Posts tagged ‘France’

May 16, 2022

The Galleria Alberto Sordi of Rome !!

So here I am back at Rome, ok this is a big city we criss cross it with buses, metro, and lots of walks, long distances to soak in and see up close as much as possible. I have been here several times on business trips, but lately came with the family on personal vacation and rented apartments in the city, our favorite was in Nomentano district.

You come here for the big monuments and historical pieces even thus Italy and Rome are loaded of them, and coming from regions that have plenty and the most visited places on Earth, when it was time for Rome ,we settle for the off the beaten paths, the vast spaces of its squares, the food and of course the shopping.

Oh yes shopping is big here too, and plenty of it. However, we did not see all the big names and visit every fashion store or hardly any. We went for the architecturally stunning, chic luxury, and grand coffee and reading music games places. These we found in Piazza Colonna and the Galleria Alberto Sordi of Rome!

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The history of the gallery dates back to 1872 and is linked to the project of enlargement of the Piazza Colonna during the installation of the Camera dei Deputati (congress of deputies) in the near Palazzo di Montecitorio. Its final project was approved only in 1911, and after a long work site, it was inaugurated in 1922 as Galleria Colonna.  Closed and abandoned in the 1980-1990’s, its work to restore the original decoration of the gallery-according to documents kept from the city archives from the mosaic of the floor, to the canopy and to all the decorations and stuccoes of the walls and luminaires.

The Galleria Alberto Sordi was inaugurated in 2003 and now bears the name of the famous Roman actor who died in the same year. Today, open every day from 10 to 22 hours without interruption, the gallery houses many fashion boutiques, caffè, and the famous Feltrinelli bookstore.  We came here looking for the bookstore and found the Massimo Dutti clothing store as well one of our favorites.  The Feltrinelli Libri e Musica is awesome and worth a detour me think.

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Four floors dedicated to music, books, films, magazines and videogames for every taste, budget and occasion. A café where to have a coffee or an aperitivo before you plunge back into the new items on offer. An event space where every day there are meetings, presentations of books, films, records, current affairs debates and photographic exhibitions.  The coffee shop in the first floor (2nd US) is just worth the detour alone, and while gazing at a fine book, or gleaming of your new purchase CD’s DvD’s or games will bring a pleasant ambiance to have it sip it slowly and enjoy the wonderful architecture in grand style! 

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The official Galleria Alberto Sordihttps://www.galleriaalbertosordi.com/?lingua=eng

The Rome tourist office on the Galleria Alberto Sordi: https://www.turismoroma.it/en/places/galleria-alberto-sordi-formerly-galleria-colonna

There you go folks, a grand coffee stop, plenty of beautiful books to read, and a gorgeous shopping center, that is Galleria Alberto Sordi of Rome! A wise shopping stop for all the glory of Rome! Hope you enjoy it as I

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

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May 16, 2022

A special post on Paris ,Versailles, and Fontainebleau !!!

A few years back, I was in a huge popular travel forum and decide to invite the folks over to see the big 3 of my belle France. As the site was on its way down and eventually closed out to another major travel forum, the participation was small. However, I have great memories of sharing travel tips with folks all over the world , and some have become close friends still after many years. I like to update this post with new personal pictures to give credit to them and me. Hope you enjoy the pictoral and theme as I.

Oh yes the big 3 well, they are Paris, Versailles, and Fontainebleau. Here I go folks, my treat.

I did wrote quite a bit of travel tips and advice on a couple of big travel forums besides my blog, and tried to do doing something special in June 2015. For those reading my blog and passing by Paris in June 24,25,26, 2015 next I am hosting a tour of several places in Paris (where I worked), Versailles (Where I lived), and Fontainebleau (my first place visited in France and my wife’s region). The visit was to be as everyone pays its own and visit as much as they wish to visit on each day ,two days or all three days. I will have a place to meet on each day and we will go from there as a group. The basic visits were explained as such:

June 24th 2015, Fontainebleau

We met at the castle main horseshoe entrance by 9AM as I will be driving  by car;  you can come a bit late if delays on public transport it will be fine. We will be able to see for the first time the apartment of the Pope.  The Musée Napoléon 1er , prince apartments, portraits of pageantry, sumptuous weapons, luxury works of art but also a reconstituted tent evoking the life of the Emperor in the countryside.  Also,  small apartments, the Chinese Museum, the jeu de paume, the Gallery of furniture… and is a very precious decorative arts museum. I did got a couple into the Salle de la Belle Cheminée which off to the public but I have done conferences there. This is Belle-Cheminée du Primatice  building by the cour de la Fontaine. And of course, the 3 gardens styles.

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June 25th 2015 ,Paris

We met by the statue of Gustave Eiffel on the Nord Pylon . Going to the underground of the Tour Eiffel, (price will be around 20 euros per person) and to get it I need 10 persons min.) We did not have enough people so each paid its own, and did visit the Chapelle Expiatoire where the remains of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were first place and now a restful place and private of the Bourbon family. Go into some of the historical monuments in the Parisian deluxe Hotels done by Charles Garnier (opéra etc fame). We have the Chapelle Expiatoire open ok for Thursday June 25th so depending on when the tour Eiffel can fit us we will do this first or second.  We will do this as time permitting.

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June 26th , Versailles

We met in front at the Place d’Armes outside castle. We saw the whole of the castle (private apartments of the kings),the Royal Chapel ,and Opéra theater, then out into the Trianons, and Hameau of M-A, with a passport pass 18€, this includes in addition, the Great water shows,musical gardens that will be playing in June and temporary exhibitions. I  walked them to my jogging trails and family picnics beyond the Grand Canal, into the farm at St Cyr l’école that fed the palace in its heydays and still operated by descendants since 1741.  I had some surprises but needed min of 10 persons which was not to be instead we walked past many of the off the beaten path monuments of Versailles.

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The idea was to get a minimum of 10 persons which I thought was doable, but the morale was low in the forum and got only 5. Anyway it stayed as a memorable tour and personal presentation. I will put my pictures here.  And we did finally met in person! Hopefully,one day this can be done with the folks visiting from the blog….You let me know.

The official Fontainebleau tourist officehttps://www.fontainebleau-tourisme.com/en/welcome/

The official Paris tourist officehttps://en.parisinfo.com/

The official Versailles tourist officehttps://en.versailles-tourisme.com/

There you go folks, a memorable day and a great contact in travel forums, hopefully imitated from my blog one day; it’s up to you. If we do, you pay for the monuments my tour is free. The big 3 is awesome , the best of my belle France! Many nice times spent in Fontainebleau, Paris, and Versailles! Hope you enjoy the post and something to think about

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

May 15, 2022

One more time visiting Meaux !!!

As nostalgia sets in on this month of May, I like to update this older post bringing back many memories of my life in my belle France, We were arriving at the end of 2018 , I am glad is over, not a good year for me, as you know, still vivid memories of my dear late wife Martine. I drove this week to her mom’s house,(since passed away too), the grandmother Yvette of my boys and the rest of aunts and cousins in Seine et Marne dept 77. It was a memorable trip of many nice good memories of family visits that will be with me forever.

This one of course is my driving  love the roads and my car is my second home. So therefore, this was my round trip of December 2018, a personal one! On the way there I took the old fashion road , the one from Paris took first to meet my wife; now coming from the Morbihan dept 56 it was the N165 to the N166 to past Rennes and then the A84 to the exit at Fougéres to get on the N12 all the way to Versailles by the N186 , did a brief tour of my beloved city in my old neighborhood , had a walk with my dog Rex, and then kept going on the D985 by Villa d’Avray all the way thru my old job hunt at Suresnes crossing the Pont de Suresnes into the allée de longchamp in the Bois de Boulogne, to the boulevard Périphérique BP into the Porte Maillot and follow the BP all the way to the Porte de Pantin to take the old reliable and slow N3. The road taken to visit my then girlfriend and first time taken it since then !! Just for my boys to see it !

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The N3 or nationale 3 is going thru every town next to Paris and every red light you can imagine but it is the old road I took to meet my later wife in 1990! We used to come by the Porte de Pantin, parked by the Church St Germain in Pantin, free parking and take there the metro into Paris at the Eglise de Pantin line 5! taking us to Gare de l’Est train station and sometimes taking the train back to Meaux in Seine et Marne her native town.  This was the old days, now I would not recommend novice or tourists to take this road or traject.

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This N3 takes you right into Meaux and and then the town sightseeing to rearch my inlaws in the tiny village of Chambry right by the Battle of the Marne WWI area and the wonderful Museum of the Great War next to the territory of the USA in the Monument Américain.  I reach the town by the country side on a great wheat field !!! (see posts).

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The trip with the stops for my father who is on diabetes medication at 83 (still at 87) and my dog Rex (now 4 yrs old) pit stops plus our eating and sightseeing a trip that normaly took 6 hrs this time we did 10 hrs of car driving all by yours truly and I love it!!! Glad always to see the family !

The way back was easier the modern way. I left Chambry thru Meaux on the A140 to connect with the A4 past Disneyland Paris (which is in Seine et Marne dept  77). I went straight into the BP=boulevard périphérique of Paris , easy (dont read all those scary cats transport books) , I continue into the A86 towards Versailles and this will bring you right into the N12 back to Fougéres, and then the A84 to Rennes and then N166 to Vannes and the N165 to our new home easy 6h30 hrs even stopping for lunch and walks of Rex!

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The autoroutes de France or highways with toll price infohttps://www.autoroutes.fr/fr/les-principaux-tarifs.htm

The ecology gov of France site on the 20 autoroutes each on pdf file (see SANEF)https://www.ecologie.gouv.fr/societes-concessionnaires-dautoroutes-sca

My best trafic info site infotrafichttps://www.infotrafic.com/home

The Sytadin for trafic around Paris and region Ïle de Francehttp://www.sytadin.fr/

The Meaux country tourist office on things to seehttps://www.tourisme-paysdemeaux.com/en/node/3386

There you go folks, some road pictures for my memory bank , for the memories to linger ,and already looking forward to do again to Meaux and surroundings, this time by more normal roads like the return trip above, Again ,thanks for reading me over the years since November 26 ,2010 !!!

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

May 15, 2022

In rememberance of Villetta, Malta!

Looking at my vault of pictures, found one special. The title is in rememberance of Villetta, Malta. My dear late wife Martine visited (see pic) and we talked about it with so many choices I could never visited but have her picture as memorial of the visit and her. As I have said, my blog is my lifé’s history and that of my family , I will post this now. Hope you enjoy the post and do get to visit and if have tell me about it in comments. Thanks

Valletta is the tiny capital of Malta, an island nation in the Mediterranean Sea. The walled city was erected in the 1500s on a peninsula by the Knights of St. John, a Roman Catholic order. The city is known for its museums, palaces and imposing churches.

The Grand Master of the Order of Malta Jean de La Valette gave his name to the Maltese capital, If Laparelli is the author of the plan of the city, Cassar is in fact the main architect. The first building constructed by him was the Church of Notre-Dame-de-la-Victoire where the remains of Jean de Valette lay pending the construction of the conventual church of the Order. The peninsula is surrounded by two natural harbors with several bays: Marsamxett Harbor to the north, and Grand Harbor to the south. The point of the peninsula, to the east, is occupied by Fort Saint-Elmo and Valletta opens to the west by the City Gate on the Place des Tritons at Il-Furjana.

Some of the things to see there and discussed are :

The St. John’s Co-Cathedral.,baroque landmark, whose opulent interior houses Caravaggio’s masterpiece, the Decollation of St John the Baptist, The Palace of the Grand Masters, Upper Barrakka Gardens & Lower Barrakka Gardens, Republic Street and Merchant Street, Casa Rocca Piccola, Manoel Theater, the National Archaeological Museum, and the National Museum of Fine Arts. Unesco has listed 320 monuments in Valletta over an area of ​​55 hectares, an exceptional concentration in the world.

Malta Martine visiting Malta

Valletta is served by Malta International Airport, which is located eight km from the city, The official Malta airport : https://www.maltairport.com/

The city of Valletta on its heritage/history : http://www.cityofvalletta.org/content.aspx?id=46634

The official Malta tourist officehttps://www.visitmalta.com/

There you go folks, in rememberance of Villetta, Malta. Perhaps my first post on places not been, but worth it. This is Sunday May 15, International Families Day; the bond that never goes away. Hope you enjoy the post as I writing it. Hopefully, one day I will walk the same paths in Villetta, Malta.

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

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May 15, 2022

The Villa Sainte Hortense of Rochefort en Terre!!

And voilà, a wonderful find in my vault of many pictures many unclassified over the years! We have been to this town many many occasions especially on Christmas time where the best market in Brittany is held in my opinion. Several posts on my blog but left this picturesque house at the entrance to the town which needs to be told more in details. Ahh Rochefort en Terre is in my beautiful Morbihan, of my lovely Bretagne, and in my belle France.

Let me then, tell you a whole lot more of the Villa Sainte Hortense of Rochefort en Terre!!

The Villa Sainte-Hortense, is a nice property from the “Belle Epoque”, inserted in a green setting of more than one hectare fully enclosed, just two hundred meters from the historic heart of the small town of Rochefort en Terre. This property originally belonged to Louise Mougeat. A wealthy heiress from a family in Finistère (dept29) , she had discovered the exceptional site of Rochefort through her friend and distant relative, Marie Maitrot de Varennes, who lived there. This is what decided her, in 1898, to acquire land in the town, to build this house there. The residence, was completed in 1902, as well as the stables and the park which surrounds it. Louise Mougeat, an orphan at a very young age, had been raised by her uncle and aunt, Léon and Hortense Bouchant, hence the name of the house.

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Combining classicism and modernity, this imposing but elegant residence is typical of the architecture of these large villas built at the end of the 19C, and the beginning of the 20C by a well-to-do bourgeois in many holiday resorts. Rising over four levels, the main body of the building is flanked by a hexagonal turret housing a vast wooden staircase. The first level, in the semi-basement, houses the service rooms. The second level the reception rooms. The third and fourth levels are the bedrooms, seven in total of varying sizes, including one on the top floor, embellished with a granite terrace overlooking the park. From its origins, the Villa Sainte-Hortense was equipped with a running water system and central hot air heating: it was, at that time, the only house in Rochefort to have such modernism. A few years later, an elevator was even installed in the center of the stairwell! But this equipment, unfortunately not very aesthetic and which was no longer in working order, was dismantled by the current owners who preferred to restore the beautiful and vast stairwell to its original appearance. This house is now inhabited year-round by the owners.

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A dependency of the Villa Sainte-Hortense, the stables date from the same period. This beautiful stone construction with a carved granite facade strangely evokes, thanks to its overhanging roof and its earthenware frieze, Asian architecture. With a floor area of ​​75 square meters, the building has two levels: the first, closed by two large wooden gates, housed the horse boxes on one side, and the garage for the carts on the other. The second was a large attic which was accessed by a narrow internal staircase. It was in 2004 that the owners undertook the rehabilitation of these places. On the first level, in the stable boxes, is a bookstore/Library run by the owners. On the other side, the second level has direct and level access to the park: this is where the Sainte-Hortense gite is located.(not visited).

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The park that surrounds the property forms an elongated triangle of 1.2 hectares. The enclosure wall, made of local slate stone, runs along the street for 300 metres. At each of the two ends, large wrought iron gates allow direct access on one side to the center of the village, on the other to the surrounding countryside. Inside, the many beeches, oaks, chestnuts and hazelnut trees rub shoulders with species less common in our regions, such as the cedars of Lebanon or the Himalayas, hemp palms or ginkyo biloba, two species originating from China.

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The official Villa Sainte Hortense gîte with historyhttps://www.gite-sainte-hortense.fr/accueil/la-villa-sainte-hortense/

The official Bookstore/Librarie Sainte Hortensehttps://www.librairie-sainte-hortense.fr/

There you go folks, a dandy spot in my beautiful Rochefort en Terre, a must to visit while in the area. The Villa Sainte Hortense is another architectural jewel and nice history to boot. Hope you have enjoy the post as I.

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

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May 14, 2022

The Castle of Rochefort en Terre!!

I am taking you to a popular town but for Christmas season, However, the rest of the year it can call an off the beaten path site, and we love on both times, Let me update for you and me the Castle of Rochefort en Terre !!. The town is in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely region of Bretagne. I have been here many many times over the years but only one post specifically on the castle and worth the detour me think.

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A first castle was built on the initiative of the lords of Rochefort on the rocky spur overlooking the Gueuzon stream in the 12C. It passed, by marriage, in 1374 to the powerful family of Rieux. It ends up partially leveled by order of the king of France Charles VIII in 1488 during the war of succession of Brittany. Again, the castle was looted during the Wars of the League in 1594 by the troops of the Duke of Merceur, Partially rebuilt by the Larlan family at the beginning of the 17C, it was looted again in July 1793 after the battle in March, during the French revolution, leaving it almost entirely destroyed. The only surviving building, the stable, from the 17C was transformed into a dwelling. The site is acquired by the Juhel family in 1843 and will remain the property until its sale in 1907 to the American painter Alfred Klots.

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The castle of Rochefort en Terre was built on an elongated pentagonal layout which has survived throughout the history of the site. In 1867 only five towers and a few sections of ramparts remained from the medieval castle. The current mansion, in neo-Gothic style, is built on the outbuildings of the 17C, a body of building at right angles. A first tower, joining the two wings was built before 1914. The skylights, Gothic and Renaissance styles were taken from the castle of Keralio (in Noyal-Muzillac) ; just like the chapel, reassembled in the park of the castle in 1917. The second tower, at the end of the south wing, was completed in January 1927.

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From 1907, Alfred Klots, owner of the Castle, invites painters in the city and sets up tourist activities. He had the idea in 1911 to launch a competition throughout the city: that of the “flowered windows”, which became over time that of the “flower villages” or Village Fleuri de France today! YES! This American adopted by the local Rochefortais died in 1939. Alfred Klots was born in Saint Germain en Laye (Yvelines 78) in 1875, from an American family of Baltimore, MD ,that practiced the silk trade. Very early reveals his artistic talent, this young painter will follow most of his training in New York before coming to live in Paris in 1901. It was then that he fell in love with Brittany. He buys the Castle or rather what’s left of it as it was in ruins and only the stables had been converted into a dwelling in the 19C. In successive stages, he will revive it and it will become his castle in Brittany. In 1918-1919 he opened his home to the American Red Cross , which makes it a convalescent center for soldiers , which would be worth to him to receive the Legion of Honor after the war.

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His son Trafford Klots born in 1913, also devoted himself to painting. In 1940 when the war broke out he created the American Fund for relief to the Bretons, before engaging as an officer in the U S Army. In 1944, back in Rochefort en Terre, he finds intact the Castle and its collections saved thanks to the dedication of the gatekeeper. Trafford Klots will be made a Knight of the Legion of Honor by France. He died in 1976. Today, the Castle is a property of the town of Rochefort en Terre that makes it live another way for our greatest pleasure.as a cultural center. At the slate time of the Sundial, their present, allied to the past has become an invaluable gift. that of a love story between Brittany and America! Nice story indeed!!!

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The Klots family rests in the cemetery of Rochefort en Terre with the  watchman and his maids. What recognition!

The city of Rochefort en Terre on the castlehttp://www.rochefort-en-terre.fr/le-chateau/

The Rochefort en Terre tourist office on the castle and its historyhttps://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/sinspirer/culture-et-patrimoine/visite-audio-du-chateau-de-rochefort-en-terre/

The Rochefort en Terre tourist office oin its heritagehttps://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/explorer/voyager-dans-le-temps/rochefort-en-terre-petite-cite-de-caractere/

There you go folks, a wonderful town of Rochefort en Terre and its nice castle . A  pretty medieval and super during the Christmas holidays to New Year’s town. The castle is tops and see my other post as it has an adjoining museum good for the whole family or a romantic getaway!

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

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May 14, 2022

Plobannalec-Lesconil !!!

And going into the confines of my lovely Bretagne, and the Finistére dept 29 ,we got into another cave of ocean beauty , lovely by the coast, and nice monuments. Let me update this older post and tell you about the fusion of the towns of Lesconil and Plobannalec into oneWe took a winding ride by car on the N165 by reaching the D44 and later the D102 roads the town of Lesconil. 

 The new town of Plobannalec-Lesconil  is typical coastal town, in the south of the Bigouden country. It is close to La Torche, the shopping town of Pont-L’Abbé and the magnificent natural sites of the Bigouden region, the town is at the heart of the south coast. And what a beautiful south coast it is!!  The Quimper train station is 23 km from Plobannalec and 26 km from Lesconil and the Quimper-Bretagne airport is 19 km from Plobannalec and 22 km from Lesconil. Of course for info only as we always come by car.

The town is made up of two agglomerations: the initial borough of Plobannalec, inland, rural and laidback, and the fishing port of Lesconil, further south, maritime tradition and quant, which began to develop in the mid-19C, which declined from the 1970s, and whose trawl fishing activity disappears in the early years of the 21C. The territory of the town forms a vast inclined plane towards the ocean and, from almost all points, the sea appears on the horizon. The coastal part of the town is, outside the port, quite narrow, essentially comprising the goudoul rock and a few other rocks with picturesque shapes. Mostly in Lesconil you have a fisherman’s harbor paradise. Here you have all the action around the harbor with lots of fisherman’s boat even if the trade has almost disappear, you can still see plenty of boats and the off island of Men ar Groas visible from the harbor deck. There is a lively square with plenty of restaurants and shops, You can even see the friendly seagull that came to welcome me in the harbor looking for food seems so used to that and is not good to do so please.

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The first significant event was the creation, between 1804 and 1806, of a semaphore on the coast, about 600 meters west of the port, decided at the beginning of the 19C by order of Vice-Admiral Decrès.  At the end of WWII, the semaphore was abandoned. A lighthouse was built in 1905 on the islet of Men Ar Groas, the lighthouse has since been connected to the mainland.

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In the first half of the 19C, the initial port of Lesconil was only a beaching port in a small natural cove offering only a precarious shelter in good weather only to boats, which had to take refuge in heavy weather in the ” Ster Nibilic ”, small arm of the Ster estuary (still used today for small boats), or, for larger ones, in Loctudy The current port is created on the other side of the overland, in a rocky cove called Pors Carn, for the time being open to the sea. The kick-off of its foundation was, in August 1878, the decision of the SCSN (today the SNSM, me follow as donor) to build a lifeboat station In 1879 , the shelter and the hold, 90 meters long; are finished. They can accommodate the Foubert de Bizy lifeboat (named after the donor), a 10.10-meter straight canoe.

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The port of Lesconil remains exposed to offshore swells, and is not equipped with any quay. Unloading boats is often done by canoe. Rock is present everywhere in the cove during low tides, and the rocky harbor remains a concern for several decades. Lesconil, like the other ports of the Pays Bigouden, was very affected by the sardine crisis of the first years of the 20C, The activity goes from fishing for sardines and mackerel to that for crustaceans (lobsters and langostines) and the net. A mole-shelter, 333 meters long, was built between 1907 and 1914 and allowed the port to develop its activities considerably . After WWI, 8 large sloops practiced lobster fishing. Lesconil was the 4th fishing port of the Pays Bigouden. In 1949, it mainly fish crustaceans and, in priority, Norway lobster. The port still has only nine trawlers, but in the 1950s their number continued to grow. The decline in professional fishing was accentuated by the closure of the Lesconil auction in 2008, the few remaining fishing boats now landing their fish in Guilvinec.

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The plage des Sables Blancs beach to the east, opposite Anse de Lesconil, belongs to the town of Loctudy, and the beaches of Kersauz and Squividan, to the west, to that of Treffiagat. There are only two small beaches on the same territory of the town (one at the foot of the semaphore, the other of artificial creation, between the port and the Ster). But the most popular are the Sables Blanc east of the Ster, a kilometer long beach, in the territory of Loctudy, and the Grande Plage in the west, in the territory of Treffiagat.

Other than the sea, the main monument to see in all this ocean is the Church Notre Dame de la Mer . The creation of the church of Lesconil at the beginning of the 20C is linked to the will to implant the Catholic religion in the town with protestant tendencies. Protestantism took root in Lesconil, thanks to the efforts of William-Jenkyn Jones, Welsh pastor of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Foreign Mission, who arrived in 1893. On August 15, 1924, a Catholic parish was created in Lesconil. The Sainte-Anne chapel becomes Church Notre-Dame-des-Flots ou de la mer (waves or sea).

The Church of Saint-Alour built from 1875 to 1879 of the parish of Plobannalec.  The church was consecrated on 11 June 1879. Saint  Alour is the third Bishop of Cornouaille who lived in the 5C. This church replaced a 16C church, some parts of which were even back in the 13C. The modern stained glass contains Saint  Alour, Saint Guénolé (Saint Guénolé sends Saint Tudy and Saint Alour to preach religion in the Bigouden country), Saint Alain, Saint Louis and San Sebastian. The Church contains a painting of the Assumption (copy of Murillo! ), a painting of the marriage of Saint Catherine (copy of the Correggio! ), a reliquary of the 15C pediculate with inscription  of “Saint Quido “, and a reliquary of the 16C in vermeil supported by four balusters with statues of the Savior, the Blessed Virgin, St. Sebastian and St. Louis. The closing of the baptismal font dates from the 18C.  The Church houses the statues of Saint Alour 18C, San Sebastian 17C, Saint Peter, Saint Herbot, the Blessed Virgin 18C, and a Pietà 15C. 

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One big event here every summer, Fête de La Langoustine or large prawn festival. Organized every year on the 2nd Saturday of August in the port of Lesconil. Usually from 10h-13h check it out as last two years cancel due to covid.

The city of Plobannalec-Lesconil on the Church Saint Alour and its stained glasshttps://www.plobannalec-lesconil.bzh/decouvrir/la-commune/le-vitrail-aux-morts-de-leglise-de-saint-alour/

The city of Plobannalec Lesconil on its heritage https://www.plobannalec-lesconil.bzh/decouvrir/la-commune/histoire-et-patrimoine/

The Finistére dept 29 tourist office on the port of Lesconilhttps://www.toutcommenceenfinistere.com/port-lesconil-finistere

There you folks, a general overview of a wonderful area plenty more to see I was touching the bases this is a gorgeous area that need to be visited more, a lot more. Plobannalec-Lesconil or for me rather Lesconil is pretty, and I will be back soon. Hope you enjoy the post and come on over !

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

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May 13, 2022

The manufacture des Tabacs of Morlaix

So let me take back to my region of Brittany and something off the beaten path but worth stopping by especially as it is going thru a transformation that will be super for all to see. I have done briefs on it in my posts on Morlaix but feel now deserves a post of its own. I will be telling you about the Manufacture des Tabacs or the Tabacco Factory of Morlaix. This is a group of buildings located on the quai de Léon. And of course, Morlaix is in the Finistére dept 29 of the lovely region of Bretagne. This is an update with whole new text using same pictures. I have plenty of posts on Morlaix, so check them out.

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The manufacture des Tabacs was built in four stages: the main buildings, subdivided into three groups (manufacture, stores, logis) were built between 1736 and 1740 according to the plans of Jean-François Blondel, member of the Royal Academy of Architecture. During the inter-war period, four new buildings were added, crowned by a concrete frame imitating green wood.  

A bit of old history I like

The Manufacture des Tabacs de Morlaix must be one of the oldest in France. It already existed in 1689, because there are records of the hospice, that the children of this establishment worked and made ankles for the manufacture. In 1667, the Monarchy having reserved the monopoly of the manufacture of tobacco, leased it to Sr. Jean Breton. In 1718 this monopoly returned to the general farm; it was then that it was established a factory in Morlaix.  From 1723 to 1747, the East India Company owned the tobaccos, the company was obliged to build a new building, which rose on the Quai de Leon instead called the Clos-Marant. The new Royal factory was completed in 1736-40.

Until the decree of the National Assembly, dated March 20, 1791, under the French revolution, which abolished the monopoly, recognized to all French the right to cultivate, manufacture and sell tobacco. The tobacco factory was closed and a large number of workers were out of work.  The buildings, which were almost entirely rebuilt in 1868-1871, are immense, the courtyards spacious, the workshops vast and well ventilated, but the whole is without architectural character.

The Manufacture des Tabacs produces snuff, chew and smoke until the dawn of the 21C. The advent of the steam induces the construction of new premises between 1868 and 1871. Four other buildings surmounted by a concrete frame, called “the Cathedral”, are erected between the two wars.  At the height of its activity, around 1880, the Manu employs more than 1,800 people. First manual (hence the name of Manufacture), the production is mechanized from the late 19C. Machines are improving and the number of jobs is decreasing. Production begins to be delocalized. It is then that a large fire seriously damages part of the site. The announced closure of the Manu was experienced here as a historical, social and economic wrench.

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There is a future for all wonderful beautiful things in my belle France! Here in Morlaix is tops !

The Manufacture des Tabacs that for 250 years was a main motor of fabrication of cigars etc, today it is undergoing renovations for a whole new start with the arts in mind,  A reconversion project was created under SEW . In order to make this project feasible, work is needed to rehabilitate 3600 m2 of this historic monument. This site also includes the restoration of 14 preserved machines and 12 mills to grate as well as the creation of an attractive scenography, Including the installation of “Espace des Sciences”, a unique science center in France . This real palace of discovery will have the mission of promoting the heritage and history of the Manufacture and promoting scientific and industrial culture through exhibitions, workshops, events and conferences for all. The new SEW project stands for : The S for the cinema La Salamandre, the E & the C for the Entresort/Centre National pour la Création Adaptée and the W de Wart, producer of contemporary music and organizer of the Panoramas festival. The new cultural center of Morlaix SEW webpage : https://www.sew-morlaix.com/

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The city of Morlaix on the tobacco factory reconversion: https://www.morlaix-communaute.bzh/Visiter-Sortir/La-Manufacture-des-Tabacs/La-reconversion-de-la-Manufacture-des-Tabacs

The Morlaix Bay tourist office on Morlaix : https://www.baiedemorlaix.bzh/en/your-stay/morlaix/

There you go folks, i hope you have the chance to stop by this wonderful town of Morlaix, we like it and have memorable moments here with the family. As said, we will return to see the Manufacture des Tabacs or Tobacco factory fully restore !

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

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May 13, 2022

The Blancs Sablons beach of Le Conquet!

This is beautiful seafaring area of my lovely Bretagne. I have several posts on Le Conquet, but looking into my vault do not have these pictures so,therefore, let me tell you more of the Plage Les Blancs Sablons of Le Conquet. Usually do not do a single post on a beach but this one is very nice and worth the post and detour, Hope you enjoy it as I.

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The Le Conquet is in the department of Finistère 29, in the lovely region of Bretagne. The presqu’ïle de Kermorvan peninsula, connected by a very narrow isthmus to the mainland, has a fairly rugged cuminant relief at an altitude of 30 meters. The town of Le Conquet is served by the D 789 road coming from Brest, via Plougonvelin (my route), by the D 67 coming from Saint-Renan as well as the D 85 coming from the Pointe de Saint-Mathieu , Plougonvelin.

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The magnificent Blancs-Sablons beach, 2.5 km long stretch of white sand extended by a dune area. Exposed to north-westerly winds, this is an excellent surf spot. There is a huge beautiful sandy beach after a long passageway of sand and wood stairs down to the beach. The nice soft white sand beach is awesome and we love it!  The Plage Les Blancs Sablons is a wild place,also conducive to swimming and fishing on foot. You can find mussels, abalones and winkles there. From the Blancs Sablons, you will have a magnificent view of the Kermorvan peninsula and in particular of Fort de l’Ilette.

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At the Blancs Sablons, Vauban had to defend the beach from an attempted landing… targeting the arsenal and the city of Brest. For lack of means, the fortification started in 1689, Taking over old defensive works, it is essentially composed of palisades, entrenchments, cannon batteries and redoubts to shelter the men… These works are inspired by standard plans (for the guardhouses, hangars, stores and entrenchments …) and general recommendations established by Vauban commander of the area of Brest in 1694.

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The town of Le Conquet on things to do / see: https://www.leconquet.bzh/que-faire-que-voir/

The fav site plages tv on the Plage Les Blancs Sablons of Le Conquet : https://www.plages.tv/detail/plage-des-blancs-sablons-le-conquet-29217

The Iroise area tourist office on Le Conquethttps://www.iroise-bretagne.bzh/decouvrir/actualites/le-conquet-trebabu-53830

There you go folks, an off the beaten path in glory seas, worth the detour to Le Conquet and the Presqu’ïle de Kermorvan. A beautiful beach of Les Blancs Sablons for all to enjoy it, One of the surprise beaches you will find in my Bretagne.

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

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May 12, 2022

One more time in Saint Goustan !!!

And yes one more time in Saint Goustan, such a sublime spot in my beautiful MorbihanSince finding this spot when I first move to the Morbihan back in May 2011; I felled in love with Saint Goustan , a harbor district of Auray. I have several posts on the city , and it just won’t stop coming. Therefore, I just want to give you another glance of this wonderful harbor from my recent visit ,yesterday to Saint Goustan, Auray is in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne ,right on the ria of Auray river that continues flowing into the Gulf of Morbihan and then into the Atlantic Ocean! It is only 14 km (about 9 miles) from my house !

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I was there yesterday to have one of those moment when former collegues decide to have a drink and share old memorable stories. Is all we have left once retired and I did it early to enjoy more of the short life we have! Anyway, this is my latest tour of Saint Goustan!

As my collegue was not from this area, I told him to meet at the fame Place Saint Sauveur right at the harbor, and go from there.  Place Saint-Sauveur with its curved cobblestones is framed by opulent half-timbered and corbelled houses. The steep alleys, interspersed with steps, attack the district, lined with half-timbered facades. The residences of the 15C and 16C display a respectable allure, which in the evening slums in the rustle of the café terraces. Indeed sublime, recommended to all readers, visitors and would be residents.

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Once parked along the Auray river banks, we met at the Place Saint Sauveur as schedule and decided where to have an apéro or apéritif drink. I suggested the lovely L’Armoric (see post) which is a regular venue for me and it was ok. We sat down with some Grimbergen blonde beers and talk the evening away from old stories and where our other collegues are gone and went. The talk was long and the drink extended , at the end we talk for 2,5 hrs and no food just beers!! Lovely, and we departed with promise of another meeting.

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As of my new life, these are the gracious moments we have to connect with what we did well and was fun as well as the friendship gathered over the years. Until next time by sublime Saint Goustan!

The city of Auray on its heritage see circuit Saint Goustan: https://www.auray.fr/Ma-ville/Patrimoine/Les-monuments-historiques

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Saint Goustan: https://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/the-port-of-saint-goustan-in-auray

There you go folks, a dandy in my backyard. Saint Goustan is like nothing have change from the 16C, buildings, streets, you name it. One of the best out and about place closest to our home. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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