madrid to heaven and hole in the sky to look down on it everyday!

I happened to contact him and exchange emails with him as what struck more of the story which is awesome and the book is wonderful; was the fact that we both went on similar paths of places in Madrid and fell in love with the city me too young needed to move on with my mother or life would had be different for sure. Cheers








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June 26, 2017

Again the Tour de France 104th edition

And we are just around the corner of the next tour de France bicycle race.  The next will be the 104th Edition, and will be running from Saturday July 1st to Sunday July 23rd in 21 stages over 3540 kms.

The previous one I have in my blog was in 2015 when it passed just next to my employer near Vannes in the Morbihan Breton; more of it here:

Some of the teams already announced for this year’s edition are: (country abbrev in French)

AG2R La Mondiale: Jan Bakelants (BEL), Romain Bardet (FRA), Axel Domont (FRA), Mathias Frank (SUI), Ben Gastauer (LUX), Cyril Gautier (FRA), Pierre Latour (FRA), Oliver Naesen (BEL), Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA)

BMC Racing Team: Damiano Caruso (ITA), Stefan Küng (SUI), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Richie Porte (AUS), Nicolas Roche(IRL), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI).

Bora – Hansgrohe :Maciej Bodnar (POL), Emanuel Buchmann (ALL), Marcus Burghardt (ALL), Rafal Majka (POL), Jay McCarthy (AUS), Pawel Poljanski (POL), Juraj Sagan(SVQ), Peter Sagan (SVQ), Rudi Selig (ALL).

Cofidis: Nacer Bouhanni (FRA), Dimitri Claeys (BEL), Christophe Laporte (FRA), Cyril Lemoine (FRA), Luis Angel Maté (ESP), Daniel Navarro (ESP), Florian Sénéchal (FRA), Julien Simon (FRA), Geoffrey Soupe (FRA).

Dimension Data: Edvald Boassen Hagen (NOR), Mark Cavendish (GBR), Stephen Cummings (GBR), Bernhart Eisel (AUT), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (AFS), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Mark Renshaw (AUS), Scott Thwaites (GBR), Jaco Venter (AFS).

Direct Energie: Thomas Boudat (FRA), Lilian Calmejane (FRA), Sylvain Chavanel (FRA), Yohann Gène (FRA), Adrien Petit (FRA), Perrig Quéméneur (FRA), Romain Sicard (FRA), Angelo Tulik (FRA), Thomas Voeckler (FRA).

Katusha-Alpecin: Marco Haller (AUT), Reto Hollenstein (SUI), Robert Kiserlovski (CRO), Alexander Kristoff (NOR), Maurits Lammertink (NED), Tiago Machado (POR), Tony Martin (GER), Nils Politt (GER), Rick Zabel (GER).

Orica-Scott: Michael Albasini (SUI), Esteban Chaves (COL), Luke Durbridge (AUS), Mathew Hayman (AUS), Damien Howson (AUS), Daryl Impey (AFS), Jens Keulekeire (BEL), Roman Kreuziger (RTC), Simon Yates (GBR).

Sky: Chris Froome (GBR), Sergio Henao (COL), Vasil Kiryienka (BLR), Christian Knees (ALL), Michal Kwiatkowski (POL), Mikel Landa (ESP), Mikel Nieve (ESP), Luke Rowe (GBR), Geraint Thomas (GBR).

Team Sunweb: Nikias Arndt (ALL), Warren Barguil (FRA), Roy Curvers (HOL), Michael Matthews (AUS), Simon Geschke (ALL), Ramon Sinkeldam (HOL), Laurens Ten Dam (HOL), Albert Timmer (HOL), Mike Teunissen (HOL).

Trek-Segafredo; André Cardoso (POR), Alberto Contador(ESP), John Degenkolb (ALL), Fabio Felline (ITA), Michael Gogl (AUT), Markel Irizar (ESP), Koen de Kort (HOL), Bauke MOLLEMA (HOL) , Jarlinson Pantano (COL).

UAE – Team Emirates: Darwin Atapuma (COL), Matteo Bono (ITA), Kristijan Durasek (CRO), Vegard Stake Laengen (NOR), Marco Marcato (ITA), Manuele Mori (ITA), Louis Meintjes (AFS), Ben Swift (GBR), Diego Ulissi (ITA).

Wanty – Groupe Gobert: Frederik Backaert (BEL), Thomas Degand (BEL), Guillaume Martin (FRA), Marco Minaard (NED),Yoann Offredo (FRA), Andrea Pasqualon (ITA), Dion Smith (NZL), Guillaume Van Keirlsbuck (BEL), Pieter Vanspeybrouck (BEL).

The official site to watch it live is here in English:

Notice this year the race will begin in Dusseldorf Germany !! hey a town I have visited!!! Here was my post on the city:

It will ,also, past by Belgium and Luxembourg!

Then stage 7 from Troyes to Nuits-Saint-Georges should be sublime, also, stage 10 Périgueux to Bergerac wow! Stages 11-12 around Pau! and Stage 16 Le Puy-en-Vélay to Romans-sur-Isére, and of course the finish in Paris.

Some schedules to watch on TV is here in English:

And here is a video in 3D of the route of the 104th edition of the Tour de France!!


See on the roads folks, enjoy it and happy end of june 2017. Cheers

June 24, 2017

Pointe du Raz in pays Bigouden; Finistére Breton!

Today was a hectic day and lots of things to do so done tonite and rest tomorrow. However, the day was cloudy cooler nicer to go out with temps in the 15C  to 22C this is like less than 75F all day. The sun did came out a bit later in the day but while we were where we were going was not. Anyway this is Brittany and we went next door to the Finistére dept 29.

We had lots of errands to do and started in Vannes picking up my retouch jean from Armand Thiery; then going to V&B to pick some more Belgian and German beers in Auray. Both of which I have written extensively in previous posts. We finally headed for Finistére.

Getting back on the N165 passing the ria river of Auray over the  Kerplouz bridge we headed to our destination by taken the D784 just after Quimper direction Audierne.

We headed for Pouldreuzic in the pays Bigouden to get to the boutique factory of Hénaff (founded in 1907) the great Breton deli with all its delicacies. This was wonderful and we loaded up on more than 130€ shopping on cans from duck mousse to rabbit, deer, wild pigs, tuna, hams,  in different blends as well as cider (130 m2 of space). The store has a museum 3€ admission but it was closed. It is a nice compact store with cold cuts pates on the right and souvenirs , fisheries and home deco items on the left side.  The factory is just around the corner and they have a full service center for the community . You have a salon de thé and garden playground next door with picnic tables. The opening hours varied in low and high season; right now is high season. More here:

Once we did our shopping in Pouldreuzic town, we had some time left so we headed forward to the Pointe du Raz, the furthermost point in the peninsula passing towns like Landudec, Plozévet, and Plouhinec with nice churches and the great harbor of Audierne.

The Church of Saint Démet in Plozévet is nice. It has elements of the 12C and built in the 14C with later renovations. The town of Plozévet is at the crossing of the roads D784 and D2 near the coast and west of  Quimper. More in French on the town go to “La Commune” on top row and on bottom go for “Le Patrimoine Communal de Plozévet.”

The Church Sainte Anne in Landudec is also nice. Built with donations from 1528 to 1540 and rebuilt in 1904.  The town is unique finding itself between the Pays Glazik , and the Cap-Sizun, itselves between the Pays Bigouden ,and the Pen Sardinn. A bit more here in French:

The Church of Saint Winoc in Plouhinec is nice. Built between the 16C and 18C even if many elements are found from the 15C.  These were seeing passing on our way to final destination in Pouldreuzic or Pointe du Raz. Bit more on the Church in French here:

We finally reach Pointe du Raz, in the Cap Sizun, at the westernmost point in the peninsula seeing the vast atlantic ocean and the lighthouses of the island of Sein. The view here is magnificent over the vast ocean and you are on a cliff with rocky stony footpath leading you to the edge!  Parking starts from 6,50€ and there is plenty of shops and restos on the point to keep it a day. You see the grandeur of the panorama on the Raz de Sein very famous by seamen with their lighthouses of the Vieille, and the Tévennec, as well as the fascinating island of  île de Sein. More here on the grand sites of France in French:

And from the Finistére tourism office in English:

A place not to miss if coming to Brittany at least arrive to see it and have lunch on site great combi.

We did passed by the harbor beach town of Audierne, this is very picturesque like a post card and great ambiance along the waterfront. The tourist office will tell you more, I love the town and will be back in the Pays Capiste ,just before the Le Pointe du Raz.

In the above link you can find more of the Pointe du Raz and Cap Sizun as well as the île de Sein.  A lovely ride coming back late to get to my car wash at E Leclerc Vannes and the grocery shopping for other stuff there , finally reaching home pretty late. Sunday will be to rest lol!

Enjoy your weekend and Sunday, until next time ,and thanks for reading my blog; cheers.

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