Posts tagged ‘Food and Wine’

September 27, 2022

Curiosities of Saint Avé !

Well this is nostalgic town in that for about 9 years I passed by its city center/downtown on my way to my job! It has been a while not by here after my retirement and today was the day to go back to my road warrior rides in my beautiful Morbihan and lovely Bretagne. Therefore, let me tell you about my curiosities of Saint Avé !

I have written before on the town , so will save you reading my long oops historical blah blah on these towns and tell you about the nice mix old modern Hôtel de Ville or mayor’s office of Saint Avé. Government building sometimes are worth to have a picture of and on this time is unique mixing parts of an old Breton building with modern look. Nice !

Saint Avé hotel de ville front sep22

I will tell you about two old work lunch spots with collegues that came in just for a picture and nostalgia.

The first is the La Table de Florine, which we came each time our CFO wanted to cheers us up lol! A bit of nice French food and wine will do indeed. It is run by a couple with nice culinary hands. If by Saint Avé worth a detour to sit down for a  meal.  La Table de Florine, Place de Hôtel de Ville. webpage: https://latabledeflorine.fr/

Saint Avé La Table de Florine resto work lunch sep22

The RestaurantGuru reviews on La Table de Florinehttps://restaurantguru.com/La-Table-de-Florine-Saint-Ave

Whenever, the collegues wanted to go out they recommended this place. I came in groups many times and even invited others later on. Always spot on traditional Breton food. There is new ownership since 2021 with a couple of partner guys who seems to have redone the resto. I remember my entrance was on the side now is closed and the entrance is done on the front of the longere or Breton house resto La P’tite Ferme or small farm restaurant in Saint Avé. If in the area you ought to yourselves and me to stop by. La P’tite Ferme offers a workers menu at noon, and a traditional cuisine with fresh produce of quality à la carte at noon and evening. La P’tite Ferme, 1 Route de Saint-Thébaud.  Their Facebook sitehttps://www.facebook.com/laptitefermestave 

Saint Avé la petit ferme resto lunch work sep22

Saint Avé La Petit Ferme resto side old entr lunch work sep22

The RestaurantGuru reviews on La P’tite Fermehttps://restaurantguru.com/La-Ferme-Saint-Ave

There you go folks, a nice nostalgic run into nice friendly Saint Avé , very near Vannes, and uses the same public transport network for buses. Hope you enjoy the post and do stop by these places, good stuff indeed; and very friendly country town folks.

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

September 24, 2022

The Palladium of Prague !

I have been several times to Prague , and the Czech Republic and enjoyed it very much. However, after seeing so much monuments , and especially in the main square saw this building and it is the Palladium mall so went in as curiosity struck, Glad I did , it is a wonderful building very modern with all amenities and did some shopping too ! Let me update this older post for you and me.

Well not the crazy shopping guy, and which guy is it? However, I do like to go to the quant stores as well as the big shopping center/Malls in the cities I visit and see the difference in display, store names, and prices. This was no difference once into Prague daytime.  I came by chance as was close to my hotel, the Palladium shopping center and was pleasantly surprise. Immediately set in to my territory and explore it all on a couple of visits.  Palladium as said is a shopping mall in Prague. Opened in 2007, at the site of the former barracks, the site where Palladium stands was under control of the Army for more than two hundred years (1780s — 1996). until being sold in 1996.

The Palladium that mixes ancient and modern architecture with five-level center, which houses 180 shops and 20 restaurants, is located in the Nové Město district at Namesti Republiky. The Metro station Náměstí Republiky (Republic square) on line B  or the tram stop Náměstí Republiky for overground public transport. I did not came by car but good to know! The 24-hour Palladium parking garage, the largest parking garage in Prague (district center 1), is located under the popular shopping mall. This safe and pleasant parking garage boasts 900 parking spaces on three underground floors; the parking garage is conveniently accessed by ramp from Revoluční Street.

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It is one of the biggest shopping centers in the Czech Republic. It is directly opposite another shopping center, the Kotva Department Store. It also has a market right in front in Republic square.

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It is also possible to make a lunch break at the Palladium; the top floor of the shopping center is entirely dedicated to catering. A wide choice is available: juice bars, fast food, traditional Czech cuisine, Italian cuisine, Asian cuisine… There are also many banks and telephone operators. Some of my favorites when stopping by are the Costa Coffee shop and Pizza Hut !  as well as for the boys JRC Gamecentrum and Comics Point, and my Samsung. As to clothing I go for Lacoste, Hugo Boss, C&A, Bata shoes, and Adidas. All in very nice surroundings.

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All in a glamorous Republic square or Náměstí Republiky in nice Prague. A different visit from the loaded places to see there,see my previous posts on Prague, and the Czech Republic.

The official Palladium mall:https://www.palladiumpraha.cz/en/center-map/

The Prague tourist office on the Palladium: https://www.prague.eu/en/object/places/428/palladium

The Yelp reviews on the Palladium: https://www.yelp.com/biz/palladium-praha

There you go folks, another surprise nice reprive from the sightseeings in Prague and good for the whole family. Hope you enjoy the post and shopping as I in the Palladium of Prague !

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

September 23, 2022

The Domaine de Villarceaux !!

This will be an update of a wonderful off the beaten path site of my belle France. There was a farmer’s market here and my dear late wife Martine was up for it while we lived in Versailles. It was a wonderful experience in a domain or castle property; we came back a couple more times before leaving for Bretagne. I like to tell you a bit more on the  Domaine de Villarceaux. Hope you enjoy this find of my belle France.

This is the Domaine de Villarceaux in the dept 95 of Val d’Oise ,region of Île de France. 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, my favorite way to get here while living in Versailles. Somehow I found how to get there by car not easy there is nothing else really, this is deep country.

villarceaux-domaine-castle

A bit of history I like. Well, the main structure here is a castle from the 12-13C.  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.

You will find in this wonderful property Domaine de Villarceaux are 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, and the best for the visit me think. 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 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 Ninon 17C a water space in mirror because the castle from high up reflects on the water with a nice cascade.

villarceaux-chateau-manoir-de-ninon-tour-saint-nicolas

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 meters or about 1749 feet 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 and Saint Michel. 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 cultivate 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.

villarceaux-gardens-domaine

They organised a nice market there like in the old days which we visited on several occasions .  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.  The official Bergerie de Villarceaux: http://www.bergerie-villarceaux.org/index.php?page=english

Further for biking, walking, and car driving pleasures you can see the brochure and go onto the Parc Naturel Régional du Vexin Français (see post), a wonderful regional park we used to all over and got our provisions from the countryside.  Just contact the Maison du Parc for activities when you are here and guidance. webpage: http://www.pnr-vexin-francais.fr/fr/le-parc/maison-du-parc/

The official Île de France on the Domaine: https://villarceaux.iledefrance.fr/

The Val d’Oise dept 95 tourist office on the Domainehttps://www.valdoise-tourisme.com/fiches/domaine-de-villarceaux/

Now as said not easy to find, this is deep country so will give some directions as worth the detour me think.  How to get there as said the way is by car this is countryside the best in France are found like this. The town of the Domaine de Villarceaux is Chaussy with zip/postal code 95710, By car:

From Paris by the A15 up by Gennevilliers and direction Cergy-Pontoise this same road becomes the N14 and you passed the many town this is also direction Rouen, but exits for Magny-en-Vexin, take the D86 exit towards Hodent / Vernon. From there, follow the signs “Domaine de Villarceaux”. Go through Hodent, then turn left on the D171, then 2 km further, slight turn on the left. Go past the entrance to the castle car park, or continue to the Bergerie at 250 meters further on the right.

From Paris by the A14 / A13 this is the Autoroute de Normandie direction Mantes la Jolie/Rouen. Once on the A13, take Exit 11 towards Mantes-la-Jolie-Centre / Mantes-la-Ville-Centre / Limay / Guerville. Follow direction Beauvais on the D983. At Drocourt, turn left towards Chaussy / Villers-en-Arthies on the D142. After passing Villers, follow the signs “Domaine de Villarceaux” and/or “Ferme de la Bergerie“. Hope it helps!

There you go folks, an off the beaten path of the region of Paris, yes we have countryside just near! The bounties of my belle France and my former region of Île de France. Enjoy the time spent at Domaine de Villaceaux !

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

September 21, 2022

Curiosities of Questembert !!!

I went back into my beautiful dept 56 of Morbihan in my lovely Bretagne to tell you again about an off the beaten path town and the wonderful sights of Questembert ! I have several posts on the town, but these are all new pictures on a new visit and therefore, here is the story. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Hôtel de Ville is located at Place du Général de Gaulle and is a modern building with the plus that it has free parking in front which we used always !  At the gates of the coast and inland Brittany, the territory of Questembert Community enjoys a privileged geographical location. Located in the south-east of Morbihan, backed by the Landes de Lanvaux, it is only 20 km from the estuary of the Vilaine and the Gulf of Morbihan. Questembert Community is located east of Vannes, between the coastal area of the Gulf of Morbihan, the Vilaine, the Oust valley, and the back of the heights of the Landes de Lanvaux. The office for the community of towns of Questembert is at 8 Avenue de la Gare.

Questembert hotel de ville front sep22

The City of Questembert on its heritagehttps://www.mairie-questembert.fr/listes/decouvrir-questembert/

All year round, Questembert is transformed on Monday morning into a large open-air market. Les Halles, the squares and the neighboring streets welcome many tradesmen from 9h until about 13h with loads of food, clothing, accessories etc. . The market halls are located in the heart of the city and are a real haven for markets and other cultural events throughout the year such as concerts, parties, salons, fest-noz (Breton festivals) etc etc.

Questembert halles couverts side sep22

The current halles of Questembert are the largest built in Brittany at the time of Louis XIV. They cover 850 m² (54.50 m x 15.60 m), The building consists of a large saddle roof with gabled hips. With their central nave with 18 bays and simple aisles separated by wooden posts, these halles appear technically among the most sophisticated of the 17C. The volume of wood used (120 m3) is also the largest implemented at this time. The proliferation of structural parts of the building has guaranteed them an exceptional state of preservation over the centuries. The halles of Questembert were bought in 1845 by the city from their last noble owner, the De Larlan family, and has been the subject of several restoration campaigns, the most important of which took place in 2007.

Questembert halles couverts inside sep22

The City of Questembert on the markets :https://www.mairie-questembert.fr/decouverte/les-marches/

The Chapelle Saint-Michel chapel is located in the cemetery of Questembert, by rue Lebrun and rue Malard, near a remarkable yew tree, several hundred years old. To the left of the chapel stands a historiated cross with panels dating from the 15C. In Pays Vannetais (local) one speaks of Cross banner, The Saint-Michel Chapel, which dates from 1440, is the oldest chapel in Questembert. It is said to have been built on the spot where Saint Vincent Ferrier, on his way to Vannes, had preached in 1418. It was restored at the beginning of the 21C. The Chapelle Saint Michel houses a series of polychrome wooden statues from the 16C, restored in 2006-2007, including that of Saint Mamert, carrying his entrails in his hands, Opposite the portal of the chapel is the tomb of Father René Mulot, who died in 1749. The monument, adorned with skulls and teardrops, is said to help young children walk. The yew which stands next to the tomb is several hundred years old: over 500 years old, it would be one of the oldest in Morbihan.

Questembert chapelle Saint Michel expo front sep22

The Association Arts and Culture Chapelle Saint-Michel is the result of the merger of the association Arts Passions Plaisirs with the association Les Amis de la Chapelle Saint-Michel. Its aim is to publicize and enhance the Saint-Michel Chapel by hosting exhibitions, concerts and other events. There was an expo on crafts when I walked in, Admission is free and open to all.

Questembert chapelle Saint Michel nave sep22

The official Assoc Arts et Culture Chapelle Saint Michel :https://artsculturesaintmichel.jimdofree.com/

The Rochefort en Terre tourist office on the Chapelle Saint Michelhttps://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/offres/chapelle-saint-michel-questembert-fr-3036809/

And we needed to eat so therefore, just walking by the Church Saint Pierre (see post) we notice a good ambiance at the Bar Brasserie Le Vincennes and voilà another nice encounter with foodies in my beautiful Morbihan and nice Questembert.

Questembert brasserie le Vincennes terrace sep22

Questembert brasserie le Vincennes terrace to church sep22

The Bar Brasserie Le Vincennes, located in the center of the city, 2 Place René Mulot opposite the magnificent Halles or covered market dating dating from the 16C, where events and markets take place Monday mornings and Wednesday evenings all year round.

Questembert brasserie le Vincennes the beers sep22

The RestaurantGuru reviews on Le Vincenneshttps://restaurantguru.com/Le-Vincennes-Questembert

The Rochefort en Terre tourist office on the Le Vincenneshttps://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/offres/bar-brasserie-le-vincennes-questembert-fr-3036677/

There you go folks, now I feel better to give credit to this wonderful town where we sejour several times and friends live there who we see often while in Vannes. Questembert is a small country town that is worth a detour for the church, the halles, and its many chapels. Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

September 17, 2022

Wines news of France XXXI !!

Well, we are cruising the last days of summer and soon be in the Fall (Sept 23rd France) , so we try to enjoy these days. Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wine news of France. First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers! Oh yeah, the wines of France are just super simply awesome and a great tradition. Often imitated, some time equaled ,but never surpass! Let me give some news shall we; hope you enjoy it as I.

In 2021, world wine consumption was around 236 million hectoliters, an increase of 2 million hectoliters (+0.7%) compared to 2020. Discover the top 10 countries that drink the most wine in 2021. The EU’s share was estimated at 59% in 2000 and in 2021 it represented 48% of world consumption. 1, The United States: 33.1 million hectoliters, the equivalent of approximately 4.4 billion bottles of wine sold in 2021 ! 2. France: 25.2 million hectoliters ,the biggest consumer country in the EU, and represents 11% of world wine consumption in 2021 In 2021, 56% of French consumers are ready to spend between 11 and 20 euros to buy a bottle of wine, compared to 22% in 2013, and 23% of them say they are ready to pay more than 20 euros, compared to 6% in 2013. 3. Italy: 24.2 million hectoliters, 4. Germany: 19.8 million hectoliters, 5. The United Kingdom: 13.4 million hectoliters, 6. Spain: 10.5 million hectoliters In 2021, Spain recorded a 9.9% growth in its consumption compared to 2020, and thus returned to its pre-pandemic level,7. China: 10.5 million hectoliters, 8. Russia: 10.5 million hectoliters, 9. Argentina: 8.4 million hectoliters, and 10. Australia: 5.9 million hectoliters, Remember to do an exercise in per capita consumption,,,,,!

After a complicated 2021 vintage, 2022 portends an overall quality harvest. A year marked by drought and heat, of course, but which spared the vines from disease, In Provence, the first blows of the secateurs were given on August 11 on the earliest sectors of Cuers, Puget-Ville, Pierrefeu and La London. And the ball is slowly coming to an end in the territory of Provence Verte around Sainte-Baume , In Roussillon, the harvest also started early, 12 to 15 days ahead of the previous vintage, with particularly water stress important in hillside vineyards. The first estimates announce a harvest close to 540,000 hl. A volume equivalent to that of 2021, On the Bordeaux side, in the Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur appellation area, we expect a rich, concentrated 2022 vintage, with rather modest production volumes, In the Rhône Valley, earliness is more contrasted. The areas harvested first, around Die with the Muscat, started around August 9-10, as did the Costières de Nîmes. This is unprecedented earliness, 15 to 20 days ahead of the 2021 vintage. Time changes indeed,

The Champagne EPC with 50,000 bottles sold in its first year and 150,000 bottles sold in 2021, and a second fundraising of 5.5 million euros in 2022, nothing seems to stop this young start-up from Champagne, exporting already its bottles across 30 countries and four continents. The brand relies on digital tools aimed at transforming the customer experience: the scanned label tells the story of the bottle, while the back label, fitted with a heat-sensitive sticker, indicates whether the champagne is at the ideal temperature to be tasted. The amount raised will be used to develop the brand on the French market initially, then for export, particularly on the American market. The brand, created in 2019 is based on a collaborative system between the cellar master and the partner winegrowers. Neither winegrower nor cooperative, EPC has the status of distributor-buyer, and works hand in hand with winegrowers, selected according to certain quality criteria and with an eco-responsible approach. To be continue,,,webpage: https://www.epc-champagne.com/#particulier

The Terressecrets cooperative launches the Cerço range with cuvées with a very good price-pleasure ratio, The Mâconnais is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful wine-growing landscapes in the world, but few people know it. This could justify the name Terressecrets or Secret Lands of this cooperative established for almost a century in Verzé and Prissé. The juices produced by the 120 families of winegrowers on 906 hectares of vines, almost half of which in the Mâcon Villages appellation and more than a quarter in the Saint-Véran ,are labeled Vignerons Committed to Sustainable Development. The cooperative, whose production oscillates around 6 million bottles, highlights the Cerço range, born from a desire to create a cuvée that is as neutral as possible for the environment. The range, largely dominated by white wines, brings together two appellations from the Mâconnais and three from the Côte d’Or. The well-balanced Mâcon-Villages will satisfy a wide audience. Mâcon-Verzé, chiseled, sapid, tense, shows more character. We also appreciate the great minerality of the Les Cras cuvée and the Pouilly-Fuissé, very precise, delicate, characterized by a more advanced ageing. Finally, Révélis, a blend of five climates from Saint-Véran, is more complex, riper, while remaining harmonious. Cerço production is currently limited to 85,000 bottles, webpage : https://terres-secretes.com/

We go once in a while and it has a store in Vannes so here is the Monoprix wine fair, from September 16 to October 2 2022. This year’s letimotiv: more fruity reds, whites and bubbles. Bordeaux, the first region represented, is followed very closely by Bourgogne, Rhône, Loire and Champagne , Note the marked presence of foreign wines and new generation Vins-de-France which are now a category in their own right named rebel wines and moreover, always very popular with city dwellers , An immediate 30% discount will be made at the cash desk with the loyalty card from three bottles purchased, according to the offer of the day, webpage: https://foire-aux-vins.monoprix.fr/

Saïd El Yousfi. This is the story of a boy born in Morocco, who grew up near Avignon, and whose wine-grower father worked for forty-five years for three families in Châteauneuf-du-pape , He joined PricewaterhouseCooper, and manages for seven years the wine-growing center and its 120 properties, including Château Margaux, Château Cos D’Estournel, Maison Louis Latour, Dom Pérignon. In 2021, at age 34, Saïd El Yousfi created his own trading house, Wineted, with partners such as ex-basketball player Tony Parker (San Antonio NBA), Offering wines from the fifty largest properties in the world, coming directly from the estates, via its website and a mobile application. 1,300 references are available, the oldest of which is a Château Gruaud Larose 1810! Wineted, which claims 600 customers, offers a concierge service from 1 euro per month in high-end storage locations in Bordeaux, Paris, Monaco and soon a fourth near Avignon. A home delivery service also exists. Finally, from September,2022 Wineted will offer high-level master classes in partnership with Alain Ducasse. They will take place every Thursday at the Salon des Manufactures ,11 Rue des Petits Champs in Paris. With such an offer, Saïd El Yousfi wishes to develop in Japan, the United States, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Middle East. To be continue,,,webpage: https://maison-wineted.com/

On October 28, 2022, let’s celebrate Champagne! Every year, on the fourth Friday of October, Champagne is celebrated on Champagne Day. Many events are organized this year; some have already been identified in Japan and the United States. Are you a wine professional? You too can register your event on the website dedicated to Champagne Day: https://champagneday.champagne.fr/

Maison Dourthe (old house many years ago used to sell their wines in US) is launching a major plot selection project at Dourthe, we are passionate about the terroirs of Bordeaux. Their Châteaux and partner winegrowers, join hands to develop the “Lab Dourthe” on both sides of Bordeaux , with the ambition of creating the Bordeaux wines of tomorrow. The “Parcellaires” of Dourthe were therefore born from a desire to shake up the codes of a land of blending, and to reveal with purity the taste of the place. In the Graves ,they have selected two plots: a Sémillon planted in 1954 on gravelly clay soil, and a Cabernet-Sauvignon on deep gravel, in Haut-Médoc. This is a micro-project, they said will always be limited by the plots in terms of quantity. The production now is 2,500 bottles for each plot, and will distribute them on allocation in their various markets. Some examples I like is the Sémillon plots 54 2020, from Château Rahoul, Graves. This is a plot of Sémillon planted in 1954 (hence the name), on gravelly clay soil and limestone soil. On a wide range, find yellow fruits, especially mango, apricot, dried herbs, heather, marked aromas of warm butter and French toast, very clean cumin, and a hint of freshness thanks to the mint. The palate is finely textured and slightly oily. Yellow fruit, a hint of grapefruit, candied lemon, sweet spices (cumin) and peppermint on the finish. A deep and refined wine, The Château Reysson, Peykem plots, Haut Médoc ,the clay-limestone terrain faces due north. The maturation of Cabernet Sauvignon is slow. Aged 100% in amphorae for 12 months. The nose has a milky side, Reine Claude with brandy, crushed strawberry, menthol and bay leaf. The attack is on the freshness and the noble vegetable then the red fruits take the hand (currant, fruits of the forest). The finish is slightly milky and sweet, with a nice freshness. A straight wine, carried by a nice acidity. The dense and tight side of the tannins is attenuated by the micro oxygenation of the amphora. Love it !! webpage: http://www.dourthe.com/en/

And as we are also, great cheese consumers of many kinds and lived in the best country for them , me think ; here is a bit of helpful hints from the pros I follow too,

The main principles of cheese and wine pairing, First, avoid great wines, especially old ones, with cheese. Fragile and delicate, they risk being masked by too strong flavors With blue-veined cheeses, such as Roquefort, blues, Fourmes d’Ambert, go for a soft white that will envelop these cheeses with a strong personality. For strong flavored dry cheeses, such as Comté, Beaufort, Tomme, or Emmental, uncork a light, fruity wine such as Beaujolais, Saumur Rouge, or Sancerre Blanc, Arbois, Savoie, or Jura. For dry cheeses with a mild flavor, such as Cantal, light, dry and fruity red wines such as a Chinon, Bourgueil or Cabernet will be very suitable. White wines, such as Sancerre or Saumur, can also do the trick. For goat cheese, definitely go for white wine! Even semi-dry or even sweet wines can be excellent depending on the ripening of the cheese. For soft cheeses with a mild flavor, such as Brie or Brillat-Savarin, opt for light red wines such as certain Loire wines or tannic on Saint-Nectaire. Finally, for soft cheeses with a strong flavor such as Livarot, Maroille, Munster or Camembert, favor light red wines so as not to mask the flavors of these cheeses. A Burgundy, a Beaujolais, a Loire wine and sweet white wines will be perfect. En vino veritas !

There you go folks, another wine episode of my belle France! The wines of France that is, superbe, sublime, wonderful, gorgeous, enjoy without moderation but accompanying a meal, family table just perfect. See you in the vineyards of France.

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

September 16, 2022

Dinan, the crossroad of Brittany !

I like to tell you again about a wonderful town of my lovely Bretagne and the dept 22 of the Côtes d’Armor. I am updating this older post and you can see my several others on Dinan.A general overview should do justice to the city. Hope you enjoy it as I.

And in our road warrior rides in our lovely Bretagne, we visited again Dinan, this time a bit more. We went by car of course. Dinan is indeed at the road crossing of Saint Malo, Rennes, Lorient,Quimper, Vannes you name it. We set out and took off on the road D768 direction Pontivy. We went all the way past Pontivy to hook up at Loudéac with the N164 direction Rennes. Continue until we hit Saint Meen le Grand and got on shortly on the D125 already direction Dinan/St Malo. This road same direction change to the D166 passing Caulnes and then we smoothly fell on the road D766 passing the nice Saint Jouan de l’Isles town with nice story on St John the Baptist. At a traffic circle just still direction only Dinan now we hook up with the D795 straight into Rue de Marchix in Dinan and the underground parking at my favorite hotel de ville ,near the castle. In all , we had 141 kms and did it in 1h36 and still free. It has train service to Paris and bus terminal right by the train station, but never taken them.

We got out of the parking and immediately you see the Hôtel de Ville to your right ;built from 17-19C, and located at 21, rue du Marchix. Before 1822, when the City/Town Hall settled there definitively, after having successively occupied the salle de l’Horloge,the buildings of de la Victoire, des Jacobins, and hôtel dit du Gouvernement,at the rue de l’Horloge , it was the old Hôtel-Dieu.

dinan-hotel-de-ville-side-front-2012

Instead of following the ramparts from there we took off for the tourist office which is right next to the entrance to the Castle (see post) but came down on the ramparts and saw there was the Fête Foraine du Liége by the Promenade des petits fossés with lots of rides for old and young and food, and music.

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The Basilica Minor of Saint Sauveur ,and the Church of  Saint Malo (see posts) ; jardin Anglais, traced in 1852 on the old parish cemetery, it also allows you to discover a superb panorama of the Rance valley.

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With more walk on the ramparts along the Tour Saint Catherine with a nice view of the viaduc de Rennes over the Rance river, this grandiose granite monument is 250 meters long including the abutments; its height is 40 meters above the towpath and 50 meters including the foundations. It is made up of 10 arches 16 meters wide, separated by straight feet 4 meters thick; the width of the cart track is 5 meters; it is bordered by sidewalks 1 meter wide.

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The port of Dinan from the castle. Here, you walk along the small harbor, take the time to sit on the benches and contemplate the boaters who moor. In the shade of the palm trees, relaxation is guaranteed!

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We did our shopping at Les Terny Thés for my Harley Davidson mug and 1960’s Paris placemats for drinks,  and now I know where I bought them lol !! The store was located at  11 rue de la Poissonnerie, however, it has closed, here for the memories and the webpage : https://www.lesternythes.fr/ . My sons got their leather belts at TM Cuir at 8 rue de la Poissonnerie ,webpage : https://www.tm-cuir.com/le-magasin-tm-cuir-de-dinan-vente-et-fabrication-de-ceintures-et-ceinturons-en-cuir-depuis-1984/

We loaded for the day when hunger struck with goodies of baguettes and dejeunettes sandwich breads at Boulangerie Royer-Gana at corner of the Grand Rue and Rue du Marchix ; however sadly now closed , Mention for the memories of always, And finally we did eat at the wonderful service and food of Pizzeria Cecco at 3 rue de la Lainerie. Nice quatre saisons or four seasons pizza, banana splits and a bottle of red Italina Negroamaro from Salento ,Lecce ;diabolo menthe, other desserts and pasta/pizzas total came out to 21€ per person,ok and nice ambiance with currency money frames and bucket lounge style tables and chairs in the old section of town. Official webpage : https://www.pizzeriacecco.eu/

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The city of Dinan on its heritagehttps://www.dinan.fr/152/monuments-musees

The Dinan-Cap Frehel tourist office on Dinanhttps://www.dinan-capfrehel.com/en/our-destination/not-to-be-missed-any-circumstances/dinan-unmissable-medieval-city-brittany/

The Bretagne region tourist board on Dinanhttps://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/cap-frehel-saint-malo-mont-saint-michel-bay/dinan/

There you go folks, another dandy in my lovely Bretagne. Dinan is worth the detour and we came back again, I say one of the must cities to visit in the region. Hope you enjoy the brief introduction and do see the other posts on things to see in Dinan.

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

September 15, 2022

Some news from France , CCCLXVIIII

Well news in my belle France happens fast and need to tell you more, always more. Therefore, time again to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12 years now!! And for those non Roman CCCLXVIIII is 369 ! , another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are coming to the end of Summer ,and temps came back hot like 28C then rainy but Fall is waiting by Sept 23rd. Times like this are great to be in our veranda and have a glass of wine, and we continue eating out in our veranda porch , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The cardboard t+ ticket book says goodbye! The disappearance of cardboard t+ ticket books is taking place in three phases in RATP stations, During 2023: progressive end of the sale of t+ cardboard ticket books at all RATP network ticket machines and counters. In addition, the books of magnetic t+ tickets or the Origin/Destination ticket are no longer available from RATP approved merchants. If you are an occasional traveler or a tourist: Booklets of contactless t+ tickets will be available for sale at 2€, cheaper than the cardboard t+ booklets: On a Navigo Easy pass, sold for 2€ and reloadable afterwards from ticket machines sale from all stations and at ticket offices, from approved merchants or at any time with your smartphone via the Île-de-France Mobilités and Bonjour RATP applications.

In order to allow travelers to park their bicycles near stations , Île-de-France Mobilités is continuing to develop bicycle parking throughout the Île-de-France region. These bicycle parking lots are easily identifiable thanks to a uniform visual identity. The collective Bike Parking lockers are secured by: access control via a Navigo pass; video surveillance. All Île-de-France Mobilités bicycle parking lots are: accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; sheltered and lit; located as close as possible to stations and stations; easily identifiable (uniform visual identity). Daily / Monthly / Annual subscription paying 4 euros / 10 € / 30 € the RATP webpage: https://www.ratp.fr/en/

The Nuit Blanche (white night) October 1st 2022; for an adventurous stroll in the heart of historic Paris, designed as a large exuberant garden, from the Hôtel de Ville to the Canopée des Halles, passing by the Académie du Climat and the Théâtre du Châtelet… , many associated artistic events are offered in the center of Paris. Nuit Blanche continues north of Paris with a cosmic journey from the Parc de la Villette and the Canal de l’Ourcq, opening the way to the cities of the Greater Paris Metropolis, Aubervilliers, Bobigny and Saint-Denis. In the south, the fervor of the supporters filling the stands of the Charléty stadium resonates in the distance, or could it be the fever that has taken hold of the Molitor swimming pool with its psychedelic and sensual appearances? The route continues around these places in Paris, and behind the ring road, to the cities of the Greater Paris Metropolis, from Malakoff to Vitry-sur-Seine. Webpage : https://www.paris.fr/nuit-blanche-2022

The Place de la Concorde will soon be renovated ! The City of Paris plans to partially renovate it by the 2024 Olympics. The two fountains located on either side of the obelisk in Place de la Concorde will be cleaned from of spring 2023, Sculptures blackened by pollution and others whitened by the calcareous waters of the fountains. In addition, there are sentry boxes with smashed doors, rostral columns that have lost their marble slabs, rusting street lamps or loose cobblestones… Welcome to Place de la Concorde, in the very chic 8éme arrondissement of Paris. In the center of this vast mineral space of more than 8 ha, the golden tip of the obelisk of Luxor towers over the Tuileries gardens and those of the Champs-Élysées. From Place Louis XV to Place de la Concorde, First a royal square erected to serve as a setting for a monumental equestrian statue of Louis XV, the largest square in Paris was then transformed according to the upheavals of the French revolution, The Place de la Concorde, which took its current name in 1830 , has been for more than 250 years, a privileged witness to major French events. First place Louis XV, then place de la Révolution or even place Louis XVI, its name and its uses have evolved according to the jolts of history. It’s one of the jewels of Paris, But it’s also where everything happened for the French Republic (France).

The Eiffel Tower extinguished, swimming pools cooler… Paris unveils its energy sobriety plan to save money ! This past Tuesday, the City of Paris unsheathed its emergency plan to deal with the energy crisis affecting the country, the largest since the 1970s , Especially since its finances are in the red, forcing it to find 250 million euros to complete its budget. Oh oh oh life is good in Paris, more news to come here,,, The lighting of Parisian buildings and monuments is also the workhorse of the city. After the announcements relating to the extinction of the Eiffel Tower from 23h45 from September 23, the Hôtel de Ville, the Saint-Jacques tower, the municipal museums and the City/town halls of the city’s arrondissements, lit up until a morning hour, will now cease to be lit from 22h on the same date. On the other hand, public lighting is not affected by these measures for safety reasons. Life goes on under the Paris skies , just a bit darker….

Roman silverware, Dagobert’s throne… after 12 years of work, the BNF Richelieu unveils its treasures, On the occasion of Heritage Days, the historic site of the National Library in Paris (2éme) will reopen its doors to the public, in a completely redesigned version. The oval room with impressive dimensions (43.7 m X 32.8 m for 18 m high) and its gigantic glass roof, its 16 bull’s eye windows and its kilometers of shelving. a few days before the opening of the historic site, scheduled for Heritage Days from September 17 to 18 2022. After 12 years of work and a project costing 257 million euros, the institution has resolutely taken a turn. That of a place open to all, far from its image of a somewhat dark and dusty refuge for scholars and students, without abandoning these missions of conservation and research assistance. Be there is awesome !

The Sacré-Coeur Basilica, soon to be classified as a historic monument ! (about time!!), pushed back the file because of the commemorations of the 150th anniversary of the Commune. At the next city council, in mid-October, Parisian elected officials will vote to authorize the State to classify the famous basilica as a historic monument. The white stone church perched on the Montmartre hill, the most visited in the city after Notre-Dame.

Right in the center of Marseille, on Cours Honoré-d’Estienne-d’Orves, the Grandes Halles du Vieux-Port opened on July 15 this year 2022. This joyful concentration of stalls where mouth-watering products can be tasted on site has the air of a small village. From Thursday to Saturday, the doors remain open until 02h (and midnight on other days)! Webpage : https://www.lesgrandeshalles.com/

One of the biggest real estate rental portals on the web, Rentola, has published a ranking of the best departments in France thanks to different studies, Based on studied data provided by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies ( INSEE) and exchanges with people who move often, the property rental portal has ranked the best departments in France. By determining a quality index ranging from 1 (worst) to 10 (best) and based on 7 criteria that indicate different aspects of quality of life: sport, agriculture, aging, crime, l education, standard of living, and housing, The top 10 are: Lozère (48) Savoie (73) Hautes-Alpes (05) Ille-et-Vilaine (35 Brittany) Hauts-de-Seine (92) Morbihan (56 mine!!) Haute-Savoie (74) Yvelines (78 my former), Haute-Loire (43) and the Jura(39).

The Château du Marais has found a buyer. According to the Bloomberg agency, the amount of the transaction could amount to 43 million euros. Eventually, the site should be developed by the new owner, Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky, into a luxury hotel. Located in Val-Saint-Germain (Essonne 91), the Château du Marais , renowned for its water mirror 550 meters long, webpage: https://www.lechateaudumarais.fr/

The Impressionist House, the residence where the painter lived from 1874 to 1878, has been rehabilitated. It opens to the public for the first time on the occasion of European Heritage Days, from Saturday September 17 2022. The house where the impressionist painter Claude Monet lived, 21 boulevard Karl Marx in Argenteuil (Val-d’Oise 95 ), with his wife, Camille, and their son, Jean, from 1874 to 1878. Webpage: https://www.argenteuil.fr/fr/actualites/la-maison-impressionniste-claude-monet

After 33 years of restoration, the ramparts illuminate the upper town of Provins as in the Middle Ages, work on the enclosure erected from the 12tC has just ended. An additional tourist attraction for the medieval city, which is celebrating the event this coming Saturday by adorning its ramparts with 129 spotlights, and with fireworks, The ramparts of the medieval city, here between the Tour aux Engins and the Porte Saint- Jean, saw their restoration end last week, Great !!! Webpage: https://provins.net/en/discover-visit/the-medieval-town-of-provins/

Yannick Noah, Véronique Sanson, Juliette Armanet..and many others at the Estival de Poissy, the stars come as neighbours, The French-speaking song festival, which now sails from Poissy to Achères via Le Pecq and Montesson (Yvelines 78), juggles between musical styles to appeal to all audiences. Kicking off on Saturday September 17 2022 with, to celebrate its 35th birthday, Véronique Sanson will open the ball on Saturday September 17 for a large free concert given from the Maison de fer, in the parc Meissonnier of Poissy , One week before the first of the 19 concerts at the festival in Poissy, Webpage: https://www.lestival.fr/

One of my favorite French designer house , Chanel ,and now its seamstresses adapt clothes for sick children ! The association created in Val-d’Oise (95) by little Élise, who died of cancer in 2019, organizes alteration workshops to allow sick children to have adapted clothes. Chanel seamstresses come to support her during these sessions at the Gustave-Roussy Institute in Villejuif (Val-de-Marne 94). The Élise Princesse Courageous association has already organized several clothing alteration workshops within the institute. The Gustave-Roussy de Villejuif is a regional center for the fight against cancer. This is one of the (many) side effects caused by the disease, and about which we speak too little. Cancer causes many changes in the body of patients, marked in particular by significant weight gain and loss, or even strong irritability of the skin. Cudos for Chanel and its seamtresses , my dear late mom Gladys was one working for other leading brands like Botany 500, Calvin Klein, London Fog, Van Heusen shirts etc,webpage: https://www.chanel.com/gb/

Tributes to Queen Elizabeth II of the UK (RIP)

When the Palace of Versailles pulled out all the stops for Queen Elizabeth II, Among her many trips to France, the British sovereign visited the royal city of Yvelines (78) three times: in 1948, 1957 and 1972. A record for a Foreign Head of State, It’s quite exceptional, it’s the only one to have come so many times. Queen Elizabeth II, who died this past Thursday September 8 2022 ,evening at the age of 96, regularly visited the French people, whom she particularly loved. Us too !

The polo community took advantage of a match of the Open de France on Sunday in Apremont (Oise 60 ) to salute the memory of the Queen of England, a great fan of this sport. Many of them have met her. At the Apremont farm on this sunny Sunday at the end of summer, the kick-off is imminent. Lined up in front of the small grandstand, the eight polo players freeze. Under saddle, even their mounts seem impassive. On the side, the few dozen amateurs who came to watch this quarter-final of the French Open are silent. In tribute to Queen Elizabeth II of the UK, who died on Thursday September 8 at the age of 96, the first notes of “God Save the Queen”, the British national anthem, sound.

It was her greatest victory on May 16, 1974, Queen Elizabeth II won the Prix de Diane at Chantilly, The only passage in the Oise (60) of the British sovereign, who died on Thursday,September 8 2022 marked in the minds. On June 16, 1974, Queen Elizabeth II witnessed the success of her mare Highclere at the Prix de Diane de Chantilly, under the gaze of many spectators. The Chantilly racecourse (Oise 60) found its audience, without gauge, last June 16 2022, for the 173rd edition of the Prix de Diane. Every year since 1843, the event crowns the best 3-year-old filly after a race of 2,100 meters. In 1974, it was the mare Highclere who won, to the delight of its owner installed in the gallery: the Queen of the UK, Elizabeth II.

And by now usual, ending with some foodies news

The Social Food has enough to drive us crazy. And starting this past September 10, 2022 we’re going to be totally crazy about their new hot dog corner, Poly. At Poly, we come to taste good New York-style hot dogs, From September 10, head to rue des Gravilliers, in the 3éme arrondissement to enjoy their good homemade recipes, Poly 53, rue des Gravilliers 3éme From Tuesday to Saturday from 12h (noon) to 17h. webpage pending

The 50 Top Pizza guide presented for the first time its ranking of the 100 best pizzerias in the world o arrive at this ranking, the transalpine guide was based on the model of the Michelin Guide in order to respect the anonymity of the visits but also on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, for the collective survey based on consultation with culinary experts. The results finally fell this past Wednesday, September 7, 2022 within the walls of the famous Teatro di Corte of the Palazzo Reale in Naples, the cradle of Italian pizza. For the first time, 100 pizzerias from all over the world were in competition. Among those selected, 40 were Italian, 25 European, 15 American, 15 from Asia-Pacific, 4 from Latin America and finally 1 present on the African continent. What a surprise one from Paris won the bronze medal… Well it is Peppe, held by Giuseppe Cutraro with already three addresses present in the 20éme, 5éme and 9éme arrondissements. Already elected best pizzeria in Europe 2022 and best Neapolitan pizza in the world, the restaurateur leaves with a more than honorable prize, that of the pizza maker of the year, Webpage: https://www.peppeparis.fr/en/

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior of this blog. Hope you enjoy the post and do prepare for finishing Summer with a bang and welcoming Fall (here Sept 23rd) , And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

September 11, 2022

The Halle aux Grains of Lavaur !

Lavaur is a sentimental favorite. Down by the Tarn dept 81 in the region of Occitanie right in cocagne and cathar country! This is the native town of my dear late wife Martine’s father Pierre which never met as he died in an auto accident when she was 10, The family is around and we have come several times to know the area and town well,

One of the sights you see entering the city and finding parking at the allée Jean Jaurés is this imposing circular building. The Halle aux Grains, well it was to stock silk then grains and now its a cultural center with great events in the city. Let me tell you a bit on it ok.

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The Halle aux Grains at Place Stalingrad, Lavaur. It was built from 1879 to 1881on the ground of the cooler (former underground ice warehouse), it was intended for the silkworm cocoon market, which lacked space at the Old Market. It is hexadecagonal and offers a lot of space because it has no pillars. The fall of the silk trade in the Vaurais, at the end of 19C, confined it only to the sale of grains. The central lightning rod vane represents a winged dragon no info as to why is there but leyend says it was to dissuade the grain thieves or bird eaters of the grain.  It is now part of the cultural calendar of the town of Lavaur and if there is an event you can see the inside. A must stop by when in town by us now.

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And as we were right in city center, we decided it was time for lunch , and again came back to an old favorite with the family right at the traffic circle coming in from the road D112 from Toulouse and walking distance 3 minutes on foot to the Halle aux GrainsThis is the Les Américains as known at 1 allée Jean Jaurés or the full name Le Grand Café des Américains. A great place in town known by all; every weekend, they offer a live musical group to liven up your evening. And the evenings of major football and rugby matches will be broadcast on a flat screen. And great tripel karmelite Belgian beers to boot with Guinness with formule or menus at 12€! expresso coffee and it came out to just a bit over 17€ and our wonderful good boy dog Rex was allowed in too!!! And he behaved wonderfully too!!! Always a perfect stop in Lavaur!

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The city of Lavaur on its heritagehttps://www.ville-lavaur.fr/votre-ville/visiter-lavaur/

The Tarn Agour tourist office on the heritage of Lavaurhttps://www.tourisme-tarnagout.com/decouvrir-et-visiter/patrimoine-des-villes-et-des-champs/

The official Les Américainshttps://lesamericains81-com.webnode.fr/

The RestaurantGuru reviews on the Les Américainshttps://fr.restaurantguru.com/Les-Americains-Lavaur-2

There you go folks, a nice monument very much known in the city of Lavaur, Enjoy the Halle aux Grains of Lavaur ! And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all !!!

September 10, 2022

The Church of Saint Mélaine of Plumelin !

Once again trying to revisit and see inside the several monument of my beautiful Morbihan and closer to home I take you back to Plumelin. The views on the roads are wonderful and all is very close to home. I like to tell you a bit more and especially new pictures in my blog on the Church of Saint Mélaine of Plumelin. For info, the town is only 16 km from my house, and 30 km from Vannes.

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The town of Plumelin is located west of Locminé, and is bordered by Moustoir-Ac, La Chapelle-Neuve, Évellys and Moréac.  Again as it nice me think worth repeating, this town was one of the first houses we saw to buy in the area ; we saw a house built in 2010 just beautiful but very far from city center rather in the woods so we let it go!

Plumelin is an old parish, which dates back to the arrival of the Vikings in Brittany, dedicated to Saint Mélaine the bishop of Rennes in the 5C.  The Church of Saint Mélaine has a rotunda chapel to the south of the choir, rebuilt between 1744 and 1759. Its bell tower has the particularity of barely exceeding the roof and, to the south, is grafted a rotunda dating from the Renaissance. The confessionals date from the 18C. The altarpiece of the high altar, dates from 1740 (restored in 1896): two 15C statues, Saint Mélaine and Saint Quidy, surround a painting representing a Descent from the Cross.

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The current Church Saint Mélaine dates from the end of the 15C or the beginning of the 16C. It has been restored and modified several times over the centuries: the nave was rebuilt in particular from 1744, which led to the demolition of the Saint-Yves and Trinity chapels. Saint Melaine, born near Redon, lived in the 6C and was attracted to monastic life at a very young age, before becoming bishop of Rennes.

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The Halles Coët Village is a market done on Saturdays from 9h to 12h. This is a new district , nestled in the heart of the town, includes twelve apartments, from T2 to T5, including four reserved for seniors; a multipurpose room of 100 m2, made available to individuals and associations, a hall to accommodate markets, exhibitions and parties, but also a commercial center with three cells, available for rent. Very modern contrast big time with the old town, and across the street from the church above , sort of a dividing line of old and new.

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The town of Plumelin: http://mairie-plumelin.fr

The local Central Morbihan tourist office on Plumelinhttps://www.centre-morbihan-tourisme.bzh/decouvrir/centre-morbihan-communaute/plumelin/ 

There you go folks, another beauty in my neck of the woods. Always something to see in my beautiful Morbihan, just need more time!!! The intriguing part is that I still need to get inside as each time is close, so to continue,,,,Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

September 8, 2022

Some news from Spain CXXXI

And back at you with my series of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Summer is slowly coming to an end with many visitors coming back ! I am eagerly looking forward to be back too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

An easy way to save money on flights is to drive across continental Europe, as you will enjoy a unique driving experience. Following the Ruta de la Plata, which runs between Gijón and Seville, in western Spain. It will take you through the city of Salamanca, a UNESCO heritage site, and through other cities such as León. Although the original route is still done on foot and by bicycle, it can also be done by car on the road. Indeed great road warrior ride !!! One wonderful webpage to do it ! : https://rutadelaplata.com/viajeros/explora-la-ruta/destinos-en-la-ruta/

The site of Segóbriga (Province of Cuenca), Castilla La Mancha, This archaeological site, is one of the best examples of urban development in Roman and Celtic Hispania. In addition to the houses, the remains of the necropolis and the wall, you can visit the theater, the baths, a Visigothic basilica, the circus or the acropolis. A wonderful experience !! More info here and my post : https://www.turismo-prerromanico.com/en/monumento/segobriga-r/

The Volcàn Cerro Gordo (province of Ciudad Real), Castilla La Mancha, Here is an opportunity to visit a volcano from the inside and discover the geological secrets of the Earth. Located in Campo de Calatrava, we are facing the first visitable volcano in the Iberian Peninsula. In Cerro Gordo you can see the internal structure of a volcano and its dynamics throughout its life. It is the reflection on the surface of a volcanism inside the plate of upper Miocene age (8.5 to 6.5 million years) that lasted until the middle Pleistocene, explain the geologists. The genesis responds to the presence of a hot spot in the crust due to a magmatic flow. But there is everything with explanatory panels for all ages and easy to understand. More info here : https://volcancerrogordo.es/

The Biblioteca Nacional or national library ,since it opened its doors in the 18C, this monumental building has accumulated all the publications made in Spain. Inside, limited to academics and specialists, you can enjoy a first-rate architectural gem. Something that is only possible with guided tours that take place, in the museum part, on Tuesdays and Fridays at 17h and Wednesday is and Thursday at 10h, And from Monday to Friday at 12 noon. to the building, in this case carried out by cultural volunteers. Webpage : https://www.bne.es/en

The Prado Museum has some twists. For those who prefer to save the general admission fee, there is a possibility. Every day, on its website, free tickets are made available to the public that require reservation and give free access to the interior of the Prado from Monday to Saturday from 18h to 20h and Sundays and holidays from 17h to 19h. More info official Prado webpage : https://www.museodelprado.es/en/visit/opening-times-and-prices

The CentroCentro in the Palacio de Cibeles has until October 2 2022, and within the PhotoEspaña program, the exhibition The Sixties offers a very visual overview of what that time was like through books, magazines, album covers and posters. Richard Avedon, Eduardo Ayrosa, David Bailey or Robert Davidson are some of the artists whose works can be seen on this journey to a time full of optimism and hope.Free admission more info official CentroCentro : https://www.centrocentro.org/en/exhibition/fotografia-publica

The Jardines de los Palacios de la Finca Vista Alegre or gardens of the palaces of finca vista alegre are not as well known as they should be Designed by architects and gardeners from different eras, a walk here is a visual and design pleasure, since it brings together spaces as significant as the Romantic Garden, the Plaza de the statues, the Ría and the Parterre. Madrid tourist office on the gardens : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/vista-alegre-estate

Some ideas for visit of my dear Spain, all wonderful of course!

If you want to know what a medieval Castilian city was like, you have to visit Covarrubias: fortified wall, narrow cobbled streets, arcaded squares, double-height houses made of wood and stone. Founded by the Visigoth king Chindasvinto in the 7C on the remains that left by the turmódigos (pre-Roman tribe that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula), the medieval vestiges coexist with the Herrerian style characteristic of King Felipe II in the 16C, a time of great splendor for the town and for Spain, which rose as a superpower, You can see the Bishop Peña’s House and Doña Sancha’s House , one of the most important figures in the town: daughter of Queen Urraca and Don Raimundo de Borgoña, she was the third Infanta of Covarrubias and became Queen of Castile . But if she is remembered for something is because she in 1148 granted the Fueros to the people, making her subjects stop being servants. Opposite stands the Torreón de Fernán González, the first count of Castile, a Mozarabic-style defensive construction that he himself ordered to be built in the 10C for the defense of Arlanza. Few know that it communicated with the House of Doña Sancha through an underground tunnel, and that it is also known as La Empedrada, because her sister, the Infanta Doña Urraca, was locked up here without any communication, by order of her father. The Archives of the Adelantado de Castilla (military and political chief of the province), a Herrerian-style building with Renaissance decoration that was built by order of King Felipe II in 1575 in honor of his chamber doctor, Francisco Valles, a native of the town. When the documents it contained were transferred to the General Archive of Simancas, in the 18C, it lost its function and today it is the tourist office and the municipal library, as well as one of the main entrance gates. Continuing along that street, you reach the Plaza de la Infanta Urraca, where the former Fernán González palace was located, now the City/Town Hall. And turning to the right, you reach the Church of Santo Tomás, a temple that was ordered to be built on top of another ruined Romanesque for all those who moved to the town after the charters were approved. A sober 12C parish whose interior has a fabulous 16C Plateresque staircase, considered the little sister of the one in Burgos Cathedral. The former collegiate church of San Cosme and San Damián hides authentic artistic gems within its walls. Seeing them all is only possible through a guided tour of just over an hour, something highly recommended. It is believed that the original church dates back to the 7C and was ordered to be built by King Chindasvinto, one of the founders of Covarrubias. The one we see today, in Gothic style, began to be built in the 15C and its main altar, with a golden baroque altarpiece, is a real wonder once we pass through the doors that lead to the small cloister from 1540 and which houses the tomb of Princess Kristina of Norway. Known as the Viking princess of Covarrubias, she arrived in Spain very young to marry the infant Don Felipe, brother of Alfonso X the Wise, who needed the support of the Norwegian king; her remains were found by chance, behind a wall, during some remodeling works in 1952. she died very young, aged 23, without offspring and only four years after setting foot on Spanish soil. A bronze statue in front of the former collegiate church pays homage to her, The museum is also located here, which has 150 pieces of art, including paintings and sculptures. The triptych of the Adoration of the Magi, the miracle of S. Cosme and S. Damián, by Pedro Berruguete (Spanish painter of the 15C who represents that artistic transition from Gothic to Renaissance) stands out; and also The Virgin of the Book, attributed to Van Eyck (14C Belgian artist and father of the first wave of Dutch painting). Webpage : http://www.covarrubias.es/lugares-interes

The Basilica of San Juan de Baños, located in a small town near Palencia, from the 7C, is one of the most significant buildings of religious architecture from the Visigoth period, The Basilica of San Juan de Baños is on the outskirts of the town , Venta de Baños, surrounded by cereal land, near the Pisuerga riverbed, less than twenty minutes from Palencia. It is one of those temples where its dating date can be quoted with certainty, 661, as stated on a tombstone above the head. In any case, it is believed that this may be the oldest standing church in Spain, which is already a reason enough to organize a getaway to one of the most significant buildings of the religious architecture of the kingdom of the Visigoths. It has a basilica floor plan, with three naves ,the central one, wider and higher, and three apses. Eight marble columns , four on each side, probably taken from nearby Roman constructions support the horseshoe arches separating the naves, the oldest of this type known in Spain, with eight capitals. The presbytery or central part of the head is from the Visigoth period, although the gabled roof and the wall that supports them have been raised later. The exterior arch of the portico is also original, although the upper part of the wall and the belfry are from the 19C. In any case, the state of conservation is very good. Another example of a well-preserved Visigothic church is Santa María de Melque, located about 50 km from Toledo, in the town of San Martín de Montalbán, which was born as a monastic complex in the 7-8C in the vicinity of the one that It was the capital of the Visigoth kingdom: Toledo !webpage : https://ventadebanos.es/turismo/patrimonio/

In Lugo you have to start, of course, with its wall, the most complete and best preserved Roman wall in the world. Surrounding and closing the old town with its more than two km in length and a height of 10 to 15 meters , Inside old Lugo there are other important Roman remains, such as the House of Mosaics or Domus Oceani, at Rúa Doutor Castro 20, preserves the remains of a domus from the 3C. The entire area, up to the current Plaza Mayor, which occupies an area of ​​about 17,000 m², is the heart of Roman Lugo. In the Plaza Mayor is the Casa do Concello (City/Town Hall), an 18C building in the Galician civil baroque style, festooned with a group of eight arcades. At the opposite end are the statues of Emperor Augustus giving the magistrate Paulo Fabio Máximo the order to build the city. Nearby is the cathedral, built between 1129 and 1273, in which the Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance and neoclassical lives together. If we want to have the best view of this temple we have to go to its rear, to the Plaza de Santa María, where the Episcopal Palace is located. A wide triangle with granite paving and a stone cross next to the Gothic apse of the cathedral. In the subsoil of one of the corners of the square, a Roman pool from the 4C was discovered in the 1970s, which was not visible to the public until 2011, when a glass cover was placed at ground level. Discover Lugo, to check that the Camino de Santiago passes through here, specifically the so-called Camino Primitivo, which starts in Oviedo and is the first Jacobean route of which there are references. We can follow it passing through the metal plates strategically placed on the cobbled pavement of some streets. Awesome Lugo ! More on Galicia Tourism on Lugo : https://www.turismo.gal/que-visitar/cidades/lugo?langId=en_US

Vinology is the sommelier Pilar Oltra ultimate, and worth the detour. This coming autumn 2022 they will expand the wine references on the menu to 200 and, in addition, they renew the wines by the glass. The seasonal artisan cheeses, the gratin ricotta and spinach cannelloni and the oxtail brioche with caramelized onions are included in the new seasonal menu. Soon they will launch the physical and online store and its tastings and courses. They are located at Conde de Aranda, 11, Webpage : https://vinology.wine/

And to close this post, two simple local wines of my dear Castilla La Mancha which we can buy in my Morbihan France and really enjoy it, Here they cost less than 7 euros !!!

Bodega Volver, Paso a Paso cosecha Tierra de Castilla, 100% Tempranillo Intense ruby colour, aromas of mature red fruit, fresh in the mouth with lively tannins but mature enough to give a sweet, pleasant sensation in the mouth webpage : https://bodegasvolver.com/nuestros-vinos/paso-a-paso-cosecha/?lang=en

Venta Morales ,Tierra De Castilla 100% Tempranillo, This riper version of Tempranillo shows black cherries and blueberries, along with sandalwood and sawdust from American oak. The finish reflects its warm region origins with some raisins and dusty earth lingering on the palate. Finca Las Cruces, Casa de los Pinos, Provincia de Cuenca , distributed by Bodega Volver as above.

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! Summer is here with all that heat wave as well. Time to enjoy sunny Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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