Posts tagged ‘Europe’

February 11, 2020

A covered market in Cordes!

So I am taking you down to my favorite area oh well there are so many here for us lol! However, this one we have family on wife’s side so I will tell you more as my favorite department 81!

I have written before on Cordes sur Ciel in my blog but i figure need to tell you more on the Halles so here it is.Hope you enjoy it as we do.

The Halles is a medieval hall in Cordes-sur-Ciel, a town in Tarn dept 81,  region of Occitanie. It is located in the center of the city near the highest point of the hill. It occupies a place at the crossroads of the main street, the current rue Raymond VII, the rue Saint-Michel which passes in front of the church and the perpendicular lane which descends towards the Portanel.

Cordes sur Ciel

In 1273, the town’s traders obtained the right to organize a party on Saint Bartholomew’s Day, patron saint of tanners, and in 1276, they covered the market place. Cordes becomes an important center of the craft of embroidery of fabrics and decoration of leather. This flourishing trade allowed the reconstruction of the Halle authorized by the lieutenant of the king in Languedoc. This grant dated 1358 should encourage the development of trade.

A bit on the construction of this wonderful building in the high city.

They are established on a stone paved and leveled area. Access is via steps, the number of which varies according to the level of the ground by 24 stone pillars with simple capitals of octagonal section. The functional aspect is without sculpture. One of them wears a ring that has been used for centuries to display animals for slaughter. The four-sided wooden frame has a roof of canal tiles. The perimeter has stone benches. The roof was redone in the 19C. For the pillars, no document allows to say that they were changed, but the multiple traces of repairs make doubt that they are still of the 14C.

Under the Halles, a cross is installed near the edge of a well. This well, filled since 1647 . A local team of speleologists has cleared the bottom and they reach down to 114 meters in 1961!. The bottom is paved with rectangular limestone and cut with care. The well itself is dug out of the rock with a diameter of 3 m by 13 m. This last part is built in limestone blocks. The water level does not vary around 12 meters, representing a volume of approximately 33 m3!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to Cordes sur Ciel are

City of Cordes sur Ciel on heritage

Tourist office of dept 81 Tarn on Cordes sur Ciel

Another nice wonder of beautiful high city of Cordes sur Ciel (or some says Cordoba on heavens for the leather tanners story). Hope you enjoy the post and do stop by.

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


February 11, 2020

The market at Dieppe!

And here I am on one of the most picturesques markets of France and is not in the south…! As read , we love markets and cannot missed in it if passing or visiting a city in France. One of our favorite and came here often for many years before moving to Bretagne was Dieppe.

So let me tell you a bit more on the market of Dieppe. Hope you enjoy it as we do

You want to partake in the local life,and enjoy Normandy at its best, do like us, come to the market days of Dieppe on Saturdays mornings fresh from the sea and the land around  Place Nationale, Place Saint Jacques from 7h30 -13h00, and Grande rue from 7h30-13h00, as well as around Rue St Jacques,and Rue de la Barre.


Dieppe has one of the most beautiful markets in France. The Saturday morning market in the city center is recognized as the most beautiful market in Normandy and the 8th nationally by TF1 television viewers contest!!.

With its 200 exhibitors, including a large proportion of producers from the Pays de Bray, the Pays de Caux and neighboring Picardy, the Dieppe market is an unmissable event for Dieppe by visitors and residents alike.

There are other smaller market on Tuesday and Thursday morning Place Nationale.

And the big fish market at La Fontaine; Quai Henri IV, Facing the Marina. Every day until 13h30. Direct sale of seafood products to the consumer allowing the purchase of fish 7 days 7. Also a smaller fish market at Quai Trudaine from Tuesday to Saturday, in the morning with direct arrival of the catch of the day, subject to weather conditions.

Some webpages on the market and  Dieppe in general,to help you plan your trip here and you should ,are

City of Dieppe on its markets in French

Tourist office of Dieppe on its fishing port in English

Dept 76 Seine Maritime of Dieppe on its market in English

Tourist office of Normandy on Dieppe in English

Now you are all set to visit this wonderful sea town of Dieppe with interwined history with Canada. Hope you enjoy it as we do!

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


February 10, 2020

Another Notre Dame but at Chantilly!

So if read my blog you know I have several posts on Chantilly and as most concentrate on the castle.However, we go into the town and see walking all the wonderful architecture and history of this town. And I do not mention much but I am very involve in France on the restoration of national monuments and friends of many, of course, including Chantilly. I am an aficionado of architecture and history which helps understand the place.

Here, let me tell you about an important little church which can be seen from the side back of the Grande Ecuries of Chantilly; the Church of Notre Dame de l’Assomption.

The Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Church is located in Chantilly, in the Oise department, no 60 in the Hauts-de-France region. It is the first church in Chantilly. Its construction was launched in 1687 by Prince Henri-Jules de Bourbon-Condé in accordance with a wish expressed by the will of his father the Grand Condé, which also stipulates that the necessary funds must be taken from his fortune. The plans are drawn by   architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart, and the church was completed at the beginning of 1692. It is a building of a fairly sober classical style, which quickly turns out to be too small: to meet the increase in population, an expansion was undertaken between 1724 and 1734. To find a parish priest, the Prince de Condé contacted Mgr Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, bishop of Meaux (my Martine native town and the bishop was the personal advisor/confessor of Louis XIV), who recommended his own nephew,of the same name , then in ministry in the diocese of Poitiers.


The story of the hearts that needs to be understood by many visitors. Here it is the same. Two ebony caskets arrive at the castle. They contain remains of Saint Adrien, Saint Aurélie de Ratisbonne, Saint Eusèbe, Saint Faustin, Saint Julien, Saint Valentine and Saint Victoire, accompanied by their certificates of authenticity. Often there are several saints of the same name, and it is not specified which ones it is. The current caskets were offered by Louis VI Henri de Bourbon-Condé. During the main religious festivals, the Prince of Condé and his family attend Mass in the parish church: Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and the Assumption, patronal feast of Chantilly. Due to the French revolution in July 17, 1789, the Prince of Condé took the road to exile. From his exile from Turin, he learned that religious establishments and their churches would be sold as national property. In September 1793, Catholic worship was banned in Chantilly, and the church was immediately transformed into a temple of Reason.

It turns out that since the Grand Condé which revived the medieval custom of keeping the hearts or soul of persons apart, the hearts of his family were buried in the Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis Church in Paris, which belongs to the Jesuit religious. He gives the order that the hearts are transferred to the Notre-Dame de L’Assomption Church in Chantilly, and this transfer takes place on February 4, 1791. At the time of the French Restoration (monarchy back), the Prince of Condé and his son returned to Chantilly. The hearts of their ancestors were given back such as Louis V Joseph de Bourbon-Condé died in 1818 and his son Louis VI Henri de Bourbon-Condé in 1830. It was asked King Louis-Philippe I that the hearts of the last Prince of Condé be reunited with the others: this favor was granted to them, and the heart arrives at Chantilly on September 9, 1830. It is temporarily deposited in the sacristy with the others. The Duke of Aumale, Henri d’Orléans, wants to create a funeral chapel for the hearts and order a new monument. The heart of his son Louis d’Orléans, who died in 1866, joined the monument on June 25, 1876. After the completion of the new chapel of the castle, the hearts are transferred towards this one on September 18, 1883 and deposited in the old monument sculpted by Jacques Sarrazin and coming from the Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis Church.

The exterior of the Church of Notre Dame de l’Assomption responds to a fairly simple plan without transept or ambulatory. The central vessel is preceded by a narthex delimited by two staircase turrets, which serve in particular the organ gallery that hosts this part of the building. The central nave and the apse have an elevation on two levels, with the upper arches and the upper windows. Only the right span of the choir has a gallery, and therefore has an elevation on three levels. The apse is the only one to have two levels of windows. According to the precepts of classical architecture, the large arches are semicircular, and the central vessel is covered with a barrel dome. In its current form, the nave evokes that of the Dôme of Saint-Louis des Invalides in Paris, whose large arcades, however, have two floors, and whose entablature has a cornice. In the department of Oise,no 60 the Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption Church in Chantilly is the only parish church of a clearly stated classical style, quite remarkable for the quality of its architecture.


While the Church Notre Dame de l’Assomption was still under construction, Henri-Jules de Bourbon-Condé commissioned five paintings from the painter Louis de Boullogne: three were used as altarpieces, and two were originally intended as pedalled for the primitive altars of the chapels of the Virgin and Saint-Hubert. The table for the altarpiece of the high altar represents the Adoration of the Shepherds and measures unit 390 cm high by 230 cm wide. The altarpiece in the Chapel of the Virgin is about the Education of the Virgin by Saint Anne. The painting that served as a pedalled is now hanging on the wall. It represents the Presentation of Mary in the Temple, according to the evangile of James (6-10). The altarpiece of the Saint-Hubert chapel is dedicated to the most famous episode of his life, which motivates his conversion to a Christian life; this is the vision he has of a deer carrying a luminous cross between his antlers. On the wall to the right of the altar, the old altarpiece table has been hung. These are the Charity of Saint Hubert, and the Baptism of Saint Hubert.

The monument of the hearts of the princes of Condé is located opposite, in the middle of the right aisle, where it replaced a window. This monument funded by the Duke of Aumale and erected during his first exile was inaugurated on May 13, 1854, and has only been a cenotaph since September 18, 1883. As the real hearts are now in the Chapel of the Château de Chantilly.

There a bit long but worth it me think. It is a wonderful town and the Church still receives today member of the Royals in special occasions.  The city of Chantilly published a pdf file with the full history of the Church ,you can read it here in French: City of Chantilly brochure in French and pdf file on the Church

The parish of the Holy Family of Chantilly  in French here:  Parish of the Holy Family of Chantilly in French

A bit on the area Churches and a bit on the Notre Dame de l’Assomption from the Chantilly tourist office in English: Toursit office of Chantilly on the Churches

And there you another off the beaten path monument to visit in the Oise, in Chantilly ,in  Hauts de France ,and on my belle France. Hope you enjoy it

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


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February 10, 2020

Market days at Amboise!

Well I told you written plenty on Amboise in my blog, one of my favorite cities of my belle France. And we do shop here often during the year for goodies of the Amboise-Touraine area and plenty more from the Loire valley, here the valley of the kings!

There is a pack to see in Amboise, but when you walks its streets mingle with the local people and savored their goodies than you will come to realise the town is a lot more than a castle, and lucky to be not too far from it.! Let me tell you a bit more on its market or marché one of the best of France and we say so! We love the markets!!!

Strolling along the stalls of the Sunday market, will be pleased to introduce you to the world of great wines. Every Sunday morning the Marché d’Amboise market is held. This is the largest market in the Indre et Loire department, 37, some come from Blois, Montrichard, or Tours to shop here and for good reason.


You are invited to stroll from 8h to 13h30 along the market stalls in the city center, which takes place every Sunday morning, on the banks of the Loire, a 5-minute walk from the city/town hall, opposite the Post Office. It takes part in the attractiveness and the life of the city as well as in the surrounding towns, it is a meeting place for all the inhabitants of the region.

On the banks of the Loire at Amboise, the market brings together 215 traders on Sunday morning, distributed along four aisles of 500 meters. It is the most important in Indre-et-Loire. present on the market, there is a bit of everything: early vegetables, food products of the region, flowers, etc .

The Amboise market was selected among the finalists for the competition for the most beautiful market in 2019. The TV chain  TF1 announced in its afternoon edition the prize list of the competition “The most beautiful market in France” ; the market in Amboise, voted best market in the Centre-Val de Loire region!  by internet users, and came 12th in the national ranking!!


My family at it in Amboise!

The top 20 (over 200 markets competed)  winner’s list for reference is below and in black those we have been. Including the one in our capital city Vannes which I have plenty in my blog!

  1. Marché de Montbrison
    2. Marché de Dieppe
    3. Marché de Saint-Pierre
    La Réunion
    4. Marché d’Audruicq
    5. Marché des Halles de Narbonne
    6. Marché de Toucy
    7. Marché des Halles Municipales de Menton
    Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
    8. Marché de Vannes
    9. Marché des Halles de Niort
    10. Marché du Puy-en-Velay
    11. Marché de Brive-la-Gaillarde
    12. Marché d’Amboise
    Centre-Val de Loire
    13. Marché de Saint-Louis
    14. Marché du Moule
    15. Marché de Monsempron-Libos
    16. Marché de Fréry
    17. Marché de Prayssac
    18. Marché d’Honfleur
    19. Marché de Bernaville
    20. Marché de Chaource

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to the market here are

Contact the city of Amboise for information on events and hours, location when you do plan to come here: City of Amboise tourist office contact

The tourist office of Amboise Val de Loire on the market in English: Tourist office Amboise Val de Loire on the market in Amboise

There you go a wonderful competition to preserve the tradition of the best France can offer gastronomy and wines! Do visit a market is a must if visiting France, they are monuments to what you come to see in my belle France. Hope you enjoy it! The one in Amboise is tops!!!

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









February 10, 2020

Chateau du Clos Luce, Amboise!

And let me tell you something wonderful of another dear town of mine. I have been coming here for so many years lost count, we get our local country provisions here, wine of course for our house denomination Amboise-Touraine. However, there is a whole lot more to see here and even more than what I have written before on Amboise.

Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on the grand place, the Château du Clos Lucé , last home of Leonardo da Vinci in Amboise!


You come over the museum house of Leonardo da Vinci at Clos Lucé, its just a walk away about 500 meters away from the castle. The Chateau du Clos Lucé-Parc Leonardo da Vinci is  where he lived his last 3 years of his life and worked on his passions furiously, you can see  his bedroom, kitchen, work cabinet, and beautiful rooms in brick and stone as well as a chapel. You will discover in its park about 40 wonderful machine inventions that he created such as the first airplane, submarine, auto, helicopter, tank, parachutes, etc. All vividly display in the house and throughout the park. The visit starts at the gallery climbing the watchtower to remind you this is medieval architecture, and you will see the arms of France, go into the bedroom with a view of the castle, fireplace, aubusson tapestries, and a glass cabinet with many items of historical value such as the Christ in pearl and ivory said to belong to Mary Queen of Scots. Follow with his study room where his manuscripts were done from 1517 with many wonderful displays of history ; the Anne de Bretagne (Anne of Brittany) Oratory or chapel first built by king Charles VIII for his wife.The lounges from the 18C ,they were probably used by Leonardo da Vinci for his portraits of John the Baptist, it contains gorgeous furniture, at the end a small lounge with porcelain items, and continuing to the renaissance reception room where he welcome king François I and many others notables, all furnishing are from the renaissance period. You enter the kitchen with a monumental fireplace and furniture from the 16C.  Then you go down the stairs to Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions or machines all displayed using IBM technology now as models.



You go outside to the park culturel with trails of exhibits in the open, machines hanging from trees as models of his inventions such as the moving bridge or pont mobile, the windmills or moulins, and the amphibious men or pont de briques. Lovely park indeed worth it a lot. You have a boutique store for souvenirs, and restaurants such as the La Terrace and the la Table du Moulin,and the resto du Prieuré, we try the Table du Moulin and is great.

The Château du Clos Lucé, formerly called the Manoir du Cloux, is a residence located in the heart of the Loire Valley, in Amboise. Originally designed in 1471 as an old fiefdom under the Château d’Amboise, it passed through several hands before being bought by Charles VIII and becoming a summer residence for the kings of France. It kept this function until 1516 when François I made it available to Leonardo da Vinci, who lived there for three years, until his death on May 2, 1519

In 1516, aged 64, Leonardo da Vinci leaves Rome, crosses Italy, bringing in his leather bags all his sketchbooks and three famous paintings: Mona Lisa, The Virgin, Child Jesus and Saint Anne and Saint John the Bapstist. These three paintings are now kept at the Louvre Museum. He names him “First Painter, Engineer and Architect of the King.

The Chateau du Clos Lucé is located in the heart of a 7-hectare park crossed by the Amasse stream , a small tributary of the Loire. The façade, made of pink bricks and white stones, has hardly been modified since the Renaissance.

Forty models produced by IBM based on Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings are displayed in four rooms in the basement. 3D animations are also presented in the model rooms. We find in the park a dovecote built in the 15C. The dovecote housed a thousand niches for pigeons. A cultural trail was set up in the park of the Château du Clos Lucé in 2003 with sound terminals and 20 giant machines inspired by his sketches. A garden presents Leonardo’s works on plants, as well as a two-level bridge, based on a sketch by the artist.


The Château du Clos Lucé is today a place of interpretation, knowledge and synthesis which aims to allow the widest audience to discover the universe of Leonardo da Vinci. It has been owned by the Saint Bris family since 1855.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here which is a must

Official Chateau du Clos Luce in English

Official tourist office of Amboise Val de Loire on the Chateau du Clos Luce

Official tourist office Amboise Val de Loire on the work of Leonardo Da Vinci

There you go folks a masterwork place to make it a must to visit in Amboise, the Château du Clos Lucé is wonderful, and the park displays are as unique as what is inside. Enjoy it as we did

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


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February 9, 2020

Maison de la Magie , Blois!

Ok so I am still around Blois, did it shows is one of my favorite cities of my belle France. You know the town now come to see its sights must often overlook due to the wonderful castle (already post on it).

Now let me tell you a bit more on a magical house museum of master Houdin  ,and he is from Blois! Hope  you enjoy it as we did!

The Maison de la Magie is fantastic, and my kids favorite, go figure it ::)  Lots of magic and special effects in this place, you can get lost lol!  The entrance is down a ramp across the place du chateau practically facing out from the castle.


The Robert-Houdin Magic House is located at 1 Place du Château facing the castle and was inaugurated in 1998; the museum highlights the life and multiple works of Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, famous illusionist, inventor, watchmaker and manufacturer of French automata born in Blois under the First Empire in 1805. It is 2000 m2 of magical attractions, extraordinary shows, fun museography, optical illusions and souvenir objects in tribute to the illustrious conjurer Blésois (local citizen of Blois). It is the only public museum in Europe to present collections in one place. of magic and a permanent live show, different every year.


The city of Blois buys Maison Massé, a large bourgeois house built in 1856 and located opposite the castle, to present the private collection of the illusionist given to the city in 1981 by Paul Robert Houdin, his grandson, who had opened a private museum there. This collection was gradually enriched The collections of magic art and posters allow you to discover the history of magic in one place!

You must see the Rotonde showing the evolution of magic, the Salle des Illusions, kaleidoscope illusions with mirror games, optique illusions etc, the Passage des mystéres oriental magic and the vitrine du magicien with instruments magician used. Passarelle Harry Houdini, the king of evasion (b 1874 d 1926), into the Salle Robert Houdin the father of modern magic (b1805 d 1871), the Hallucinospe, to go into the Jules Verne world, the Foyer du théatre, objects of magiciens and posters and guillotines, the Grand Théatre, a magic show on site, and the boutique exposition for souvenirs shopping. A magical place for old and young indeed me think.

You can’t missed if going to the castle as most folks do; this is a must for the whole family. Hope you enjoy it

The webpages as usual from me to help you plan your trip are

Official Maison de la Magie in English

City of Blois on the Maison de la Magie in French

Official Tourist office of Blois-Chambord on the House of Magic in English

And there you go now fun for the whole family in a magical spot square of the castle we enjoyed all around there even eating in grand style see my previous posts on Blois.

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

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February 9, 2020

A staircase in Blois!

This is very obvious but because folks hurry up to see the castle it can be considered for me in any case as an off the beaten path thing to see in lovely Blois. You know Blois is in the department 41,  Loir et Cher of the Centre-Val de Loire region of my belle France.

On this post will tell you a bit more on a curiosity in Blois that if you do walking in towns to really see the feel of daily life and get to know places like this one then it should be a must to see. The rue Denis Papin and its wonderful escalier or staircase.


Now, let me tell you something about it ok, hope you enjoy it as we did

Since the 19C, the escalier rue Denis-Papin staircase has linked the upper town and the lower town. At the end of 120 steps, interrupted by four landings, the perspective in good weather can extend over ten km, leading to the Jacques Gabriel Bridge, spanning the Loire and beyond to Saint-Gervais-la-Forêt. The Denis-Papin staircase is a monumental stone staircase and the perspective offered from the Jacques Gabriel bridge crossing the Loire is remarkable.

On the highest landing, a statue represents Denis Papin. Sculpted by Aimé Millet and inaugurated in 1880, even if later renovations were done that came out not the same as the original idea. It pays tribute to the inventor Denis Papin of Blois, who notably imagined the steam engine and whose street below bears his name.

Since 2013, the steps of the staircase rue Denis Papin are regularly dressed in giant visuals echoing the news of Blois. This design, which is highly anticipated each year, allows art to take over public space, energizes the city center, promotes awareness of the city’s cultural highlights, encourages participation and increases the reputation of the city of an original and fun way.

The past year 2019 marks both the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci at the Château du Clos Lucé in Amboise, the 500th anniversary of the birth of Catherine de Medici and the 500th anniversary of the start of construction of the Château de Chambord were celebrated. To celebrate these anniversary and to pay homage to Leonard de Vinci, the steps of the Denis-Papin staircase were completely covered with the famous Mona Lisa painting, from April to October 2019.

The city page of Blois has most of the information translated above : City of Blois on the escalier rue Denis Papin

And there you go another nice walking experience in lovely Blois, a must to do with the whole family or a romantic walk indeed. Enjoy Blois!

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




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February 9, 2020

The garden of a king, Blois

And I am staying around Blois for good reason. Needless to repeat the bounties of things to see and do in my belle France, and the world is here. However, most come for the castle and then the magician museum house or the Cathedral but Blois has a lot of wonderful streets to walk full of history and architecture that I like.

Let me tell you a bit more on the Jardin du roy or Royal garden of Blois.

Around the Royal castle, the Royal gardens reflect the history of the place thanks to the atmosphere of the three eras that they evoke on the different facades: Medieval, Renaissance and Classic. Originally created by Louis XII, these gardens were entirely redeveloped in 1992 into contemporary architectured and flowered gardens. Its beds of lilies, iris and daylilies but also its aromatic, condiment and medicinal plants are to be discovered in addition to its splendid panorama.


A bit of history I like

These gardens were built to the west of the Château, on the side of the Arrou valley. Completely independent of the castle, they were ordered unrelated to it. They essentially consisted of three terraces which were stepped but were drawn without links with each other. Below, a garden that appears to have been the former Bretonnerie garden (first garden of Blois) appears to date from the time of Charles of Orleans, a century before the intervention of Louis XII. The lower garden or the Queen’s garden which overlooked the Bretonnerie garden.


The jardin de la Reine or Queen’s garden was soon deemed insufficient in these dimensions, however colossal for France at that time. So an extension of the gardens was decided. In 1505, Louis XII bought from  merchants of Blois, a garden which he added to his own. Around the same time Theodore de Pavia, doctor of the king, gave him a garden which he owned in the same place. Thus were formed the high gardens or gardens of the king of an area of ​​two hectares. The content of the king’s garden is not well known although it seems to be a useful garden rather than a pleasure garden, there are large vegetable plots , but also large vines. A well seems to have been dug in this garden for the most pressing water needs.

When Louis XII dies, François Ier undertakes little work in the gardens After him his son Henri II launches works of embellishment of the garden. The King’s garden is decorated with green cradles that echo those of the Queen’s garden. Around 1554, there are also cross aisles with four cabinets at the intersection of the four aisles. An artificial pond was also built at a place called Bornaz around 1556. Following him, François II undertook to facilitate the connection between the gardens of Blois and the nearby forest, he created paths, the marks of small frame pavilions, the emphasize by planting elms and creating ditches.

The gardens of the Château de Blois gradually disappeared during the 17C, due to lack of maintenance, and in the 19C gave way to Avenue de l’Embarcadère ( c 1847) in order to facilitate work on the train station.


So what you have today is something call the Jardin du roy or Royal or King’s garden of Blois on a plateau high up you can see the sides of the Château of Blois like on a hill but very nicely decorated and very pleasant spot to rest after a long visit to the castle or a long walk in the quant streets of Blois. Hope you enjoy it as we did.

The tourist office of Blois-Chambord on the gardens: Tourist office of Blois Chambord on the gardens of Blois

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


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February 9, 2020

The markets of Blois!!!

So let me tell you something in off the beaten path Blois, what!!! well most folks visiting the city goes for two thing maybe 3. The Castle, the Houdin magic museum and the Cathedral. However, there is a lot more to see and do in wonderful Blois.

Of course, have written several posts on Blois in my blog, just search. However, today will tell you briefly about the markets of Blois. Their schedules and location are

Marché du Centre Ville or city center/Downtown market, place Louis-XII: Tuesday from 8h30 to 13h15 (approximately four businesses), Saturdays from 8h30 to 13h15 (around a hundred shops),


Place de la République market: Saturdays from 8h30 to 17h45. (around twenty businesses);

Coty market, rue Pierre-et-Marie-Curie: Wednesdays from 8h30 to 13h15 (between 130 and 200 businesses), except Wednesdays December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020;

Quinière market, Quinière shopping center: Thursdays from 8h30 to 13h15. (fifteen shops);

Organic market, place Rol-Tanguy: Friday from 16h to 20h (fifteen stores);

Place Lorjou market: Sunday from 8h30 to 13h15 (between 60 and 120 businesses).

Of course, the most central and wonderful if you come on Saturday is the Place Louis XII and we even got some goat cheese here as well as wine; if you read my blog we are all over the markets in France.

The market at Place Louis XII is just a couple of steps from the Castle. You go thru several aisles to load your bag with cheeses (goat we love it), farm eggs , season vegetables etc. On sunny days you can find the wonderful Sologne strawberries, which are famous for their quality. Enjoy shopping at Blois

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to the markets of Blois

The city of Blois on their markets in French

Tourist office of Blois Chambord on markets

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

February 8, 2020

Another wine story of Bordeaux!

So yes here I am with another wine story of Bordeaux. I have written some posts on wine one of my passions in my life. And of course, on Bordeaux wines which is a very big area indeed.  There is a smaller area that I like the most call Médoc right in the peninsula between the confluence of the Dordogne and Garonne rivers and the Atlantic ocean.

Let me tell you about some of my all time favorite properties as I have found some pictures from my vault and even if personal are dated and will complement rather nicely this post. But first , a bit about the Médoc, just a bit ok

The Médoc is in the Gironde department 33 of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. There are three parts to it: Bas-Médoc, Haut-Médoc and Landes, and two terroirs, the famous Médoc vineyard along the estuary, and Landes du Médoc towards the ocean. The coast is dotted with small seaside resorts: Soulac, Montalivet, Carcans, Hourtin or Lacanau, which is wonderful and many times with the family here. The wine part of the Médoc mainly corresponds to Haut-Médoc . The Médoc vineyard includes the following appellations: Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Saint-Estèphe, Pauillac, Saint -Julien, Listrac-Médoc, Moulis-en-Médoc and Margaux. Of course, the best in the world!!!

Here is a sampler ok , hope you enjoy it as we do!

The Château de Lescombes located at 198 avenue du Taillan was called under the Old Regime (monarchy) , the Château de la Plane, name of the rural lordship which surrounded it. The rectangular building is flanked by 4 towers covered in a pepper shaker. It is marked by classic fashion, sobriety of architecture and symmetry. Nearby, the dovecote-well is a cylindrical tower covered with a stone dome where a collection of market gardening tools from the eco-museum are on display. The castle was bought in 1989 by the city of Eysines and has become the Contemporary Art center of Château Lescombes. It is 7 km from Bordeaux. The property has long stop producing wines at least since the 1980’s but was a regular of mine long ago in my beginnings so still have a picture of it. More of it here:


The Château Palmer is a wine estate located in Cantenac. In AOC Margaux, it is classified third grand cru in the official classification of Bordeaux wines of 1855. In the 18C, the castle was already a wine estate recognized for its wines, which were tasted at the court of Versailles. This property belonged to Madame de Gasq and was then called Domaine de Gasq. It was sold in 1814 to British lieutenant-colonel Charles Palmer, who gave it its current name.

It has been one of my house favorite over the years and still do drink it. Margaux is good! More info here:


It was in 1300, at the initiative of the Commanderie des Templiers, that this vineyard was born. The rectangular dwelling is surrounded by two lateral, square and projecting pavilions. The main elevations, on the road, form a courtyard closed by a portal and a low wall supporting a metal grid. The house is framed by two wings in return, built in the extension of the pavilions. On the street side, the facade of the main building is made up of a projecting fore-body, framed by pilasters, in continuous bossing for the ground floor and smooth for the first floor; the entire fore-body is topped with an attic. The openings are framed by a molded frame; the upstairs window, preceded by a metal railing bearing the initials C and A for Château d´Arcins, is crowned with a circular pediment. The rest of the main building, adorned with a protruding median strip, is pierced with bays in a segmental arch. The wings, whose bays have a protruding frame, are capped with a molded cornice. These wings are extended in return by buildings of outbuildings, whose facades on the street are decorated with a continuous boss. These buildings have 7 spans for the one housing the offices and 9 for the other, corresponding to the old vat room. It is own since 1971 by the Castel group of wineries. It is one of my favorites since 1990 and we enjoy at home a lot ,last the 2015 are superb. The Castel group is one of the biggest distributors of wine in the world and are base in Provence. More on this property here :


The Château Cantenac Brown, is a 48 hectare wine estate located in Cantenac In AOC Margaux, it is classified third grand cru in the official classification of Bordeaux wines of 1855.

Jacques Boyd, squire of the King, bought in 1754 some land in the parish of Cantenac, thus creating a wine estate which gave birth to two properties: Boyd-Cantenac and Cantenac Brown. In 1806, John Lewis Brown, a Frenchman of Scottish origin, bought vines which took the name of Cantenac-Brown.  It was there that John-Lewis Brown, future animal painter and grandson of the founder of the property, spent his childhood. The castle was sold in 1843 to a banker named Gromard. The latter was at the head of the estate in 1855, when the property was classified as the third Grand Cru Classé under the name of Boyd. In 1860, the vineyard was sold to Louis Armand Lalande who gave it the final name of Cantenac Brown. At the end of 2019, Cantenac Brown changed hands and came under the control of the Le Lous brothers, a family of French medical entrepreneurs (Urgo group ).

Excellent wines and a house favorite of ours. Again Margaux! More info here:


Located in the town of Parempuyre near Bordeaux, the Château Clément-Pichon estate bore the name of “La Motte Caupène” in the 14C. Durand-Dassier will rebuild the castle with an original architecture of the Renaissance type following a fire in 1881. It is finally Clément Fayat, entrepreneur in construction and already owner of the Château La Dominique in Saint Emilion, which acquires it in 1976. He recreates there from the ground up on 25 hectares of a Haut-Médoc vineyard, established on a coarse gravel terroir on the surface, the basement consisting of iron grime. The vines are 25 years old on average with the grape varieties distributed between 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. The vineyard is operated in a reasoned cultivation mode . A simple property we came upon looong ago and has been our house favorite for years still do. More info here:


The Château Cos d’Estournel, is a wine estate spanning 91 hectares, located in Saint-Estèphe. Cos d’Estournel produces wine under the appellation Saint-Estèphe, classified among the second grands crus in the 1855 classification. The estate was founded by Louis-Gaspard d’Estournel , who inherited vines near the village from Cos in 1811.

He travelled a lot and this allows him distant exports, in particular to India attracting him the nickname of Maharajah. In 1830, to celebrate this, he surmounted his cellars of Chinese pagodas, which would then be the exotic image of Cos, and brought a door from the 17C from Zanzibar. In 1917, Fernand Ginestet, a famous Bordeaux wine merchant and also co-owner of Château Margaux, bought the estate. His grandchildren Yves, Jean-Marie and Bruno Prats inherited the estate in 1970. The estate was sold in 2000 to the passionate industrialist, Michel Reybier. In 2006, a restoration of the buildings allowed the pagodas to regain their original appearance.

One of the curiosity wine castles and very much matching quality, again one of my house favorite for years ! More info here:


The Château Lanessan, located in Cussac Fort-Médoc Haut Médoc , has already had the distinction of belonging to one and the same family since 1793. For eight generations, the Bouteiller family has exploited this 80 ha vineyard in one piece, rather rare in the region, surrounded by a 145 ha of forest lands. The wine is 70% sold abroad and available in France among wine merchants and in large retailers: Some of the other properties are Château Sainte-Gemme and Château Lachesnaye, neighboring properties acquired in the 20C by the Bouteiller family. Les Calèches de Lanessan , the second wine named in honor of the Belle Epoque collection of vehicles from the Horse Carriage Museum located in the heart of the estate. And of course Château Lanessan, the flagship of the group, a highly rated Haut Médoc which is not, however, part of the official classification of Bordeaux wines of 1855. You will find 3 grape varieties: 60% cabernet sauvignon, 36% merlot and 4% petit verdot. Thus was born a wine with a complex and elegant nose, a well structured mouth, with fleshy tannins and a persistent finish. Good vintages can be kept for more than 10 years.

Here the curiosity is we came for the horse carriage museum when the boys were little and we love the place as well as the wines. It has been a favorite of the family for about 16 yrs already. More info here:


The Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is an 85 hectare wine estate located in Pauillac. Located in AOC Pauillac, it is classified second grand cru in the official classification of Bordeaux wines of 1855.

In 1850 after the owner’s death, Baron Joseph de Pichon-Longueville, Virginie, one of his daughters, took over the management of the estate and commissioned a castle inspired by the Hôtel de Lalande located in Bordeaux where her husband Henri-Charles Raymond, Count of Lalande had spent his childhood. In 1978, May-Eliane de Lencquesaing in turn received this beautiful estate and devoted herself entirely to it. She gave it an international reputation due to a constant quality and an undeniable dynamic. The Maison de Champagne Louis Roederer, became its owner in 2007,

It is an exception within the Pauillac appellation because 11 hectares are located in the town of Saint-Julien. Its grape varieties are composed of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot. One of the classics of Bordeaux and we love the story of Elaine and have followed it ever since! More info here:


For general info the tourist office of the Médoc is here in English: Official tourist office of the Médoc

Hope you enjoy it like us and do come to visit on site these properties are awesome as it is the whole Médoc peninsula of commonly call Bordeaux! En Vino Veritas!

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




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