Posts tagged ‘France’

July 29, 2021

Houdan in the Yvelines 78, nice!

Now this is off the beaten path town in a vastly popular department 78 Yvelines just west of Paris with the capital city of Versailles! Houdan is south west and worth the detour me think. This is an update of an older post sort of an introduction, and I hope you enjoy as I. This was my old hunting ground…and I have come back as nostalgia sets in always. I have written bits of pieces on it, however, need to tell you more.

I like to tell you about the nice historical city of Houdan. Now I bring you to the heart of the Yvelines; visitors should dare more to come over and out of Paris! This is another example of a town that is not portrayed as Royal, but it is, go figure! .  It is Houdan, 43 km from Versailles. The nice road N12 (free road) passes by the town as well as the Paris Montparnasse direction Granville train line that has stop at Houdan.

The bit of history ,I like tells us that Houdan belongs to the Lords of Montfort from the 10C and later was added to the Duchy of Brittany!!! by marriage. It was disputed between the English and finally entered the Royal domain with the marriage of king Louis XII and Anne of Brittany/Bretagne. Given by king Louis XIV to the Luynes family in exchange for lands closer to Versailles, and stayed with them until the French revolution.

The fair or festival of Saint-Matthieu is done here every year for 2-3 days on the last weekend of September (Saint-Matthieu saint day is Sept 21). It is one of the oldest fairs in Europe with the first one going back to 1065, by the Count Amaury II de Montfort.

If not at the above festival in town, go to see the St James and St Christopher Church or église Saint-Jacques et Saint-Christophe gothic style built in the 15-16C with a renaissance choir, and an organ originally from 1739.  The first church of Houdan, at this site, was built in the 11C under the surname of Saint-Jacques-le-Major (St James the Mayor). It was rebuilt from the beginning of the 16C with the donations of the inhabitants against promises of indulgences. In 1510, the surname of Saint Christopher was added to that of Saint James. Private donation funding explains the length of the work: they ended in the early 18C. With a construction spanning three centuries, the Church of Houdan syncretised the transition from Flamboyant Gothic to Renaissance style. See the tracery of flamboyant style on the windows, and the Renaissance capitals on the pillars of the transept. The transept has only one arm and the upper part of the steeple is missing; probably for lack of funding. The Church of Saint-Jacques-le-Major-Saint-Christophe, 50 meters long, with a fairly stripped interior, is nonetheless worth the visit for its juxtaposition of the various artistic styles, from the gothic walls to the altarpiece of the high altar of 1672, not to mention a 1582 fresco. The canopy is made of white stained glass where fragments of 16C stained glass were inserted, some with a very beautiful greyness.

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Also, the tower or donjon very visible as you entered the city by car .It is what remained of the old fortifications been built in the 13C by Count Amaury III de Montfort; a massive tower alone in the western part of the town with 25 meters high and 16 meters of diameter, flank by four smaller towers of 4,8 meters in diameter; it is used today as a water tower.

houdan donjon-fortified-tower-houdan

The Houdan tourist office on the Churchhttps://www.tourisme-pays-houdanais.fr/ent/discover/built-heritage/religious-heritage.html

The official Donjon of Houdan webpage: https://www.ledonjondehoudan.fr/index.php/le-donjon-de-houdan/

The Yvelines dept 78 tourist office on Houdan :https://www.sortir-yvelines.fr/Art-et-culture/Art-et-culture-dans-les-Yvelines/visite-decouverte-yvelines/visiter-houdan-village-medieval

This is an overlook town for those visiting the Paris/Versailles corridor and as it is still an off the beaten path area that visitors should try to visit more if can. There is so much to see, I know!!! Anyway, Houdan is nice and lovely city center around the castle and donjon tower, the market right next to the Church all around you! Hope you enjoy the post and Houdan!

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

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July 28, 2021

Chateau de La Roche Guyon!

And this was a historical visit lol! Actually passed by it several times and never got in until one day we had time and finally went in!! It was a memorable visit and we remember fondly especially the garden with my dear late wife Martine. Thereafter we came several times. Therefore, here is my take on the Chateau de La Roche Guyon!

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This is an updated older post. It is always good to have nice memories of the Castle of La Roche Guyon! Let me tell you a bit about La Roche Guyon  in dept 95 Val-d’Oise in the Île-de-France region. Very nicely along the A13 by car, direction from Paris on the autoroute A13 of Normandie, direction Rouen, at Mantes exit 14 take it followed direction Limay than Vétheuil./La Roche Guyon or even better the A15/D14 more scenic out of Paris. We always stop by La Roche Guyon, make it a one two punch hard to resist while driving this beautiful area great for weekends. Here you have the Chateau de la Roche Guyon, the Seine river form an unique turn with a high elevation ideal for a lookout from those invading Normans!

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A bit of history I like

In the 3C , the troglodyctives caves, and the local lord Guy eventually gave the name to Roche Guyon. History tell us that from the year 911 , the treaty of Saint Clair sur Epte giving Normandy to the Vikings, the Roche Guyon keeps the limits of the frontier with the French kingdom over the Seine river.  The French revolution has a tragic and bloody event here, as the owner of the castle was Louis Alexandre de La Rochefoucauld, he was very close to the ideals of the American Revolution and translate to French all the articles of the constitution of the States of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina with first editions in 1778.  He along with the Marquis de Lafayette, joined the estates generals and guided in principles the avenants of the French revolution, elected President of the department of Paris in 1791. Aftet the revolutionaries turn against him for fear of his democratic ideals, he take refuge with his wife and mother at  Forges-les-Eaux where he hides there but in september 4, 1792 while doing a carriage transfer at Gisors he is arrested and massacre by stoning while his mother and wife looks on in disbelief.  More than 1000 are taken prisioners there and killed, the mother the Duchess of Enville is spare with the daughter in law by the intervention of the local people who appreciated their support. She died in Paris in 1797 and the grandson continues with the property of Roche Guyon which eventually passes to his heir, the Cardinal Rohan. Some renovation is done to preserve the castle from lack of care in years later.

Then WWII starts, from 1940 the village is occupied by the nazis, and on 1943 a civil defense field  created.  In February 1944, marshal Rommel established his command HQ in the Château de La Roche-Guyon.  The town is liberated the 8 august 1944 after 8 bombs hits the Chateau , taking about 20 yrs to make it back to how it was before the war.

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The castle and gardens are now open.  The visit is done following the terraces, then along and inside the salons or rooms, then the circuit of donjons /towers, and chapels, then the casements. Dont forget to visit the gardens just in front of castle towards the Seine river.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The official Château de La Roche Guyon: https://www.chateaudelarocheguyon.fr/

The town La Roche Guyon on the castle in French: http://larocheguyon.fr/decouvrir-roche-guyon/le-chateau/

There you go folks, hope you enjoy the ride, it is a historical nice place to visit and the views over the garden and into the  Seine river are sublime. Enjoy La Roche Guyon!

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

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July 28, 2021

Cathedral St Alain of Lavaur!

Again, another memorable older post very happy to update for you and me. Enjoying doing these updates and they bring lots of memories such as this one.  I have other newer post on the Cathedral fyi. The Cathedral St Alain of Lavaur is beautiful and the native town of my boys maternal grandfather Pierre RIP. Let me tell you a bit more about it.

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Well in my rounds thru a very dear region of my belle France for my family, I though I had told you all but it seems in my vault there are plenty more to tell you. I am glad to show you the Cathedral of Saint Alain in Lavaur, the native town of my dear late wife Martine, late father Pierre (which unfortunately never met died when she was 10 in auto accident snowy roads same day my twin boys were born later!). We have visited the town several times over the years.  The Cathedral of St. Alain is located in Lavaur in the Tarn department 81 , in the new region of Occitanie ,and was built between 1255 and 1300.  It is 73 meters long by 14 meters wide. A Jacquemart rings the hours at the top of the tower. At the front is the garden of the bishopric.

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The origin of honoring Saint Alain at Lavaur remains unknown. The foundation of the Priory of Saint-Alain is attested by a charter of 1098 where the bishop of Toulouse Izarn of Lavaur makes a donation to the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Saint-Pons-de-Thomières, dependent for them to rebuild the Church of St. Elan of Lavaur, then in ruins, proving that the cult of Saint Alain in Lavaur is clearly prior to this date.

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A bit of history I like

A Romanesque church was built between 1099 and 1211 by the Benedictines of Saint-Pons for their priory at Lavaur, which was destroyed during the Albigeois (cathars)  crusade during the siege of 1211. The present church was rebuilt in the middle of the 13C, begun around 1255, preserving the Romanesque footprint of the small bell tower south of the Jacquemart. It is of pure southern Gothic style with a large nave unique to slender proportions, the 13C church had only five bays closed at both ends by a straight wall. The erection of the priory in the bishopric of Lavaur in 1317 transformed the church into a cathedral, prelude to the expansion of the church, which would continue until the beginning of the 16C at the initiative of the bishops.

In the 14C, the chapels were built and by the middle of the 15C, the chapel currently serving as the sacristy, under the term of Saint Martial and in 1480 adjoining the canons established a chapter hall dedicated to Saint Gauthier. Fresco paintings performed in 1730 adorn its walls, narrating in episodes the story of Lavaur. They are erased on quite a large part by the humidity. It was especially in the last quarter of the 15C, on the initiative of Bishop Jean Vigier, that major works were undertaken giving the cathedral its present physiognomy. It is still the end of the 15C that a chapel was added adjacent to the south of the old Romanesque porch, well preserved, to the rich capitals evocative of the childhood of Christ. A new side entrance, adorned with pinnacles, surmounted by the Bishop’s shield, is then carried out on the southern flank of the connecting span.

A bit on the description and architecture

The Altar table, late 11C. Since 1967, the altar of the Choir of Saint-Alain has a table whose exact provenance we do not know. It was found in 1876 in the Chapel of the hospital of Lavaur, but this is not its place of origin. It is possible that it came from the Cathedral and may have been part of the donation of Bishop Izarn to the Benedictines, but another hypothesis would make it come from the Church of Sainte-Foy de la Salvetat founded in Lavaur in 1065 by the monks of the abbey Sainte-Foy de Conques, which then took the name of Sainte-Croix and served as chapel for the Brotherhood of the Blue Penitents. This Romanesque table, in white marble probably of Saint-Beat, is part of the continuation of the production of altar tables of the Ecclesiastical province of Narbonne. The main theme of the anterior face is a Christ blessing in a circular mandorla, is the same on both tables. A series of angels, complete this face. On the right side are represented two angels supporting the altar table itself, a motif found on the stone of one of the capitals of Saint-Sernin (Toulouse). The sculpture on the left side would represent two angels worshipping the bread of heaven. The fourth face was destined to be engaged in masonry and is not decorated.

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At the beginning of the 15C, a magnificent portal was adorned in flamboyant Gothic with thomas; at the porch steeple the delicately chiseled ensemble will later be added the two chapels on the south side with very ornate vaults , one of which presents a very decorated niche, currently framing a beautiful pietà of painted and gilded wood of the 17C.  A very nice organ completes the whole feature with a richly Renaissance buffet. At the same time the enfeu to the right of the sanctuary of Renaissance decor, tomb of a bishop of Lavaur. Finally, the first mechanism and the bell of the famous Jacquemart date from 1523. But it appears that the automation (currently 3rd generation) will only take place in 1604.

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There you go folks, a bit more on it in addition to my other general posts on the region and department of the Tarn! Hope you enjoy, it is another wonderful example of Cathedrals in France. Worth a detour to see the Saint Alain Cathedral at Lavaur!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here, and is a must me think are:

The city of Lavaur on the cathedralhttps://www.ville-lavaur.fr/la-cathedrale-saint-alain/

The Tarn dept 81 tourist office on the cathedralhttps://www.tourisme-tarn.com/patrimoine-culturel/cathedrale-saint-alain

The Tarn dept 81 tourist office on the cathedral’s Jacquemarthttps://www.tourisme-tarn.com/patrimoine-culturel/le-jacquemart-cathedrale-saint-alain

The Catholic churches in the Tarn dept 81 on the Cathédrale Saint Alain in Frenchhttps://albi.catholique.fr/tarn-tourisme-catholique/eglises-du-tarn/lavaur-cathedrale-saint-alain/

There you go folks, fully enjoy it as we do. The Cathédrale Saint Alain is unique in France. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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July 27, 2021

Orléans, a lot more than Jeanne!

And continuing in my saga of updating older posts to relieve wonderful family moments of our travels; it has been a blast and thank you for reading me since November  2010!! I bring us back to the magical Orléans loaded with the history of France and Europe but also beautiful architecture. Indeed, Orléans is a lot more than Jeanne!

So needless to say have other posts on Orléans in my blog and speaking of Jeanne oh yes Joan of Arc or Jeanne d’Arc (Fr) it is a nice city to visit and even thus we use the car, it has direct train service from Paris for an easy day outing. It is worth it. Let me tell you a bit more on Orléans. The very essence of mentioning Orléans brings back my history coming to France. It was on my trip to know my dear late wife Martine, that I passed by here on our way to Spain, right down the center of town back in 1990, still going strong, and many visits afterward.

This is the epicenter of the history of modern France, when Jeanne d’Arc gave back the city to the French king Charles VII from the English invaders. This is the epic story of a young lady rise to military genius and more importantly to be later the Patron Saint of France, doctor of the Catholic Church.  It is a city in the department of the Loiret No 45 in the region Centre-Val-de-Loire.  It is easily reachable on the autoroute A10 direction Bordeaux from Paris. Near it passes the A71 towards the mediterranean becoming later the A75 . The A19 linked the city with the A10 and A6 north of the city. By the way I have visited the city only by car. However, it is well linked by train from Paris Austerlitz station , the SNCF train station is at avenue de Paris near shopping center place d’Arc; the bus station is also next to the train station. Just to add this was the route to go to Paris at Gare d’Orsay, today its the museum. There is a local bus/tramway service Tao, but again never use it.

The city goes back several thousands years but the most important event was that took place with Jeanne d’Arc and its liberation. Liberated on May 8 1429. Later after much destruction in WWII it was liberated again by Gen Patton of the US 3rd Army in 1945. The history associated with it its huge not enough space for this post .  The feast of Jeanne d’Arc is held every year on the 29 of April to May 8 celebrations, there is a video reproduction and more in French at the metro Orléans tourist office webpage, keep an eye for it: https://www.orleans-metropole.fr/fetes-de-jeanne-d-arc/

However, as an introductory post to Orléans there is plenty others things to see and have some on separate posts in my blog. Below a sentimental picture of my boys and dear Martine front of Hôtel de Ville or city hall of Orléans!

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One must come here to see the Cathédrale Sainte-Croix (see post ) at 10 rue Gobelets,where Jeanne d’Arc came to celebrate Mass in 1429. There is a church here since 330 destroyed ,fires, and always rebuilt from kings of France to 1829 when finally all restored. its great inside and statue of Jeanne d’Arc is superb.  The Hôtel Groslot,(see post ) built between 1550-1555 by Jacques Groslot bailif of Orleans. kings Charles IX, Henri III,and Henri IV stayed here ! It now houses the mayors office of the city since 1790, it is splendidly richly decorated. The Maison de Jeanne d’Arc (see post) is where she lodged from april 24 to May 9 1429, rebuilt to identical after its destruction with the bombings of WWII.   The place du Martroi, symbolic heart of the city has a huge equestrian statue of Jeanne d’Arc where she is bigger than the horse, at WWII this sculpture was partially destroyed and it was rebuilt by sculptor Paul Belmondo ,father of the famous actor Jean-Paul Belmondo.  The Hôtel Hatte, 15C, where it now houses the Center Charles Péguy, a native writer/poet who felled in WWI in the battle of the Marne in Villeroy (Seine-et-Marne).  The Church of Notre Dame de Recouvrance built between 1513-1519 has a choir altar from Second Empire in renaissance style. For walks do it by rue de Bourgogne and rue de l’Empereur for wonderful medieval ambiance as well as Rue Royale. The Musée des Beaux-Arts, Place Ste Croix, is very nice with works from Velazquez, Van Dyck, Jan Brueghel, Tintoret,  and works of Rodin,Maillol, Picasso etc, really nice. Walk too the pont George V the oldest bridge in the city, built in 1751-1760 and runs for about 1,2 km.

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On this particular trip we stayed gloriously at the Mercure Centre Hotel at 44-46 quai Barentin overlooking the Loire river and near pont George V. As usual great service by the chain,pool and good resto. walking distance to the best and easy in and out of the city by car. However,there is plenty of accommodation in the city to choose for all budgets.  The Mercure hotel resto Le Chaland (now call Le M)  was good too and cheaper at menus from 13,50€.  the picture on happier times for me and my dearl late wife Martine (picture caught me eating! ). The Mercure Accor webpage: https://all.accor.com/hotel/0581/index.fr.shtml

Orleans mercure centre hotel le chaland resto PF et MF aug07

The Metro Orléans city tourist office on its heritagehttps://www.orleans-metropole.fr/histoire-patrimoine/lieux-celebres

The Metro Orléans tourist office on the walks of Joan of Archttps://en.tourisme-orleansmetropole.com/walking-joan-arcs-footsteps

The local Loire Valley tourist office on Orléanshttps://www.loirevalley-france.co.uk/outings/city-visits/orleans-town-authentic-tourism

There you go folks, enjoy the city of Orléans . We did too!!! The city really needs more attention. Hope you have enjoy the post as I!  And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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July 27, 2021

Savigny-les-Beaune , castle and museum!

And updating this older post it brings back many memories of old with good family times on our road warrior mode in Bourgogne/Burgundy where we stayed many times renting gîtes or rental houses. We took it as a base around Buxy and then rode all over the region. One of the highlight of this particular trip was a visit to Savigny-les-Beaune. It is with great pleasure that I bring back the visit to the Château de Savigny and its museum! Hope you enjoy it as I.

I do have traveled a lot and love it; thankful to be able to do it. Lucky to be in the world’s No 1 most visited country by international official counts (UN-WTO) ,France, and it shows so much to see. As said will need a lifetime and then may not be able to see everything. But I am trying hard! The Bourgogne-Franche-Comté is a region of my belle France with a lot of wealth when it comes to monuments and vineyards, however, I like to combine my love for aviation with wines and one of the best if not the best place to do this is at Savigny-les-Beaune a town close to another famous ,Beaune.(see posts).  When my travels takes me away with the family I try to combine all that is of interest to all of us. Its the best way to enjoy your vacation,especially if you have kids. Since I have 3 boys, our interests are pretty much the same, we all like women, wines, autos ,and airplanes. Therefore what better way to enjoy our vacation then to go to Savigny-les-Beaune in Burgundy.

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Its one of my secret get away, the family rents a gîte or a house rental in the area, this time was in near Buxy in the Côte Chalonnaise of southern Burgundy. From there with a car we expand to all horizons but deeply submerge in the wine country. In fact the house was surrounded by vineyards, and we purchase the wine right from the owner at 5€ the bottle of red. Yummy!!  One of the highlights of the long summer vacation trip was to see the vineyard of Chateau Savigny les Beaune  with 20 hectares (49,4 acres) which includes the appellations of Auxey-Duresses, Beaune, Monthelie, Pommard, Volnay and Savigny-lès-Beaune.

Where Michel Pont has not only added a magnificent bottle but also a diehard fanatics of cars and planes, he has established a museum indoors and outdoors of these marvels. He is especially in love with FIAT 500 Abarth ,and all the previous models going back to 1956. He keeps 149 cars in his car museum plus 36 he has competed. Inside there is a minituare displays of cars from all over the world. There are,also, 250 motocycles from 1903 to 1960.  In the park of the castle spread around like ants he has kept 80 fighter airplanes of French, American, and Russian manufactured.  You are ,also, to see engines, and airplanes parts from many models . Inside, you will see 2400 small sides models of airplanes of the world. The view of these aerodrome of vintage war planes is awesome, and should not be missed when in the area, especially with kids.

DCF 1.0

savigny les beaune musee-savigny-les-beaune-engine-goblin-of-vampire-plane-aug95

I like to give some history of the castle as I like it,

The Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune is a 14C castle on a wine estate of 20 hectares of the Côte de Beaune vineyard, in Savigny-lès-Beaune in the Côte-d’Or dept 21 of the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. This castle was built around 1340 for the Duke Eudes IV of Burgundy. It was destroyed in 1478 by order of king Louis XI, in retaliation for what his owner had taken the part of the Duchess Marie of Burgundy and her husband the future Emperor Maximilian I against him during the War of the succession of Burgundy. Only the crows of the machicolations still visible on two towers are preserved. At the beginning of the 17C, the castle was restored by the family of Lords Bouhier with the addition of the little castle after 1671.

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In 1689, the castle started changing hands by several families .In 1979, the castle was purchased by Michel Pont, a winegrower operating an important wine estate of 20 hectares of the Côte de Beaune vineyards, which undertook major restoration work. Former racing driver Abarth of the 1960’s, and important collector of mechanics, he founded several museums with important mechanical collections and housing, in 2018, the most important private collection in the world of fighter planes, approved by the Guinness Book of Records !

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The Château de Savigny on the museums info webpage: https://www.chateau-savigny.com/musees/

The Beaune tourist office on the Château de Savignyhttps://www.beaune-tourism.com/discover/chateaux-abbeys-burgundy/chateau-de-savigny-les-beaune

The Côte d’Or dept 21 on Savigny-les-Beaunehttps://www.cotedor-tourisme.com/sit/chateau-de-savigny-les-beaune

Hope you enjoy the visit with the entire family to this pretty castle and its awesome museums. Savigny-les-Beaune is worth the detour, and a must if an aviation/automobile amateur! And again thanks for reading me since November 2010!!

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

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July 27, 2021

Simply E R A U ,Eagles Soar! My alma mater!

A thrill and lots of good memories to update this older post to you and me. Relieving wonderful moments of youth! There you go folks!  I have said my blog is about travel and anecdotes, well it’s time to come back to a bit of a story on my past. We write about beautiful interesting places we visit and or live/d and I recount my every day living on my series Some news from …. ,but I have souvenirs never to be forgotten either ,such as my university days. Do you have university days stories to tell? I have plenty but let’s keep it clean lol! I will tell you a bit more on my university ERAU, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA. I was living in New Jersey where I grew up, and college time came in, my dream at those tender ages was to go into aviation and from a friend heard about ERAU= Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. One application form and I was accepted right away,this was back in August 1977 !!! And fully graduated honor roll and dean’s listed on April 24, 1982!! Ceremonies at the Peabody Auditorium of Daytona Beach!

Daytona Beach

Now I want to tell you a bit more on the University per se. As brief as possible, here is my story.

Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) is a private university offering associate, bachelor, master’s, and PhD degree programs in arts and sciences, aviation, business, engineering, computer programming, cyber security and security and intelligence,etc. It is the largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, and has campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona, and about other 22 locations around the world mostly in US military bases.  On December 17, 1925,Talton Higbee Embry and John Paul Riddle founded the Embry-Riddle Company at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati, Ohio. In spring 1926, the company opened the Embry-Riddle School of Aviation. In 1939 Riddle, John Graham McKay and wife Isabel re-established the school in Opa-Locka airport near Miami, Florida. The airport is still there as a general aviation/business airport, webpage: http://www.miami-airport.com/opalocka.asp

John Paul Riddle, I had the pleasure of meeting him! He had admission to both the US Naval Academy and West Point and finally chose the first one. He met later on one of his former flying student now with some wealth Talon Higbee Embry and with a contract from Waco Aircraft both founded the Embry-Riddle Company in 1925! They only had two Jenny airplanes and a dream. They won several air mail routes and eventually Cincinnati got air mail service. By now the service was flawless and by 1927 was the only of two companies that could fly passengers, the other was the Boeing Air Transport Company. On a led by Gen Doolittle the flying school got to be one of the first instrument flight instruction in the USA. The Aeronautic Board of the Dept of Commerce gave the school the endorsement as a safe flight company, only five in the USA in 1929. As the business grew financing was found by W Averell Harriman and Co and Lehman Brothers to create a financial aviation company, Aviation Corporation of Delaware in March 1929. They purchase several smaller companies and this company later became the famous AVCO. By 1930, a new holding company was founded called American Airways (today still goes on as American Airlines)!

In Florida, he came to continue his dreams by purchasing other companies in the aviation industry. In 1939, he founded in association with John G Mckay the Embry-Riddle School of Aviation, leaving the name of the original founder on the name of the school. The school flew even seaplanes on the McArthur Causeway in Miami. The school provided help to Great Britain in WWII, they were exposed directly as continental Europe had surrender to Nazi Germany and needed pilots to defend the island. The British were shipped to Jacksonville (now major naval base at Mayport).  Where I still have Alumni friends who resides there! Webpage: https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrse/installations/nas_jacksonville/about/history.html

From there ,they were transported by bus to the now famous fields of Carlstrom, Clewiston (no 5 British flying training school) , Dorr field, and the seaplane base in Miami. ERAU trainers did all the work on them, and later trained American pilots too! they have lease the Old Fritz hotel in Miami as headquarters located at 3240 NW 27 avenue or SR9 (now a courthouse). They trained pilots up to August 6 1945. By the time of the peace treaty more than 26K men and women had graduated their wings by the school.

In 1944 however, they have created the first flight training school in Brazil under the Escola Tecnica de Aviaçao in the neighborhood of Mooca in Sao Paulo, training 3500 Brazilians on how to flight before turning it over to the government. The School was now called the Embry-Riddle International School of Aviation. It signed contracts for training for advance flight to the Free French Republic pilots. By October 1947, the school finally moved to Opa-Locka. The school contracted with the US Air Force to trained pilots there with more than 1500 graduating. Later, it continue training USAF pilots in the ROTC program ( Reserve Officers’ Training Corps). The school grew internationally training pilots from many countries including Cuba, China, Turkey, Belgium, England, Canada, etc. etc. By 1958 the 1000 students came from 21 countries and 44 US States. By 1963, the facilities at Opa Locka were too small for this growth. While the operations in South Florida the school trained over 40K students!

The new president (with John Paul Riddle on the board) became Jack Reed Hunt, he was famous as been the one piloting the first non stop round trip flight across the Atlantic in a US Navy blimp ZPG-2 in March 1957. The route was Massachusetts to Portugal, Africa, Puerto Rico, Cuba, to Florida. He received his presidential medals.  President Hunt (my school president during my time) did immediately the decision to move to bigger place a location needed to be found, candidates were Sebring, Fort Pierce, Plant City, outside Miami in Dade County ,and Daytona Beach. The city of Daytona Beach got going and did all it could to win the prize, and I am so glad they did!! Operation Bootstrap started moving the school ,setting up new campus there and all help from shoestrings by donations and help from the business community there. All was moved by themselves and on trucks. Ormond Beach (where I later lived!) decided against the move so the decision was to set up by the Daytona Beach Regional Airport (now international airport) ,and also next to the Daytona Beach Speedway (NASCAR auto racing) on 185 acres of land. This indeed proved to be a top notch location! The school arrived at Daytona Beach operational on May 19 1965. Only 239 students including the 168 relocated from Opa Locka.

By 1968, we had Cessna 150s, Piper Cherokee, single engine Aero Commanders, twin engine Beech B-18 and some biplane stearmen; by 1968 the school was accredited to the SACS or Southern Association of Schools and Colleges! By 1968 the first dormitory was built to housed 386 students, this was known as Doolittle Dorm 1 (my first dorm)!! three stories high. By 1970, the school was known as the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Institute earning approval by the FAA =Federal Aviation Administration. The info on the Dorm 1 Doolittle now see in school webpage: http://daytonabeach.erau.edu/campus-life/housing/residence-halls/doolittle/index.html

Daytona Beach ERAU dorm bridge 1977-1978 year

By 1972, the school is known as we know it today , Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the one I came in on August 23 1977 to start classes! I visited many times President Hunt residence on the beach at Ormond by the Sea (now sold and gone a while back). This house we call it the Battleship (was sold now gone) as it look one from the distance, and we had the University Center where the cafeteria was at ,to eat and mingle you know. By my first year 1977, the school already counted with 2 725 students! me included lol!  By 1979, Times Magazine called us the “Harvard of the sky” And before that in 1978, we purchase Prescott college in Prescott Arizona to serve as our western campus. The International Campus was started ,now call the Extended Campus with over 100 locations many online. Now the Daytona Beach and Prescott campuses have both about 5000 students. President Jack Hunt passed away of cancer in January 7 1984 RIP. He said, ” it may be easy to get in to Embry-Riddle, but it is not easy to get out” Amen.

ob pres home erau battleship

As the new team took over the school continues to grow and influence the world of aviation. In 1986 , the school was awarded the management training of the FAA and a specific center was opened in Palm Coast, Florida.  The school has won several prizes in aviation flight competition; these are call NIFA/SAFECON, and remain the provider of about 50% of US Air Force pilots the best flyboys in the world!!!Following a short illness, on April 6 1989, John Paul Riddle passed away at his home in Coral Gables, near Miami he was 87 yrs. old. RIP Sir. His last airplane ride took place on April 10th when following funeral services and a memorial service at the University, his ashes were sprinkled over Biscayne Bay and in the Oak Ridge cemetery at Arcadia, Florida.

Ok not all is goody goody, the Administration announced in July 2014 that Embry-Riddle has been accepted into the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II membership. Embry-Riddle began intercollegiate athletics competition on its Daytona Beach Campus in 1988. Well not really, from the photos you will see that I participated in the NCAA Div 2 soccer program already in 1978-1980 playing against much bigger schools like FIU, Univ of Florida, Univ Central Florida, South Florida Tampa, etc with good results, winning records. However, the school decided to leave sports in 1981 and even with petitions by students the decision remained until starting again in 1988. The unfortunate thingy here is that those who participated before are not been recognized in school records!!! We had , also, baseball, tennis, and golf teams.  And of course, we had intramural sports and I did volleyball and softball ,where I was also the captain. The special school webpage for athletics now: http://erauathletics.com/index.aspx

db ERAU management club softball team pedro in green in front seated 1981

de pedro ERAU soccer unif daytona beach 1980

There is an ERAU alumni network, that has tattled with lack of support for a long time. I was on the first meeting to do an alumni network at the Harley Hotel in Atlanta, GA back in 1984; then another try from Florida at the city hall of Hollywood Fl back in 1994, and finally was the Director of Alumni relations in France until 2017, where we have over 60 French students graduated from my university now working in French aviation/Aerospace industry, some of them quite well designing the wings for the A 380 to test pilot on maiden mission Toulouse-Hamburg, to working on the Arianne rocket etc. I helped organized the Paris Air Show of several years back believe it was 2009 with a dinner organized by me at the prestigious  Aero Club de France ; 6 rue Galilée, Paris 16éme ,but nothing of support so I decided to leave the organizing back in early 2017. The position still vacant!! More on the alumni ERAU : https://alumni.erau.edu/s/867/bp20/home.aspx

Atlanta Hartfield airport people mover ERAU visit 1981

Another organization that does not exist no more and I was very active was the Management Club; I was the Treasurer 1981-82 and helped created the club as a non profit organization with the help of Accounting professor Mr Campbell and created the first scholarship fund to helped students pay for their book with the help of my Finance professor Mr De la Rosa back in 1980.  Both with the help of my/club councilor professor Mr Knabe. Memories forever, and thank you profs!

db pedro speaking mgmt club ERAU daytona inn 1981

I, even kept some pictures from class trips, this one visiting the Hartfield Atlanta International Airport on a thrill bus ride and fun antics in the Days Inn hotel we stayed, location forgotten but the actions did not ::) The planes are Lockheed 1011 from Delta!

Atlanta apt pedro at control Delta L1011 plane atlanta airport 1980 ERAU

Some more facts on Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University :

Embry-Riddle’s aerospace engineering program is the largest in the nation. Embry-Riddle’s engineering physics program is one of the largest of all such ABET-accredited programs in the nation. Aeronautical science (professional pilot) program is the largest in the nation. Student flight teams have won numerous national championships in NIFA SAFECON competitions, more than any other institution in the last decade, and are top performers in the women’s Air Race Classic. The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, and others rank Embry-Riddle highly in the categories of best undergraduate aerospace engineering programs, best undergraduate engineering programs, best bachelor’s degrees in engineering, best colleges in Arizona and Florida, best regional universities (South), and best college astronomy observatories. U.S. News & World Report, Military Times, Military Advanced Education, U.S. Veterans, and G.I. Jobs publications consistently name Embry-Riddle in the categories of best for veterans, top military-friendly school, top veteran-friendly school, best online bachelor’s programs for veterans, best regional universities (South) for military and veterans, best online MBA programs for veterans, and best online non-MBA graduate business programs for veterans. U.S. News & World Report and College Choice list Embry-Riddle’s Worldwide Campus in the categories of best online bachelor’s programs, best online graduate MBA programs, best online graduate non-MBA programs, and best online engineering degree programs.  Embry-Riddle is ranked highly among private colleges for best value, best starting salary, and best return on investment by Forbes, Best Value Colleges, PayScale, SmartAsset, College Choice, and Affordable Colleges Online.   Embry-Riddle’s two Air Force ROTC detachments form the largest university-based Air Force commissioning source in the nation. Embry-Riddle’s Air Force ROTC detachments also produce more commissioned officers and more pilots and other rated officers for the Air Force than any other institution in the nation except the Air Force Academy. Embry-Riddle is the nation’s largest supplier of air traffic controllers with bachelor degrees to the FAA. Seven Embry-Riddle alumni are current or former astronauts. Embry-Riddle was named by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 provider of online bachelor’s degrees programs and undergraduate programs for veterans in 2021. ERAU has provided so far 7 astronauts to the Space program over the years.

Some of the reading I did while attending or as an alumni were: The LIFT magazine webpage: https://lift.erau.edu/

And the still call Avion campus newspaper webpage: http://theavion.com/

The text above the information was gathered from memories, yearbook Phoenix from graduation 1982,  and the book “The Sky is Home”, (by former prof John McCollister) and the Alumni directory of 1998 all jealousy guarded by yours truly.

My last visit to ERAU campus in Daytona Beach Fl was back in August, 2009, I visited Florida with the family and did pay a visit to ERAU as to show my boys the thrill of college non existent in France. We got a nice ride from the Alumni office to all of us, memories of young at heart. Memories forever, thanks Chris.

Daytona beach Chris cart tour ERAU 20aug09

There you go folks, an adventure recommended to all, college life is awesome. Those that tried should tell you, a thrill and an experience never to be forgotten. And more when you are an Eagle, of ERAU Daytona Beach FL Campus, Eagles forever!! Hope you enjoy the post as I and if an Eagle do stop by anytime.

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

July 26, 2021

The passages de Paris!!

Ah here I am in a cloudy fresh day after the heat of the last days in my belle France. I thought about a nice thing to do in Paris full of history and especially architecture. I had written on some passages or covered lanes of Paris before, but let me give you and me an overall view of them, all of them in Paris.

As the pictures are on the previous post I just will do this one in my black and white series, no pictures. Hope you enjoy this wonderful thing to do in Paris, shop and eat in a covered corridor or passage de Paris!

The ancestor of today’s shopping centers, the unique charm of Parisian covered passages will immediately transport you back to the 19C.  So what is a passage? It is a private lane open to the public, a shortcut between several lanes, whether it is covered or not. A pedestrian space, the passage can house both commerce and housing. Only the abundant decoration and the luxury of the shops differentiate a gallery from a passage.

Typically, the covered passages of Paris form galleries pierced through buildings or built at the same time as them. These galleries are covered by a glass roof offering overhead lighting which gives them a special light.  Almost all of the covered passages are on the right bank of the Seine, within the limits of Paris before its extension in 1860, mainly near the Grands Boulevards, that is to say in areas draining customers. easy at the time of their construction

Most of the covered passages were built in the first half of the 19C, in order to shelter a wealthy clientele from inclement weather and usually offer a variety of shops. Haussmann’s work, which opened up neighborhoods by piercing large avenues, and competition from department stores led to the disappearance of most of the passages.

I have posts on the passages which will post here as references and minimize repetition.

The Passage du Havre: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2019/12/22/passage-du-havre-paris/

The Passage du Grand Cerf and Passage du Bourg-l’Abbé  : https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2018/07/26/simply-other-passages-of-paris/

These are the other passages of Paris:

Passage des Panoramas (2éme) , Galerie Vivienne (2éme) , Passage Brady (10éme) , Passage Choiseul (2éme) , Passage Verdeau (9éme) , Passage Jouffroy (9éme) , Passage Vendôme (3éme) , Passage Molière (3éme) , Galerie Véro-Dodat (1éme) , Passage du Caire (2éme) , Passage des Princes (2éme) , Galerie Colbert (2éme) , and  Galerie de la Madeleine (8éme).

The list of covered passages still accessable to the public continues with the passage du Prado (10éme),  passage Puteaux (8éme), passage Sainte-Anne ( 2éme),  passage du Ponceau ( 2éme), passage Ben Aïad ( 2éme) ,and the passage des Deux-Pavillons (1éme).

I am sure you can find full description on them, I just leave you with the names and the thoughts of getting to see them in person in better times.

The Association of passages et galeries of Paris : http://passagesetgaleries.fr/passages-parisiens/

The city of Paris on the passages: https://www.sortiraparis.com/arts-culture/histoire-patrimoine/articles/172520-les-plus-beaux-passages-couverts-de-paris

The Paris tourist office on the passages: https://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/museums-monuments-heritage-paris/the-unique-charm-of-parisian-covered-passages

There you go folks, a wonderful way to see Paris at its best, with great shopping and foodies galore, simply sublime! The passages are seldom seen or mention sort of an off the beaten paths of Paris; however, they are worth the detour!

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

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July 25, 2021

Château de Versailles , Salon d’Apollon/Salle du Trône !!!

And this is again a wonderful update of my fav palace museum in my dear Versailles. I love to tell you all about this great city of my belle France, and this is one of the intriguing rooms of the palace still with a throne room! Therefore , let me tell you a bit more on the Salon d’Apollon and its Salle du Trône of the Château de Versailles!

So I am coming back again to my beloved old home of Versailles. What can I say when you are lucky enough to lived there for about 9 glorious years and worked in Paris.… Well I have come back several times and have many posts on it in my blog. However, there are areas missing a bit more of it me think. This is the case with a nice living room of Apollo or Salon d’Apollon or more commonly call by us locals as the Throne room or Salle du Trône.

It is inside the wonderful beautiful palace/museum of  Versailles, holding its name from the ceiling representing Apollo on its chariot. The living room of Apollo is located on the first floor of the Château de Versailles, in the King’s large apartments. It is adjacent to the mercury and war rooms (Salon de Mercure et Salon de la Guerre).  Serving as the King’s room from 1673 to 1682 and then as the Throne room as soon as the king and the court settled in Versailles, the king granted his ordinary hearings here. The room was also reserved for dancing during the evenings of apartments.

versailles-salon-du-trone-louis-xvi-mars11

The living room of Apollo is dedicated to the Greek god, god of the Sun, to whom the Sun King identified himself. Commissioned by king Louis XIV, the ceiling is a painting by Charles de la Fosse which represents Apollo on his chariot dragged by four couriers, accompanied by the figures of France, the Magnanimity and Magnificence and the procession of the seasons figured by Flora, Ceres, Bacchus and Saturn in the center. The covings represent Porus led in front of Alexander, Coriolanus raising the Siege of Rome at the request of his mother, Vespasian raising the Colosseum in Rome, and   Augustus building the port of Miseno . The four continents are represented in the four angles of the ceiling.

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The chimney was surmounted by the portrait standing of king Louis XIV in a royal suit, wearing the insignia given to the Kings on the day of their coronation. Painted in 1701 by Hyacinthe Rigaud to illustrate the power of the king and his natural majesty. This portrait is now preserved at the Louvre museum, a copy replaces the original in the living room of Apollo. In front of the painting is a portrait of king Louis XVI.

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The living room of Apollo or Salon d’Apollon or Salle du Trône  was restored last in 2014.

The official Palace/museum of Versailles on the rooms including the Apollon: https://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/estate/palace/king-state-apartment#the-mars-room

The whole palace/museum of Versailles is magical and to think it was once practically my backyard literally used to play and jog with my boys in the gardens! magical sublime nostalgia setting in and vacation time is coming again!  Versailles it is! Enjoy the post and thanks for stopping by.

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

July 25, 2021

The Villeroy & Boch ceramics of Mettlach!

We have been fan of this brand for years and we love it. Little did we know it was close to where we were staying in Germany, exactly Trier. Therefore ,we took a road warrior trip to the nice town of Mettlach and found this beauty of ours, the Villeroy & Boch ceramics. Let me update this older post and show you a bit more on it. Hope you enjoy it as I.

I had other posts on wonderful Mettlach, Germany on my road warrior trips with the family in that neighboring country. The city center is very nice quant old pretty, and the monuments are nicely put historically and architecturally as I like. However, there is one store we like.  Again, I am not the heavy shopper but on somethings I rather go along with the wife, she is no longer with me due to the dreadful cancer, but all the memories still are intact forever. She love it here and did some heavy duty shopping my dear late wife Martine. This is my bit of story on the Villeroy & Boch ceramics store in Mettlach, Germany!

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Initially a manufacturer and distributor of pottery, the Villeroy & Boch company, created in 1748 in Audun-le-Tiche in Lorraine(still French), has evolved into multiple ceramic products for the private sector and major construction sites.  An outlet specializing in the arts of the table that leaves also fashionable. In the south of the country, close to the French and Luxembourg borders, Mettlach houses 9 factory shops and first of all the seat of the Villeroy & Boch company, whose origin dates back to 1748, specialist in the art of the table, porcelain, crystal and cutlery. At Villeroy & Boch Mettlach, prices are between 30 and 50% cheaper than in a classic store and you find a shop dedicated to Christmas open all year round.

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Behind the facade of the ancient Benedictine abbey of Mettlach, today’s headquarters of the specialist of the Art of Living Villeroy & Boch, 260 years of history of ceramics and business relive.  The Keravision, the Museum of Ceramics and the Museum Café dating from 1892 traces the course and the success of a family dynasty.

The Villeroy & Boch Discovery Center presents centuries of tradition of ceramics and future-oriented ideas on the theme of live and living. The Keravision in the Discovery Center showcase an exhibition of the current palette of products. In the neighboring Ceramics museum , you will discover the evolution of the art of ceramics and culture through time. In front of the table, the Arts Information Center invites you to an innovative exhibition of tables staged with different dishes services. Among the many exhibits in the Ceramics museum, you can admire the dishes of Pope Benedict XVI. The Information center bathrooms, kitchens, tiles and well-being will give you ideas for your interiors decoration.  Close to the Discovery Center, take a break at the museum cafe, decorated in the style of the Dresden Dairy. More than 15,000 tiles, decorated by hand from original pieces of the 19C, were made for its decoration. Not far from the Villeroy & Boch Discovery Center, the city center of Mettlach invites you to do good shopping in these different factory stores as well such as Land End, Trigema, and many more.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and its all worth it me think ,are:

The official Villeroy & Boch in German but can be translated bottom of page: https://www.villeroy-boch.de/

The Mettlach outlet center store on the  Villeroy & Boch in English: http://www.mettlachoutletcenter.de/en/brands/villeroyboch.html

Hope you like the shopping tour and again it is worth it ,the old abbey building is gorgeous from a historical/architecture point of view and facing the Sarre river! A tributary of the Moselle river . Enjoy Villeroy & Boch at Mettlach!

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

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July 24, 2021

Athens for the old times’ sake!!

It has been a while I was thinking of writing on this wonderful city of Athens, Greece. I was here back in 2006 and had pictures but could not find, so there is only one and will dare do a post for Athens for the old times’ sake!! Another of my life’s trails and now in my blog. Hope you enjoy it as I.

First a bit on the country of Greece. Mostly the text taken from wikipedia fyi

Greece officially the Hellenic Republic , and is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. It shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin , and the 11th longest coastline in the world; featuring many islands, of which 227 are inhabited.

Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilization, being the birthplace of democracy, western philosophy, western literature, historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, theatre and the Olympic Games. Greece one of the most visited countries in Europe in the recent years.

The Greece tourist boardhttps://www.visitgreece.gr/

Now let me give some info on Athens again mostly from wikipedia as would be unfair to tell my story from so many years back.

Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world’s oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years , and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11C and 7C BC. It was a center for the arts, learning and philosophy, and the home of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum. It is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, largely because of its cultural and political impact on the European continent, particularly Ancient Rome.

The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city also retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments, while its historical urban core features elements of continuity through its millennia of history.  The oldest known human presence in Athens is the Cave of Schist, which has been dated to between the 11C and 7C BC. Athens has been continuously inhabited for at least 5,000 years. Athens is built around a number of hills. Lycabettus is one of the tallest hills of the city proper and provides a view of the entire Attica Basin The Cephissus river, the Ilisos and the Eridanos stream are the historical rivers of Athens.

Some of the most interesting areas me think are the Omonoia Square, the oldest square in Athens. It is surrounded by hotels and fast food outlets, and contains a metro station, named Omonia station. Syntagma Square,(Constitution Square), is the capital’s central and largest square, lying adjacent to the Greek Parliament (the former Royal Palace) and the city’s most notable hotels.   At Ermou Street, an approximately one km-long (.6 mile) pedestrian road connecting Syntagma Square to Monastiraki, is a consumer paradise for both locals and tourists.

Plaka, lying just beneath the Acropolis, is famous for its plentiful neoclassical architecture, making up one of the most scenic districts of the city. It remains a prime tourist destination with tavernas, live performances and street salesmen. Nearby Monastiraki, for its part, is known for its string of small shops and markets, as well as its crowded flea market and tavernas specialising in souvlaki. Another district known for its student-crammed, stylish cafés is Theseum or Thission, lying just west of Monastiraki. Thission is home to the ancient Temple of Hephaestus, standing atop a small hill. This area also has a picturesque 11C Byzantine church, as well as a 15C Ottoman mosque. Kolonaki is the area at the base of Lycabettus hill, full of boutiques catering to well-heeled customers by day, and bars and more fashionable restaurants by night, with galleries and museums. This is often regarded as one of the more prestigious areas of the capital. Exarcheia located north of Kolonaki, often regarded as the city’s anarchist scene and as a student quarter with cafés, bars and bookshops. Exarcheia is home to the Athens Polytechnic and the National Archaeological Museum.

The Athens International Airport (ATH), locally Eleftherios Venizelos is located near the town of Spata,some 35 km (22 mi) from Athens. The airport is served by the Metro, the suburban rail, buses to Piraeus port, Athens’ City Center/downtown, Liosion and Kifisos Intercity bus stations and Elliniko metro’s line 2 southern terminal, and also taxis. I came in by Nantes, Roissy CDG and this airport and then took taxi to hotels from which I did my walks except taxi to the restaurant below.

The Athens Metropolitan Area in particular is served by some of the most modern and efficient transport infrastructure in Europe, such as the Athens International Airport, the privately run A6 (Attiki Odos) highway network and the expanded Athens Metro system.

The Athens tourist officehttps://destination.thisisathens.org/en

A useful private Athens tourist webpage: https://www.thisisathens.org/

As for the memories of my visit in about 2006 to Athens.

I stayed at the Athenateum IHG hotel with a wonderful experience of pampering and good company. Located within 3 km from the Acropolis and close to Metro stations and the business district of Athens, the Athenaeum Intercontinental features award-winning restaurants, a spa centre and a 24-hour gym. The spacious, elegant rooms include marble bathrooms and a seating area. Featuring wooden furnishings, soft colours and carpets. The restaurant located on the 10th floor, offering spectacular views of the Parthenon and the city of Athens.   The scenic Old Town of Athens, Plaka, is just 1.5 km away. Ermou shopping area is within 2 km. Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport is at 23 km.

The IHG on the Athenaeum hotel: https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/fr/fr/athens/athha/hoteldetail

The official Athenaeum hotel webpage: https://athenaeumgrand.com.gr/portal/

Other than the hotel facilities ,and some quick snacks on the streets around the hotel, I remember went to a fancy resto recommended by taxi from the hotel. You’ll find Strofi in an old mid-war mansion at the foothills of the Acropolis, in the surrounding and elegant suburb of Thissio. The restois at 25 Rovertou Galli. This is the restaurant I had dinner and with view of the Acropolis with a Greek dance show and on which I received the paperweight of Alexander the Great as souvenir of the visit. I am sure many years ago but believe it was this one. Webpage: https://www.strofi.gr/en/

Athens greece medallion paperweight alexander great c2008

There you go folks, I had to have it in my blog for the old times’s sake of my travels and Athens ,Greece was one of them. Hope you enjoy it and do feel free to tell me your stories on Athens and if know the restaurant!

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

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