Posts tagged ‘Paris’

June 24, 2021

This is Cergy , jobs and views!!!

Well here I am digging deep again as my latest posts doing update on those early towns of our lives in our belle France. This is particularily fond as not only visit but I worked my first job nearby Cergy St Christophe, and my dear late wife Martine took as her route to work in Roissy CDG airport. So sit back and come along with me in some nice memories of me and my family in an off the beaten path town  of Cergy you might as well visit to be different..!

So in my travels as I was saying, I have been to many places, and most never written on it. They are not on the tourist trail and nowhere in any travel book, but they are worth it for the real local experience and some facts about France to enrich your understanding of why France is the most visited country in the world according to the official UN-WTO. And no, it is not always Paris….  I like to talk a bit today about Cergy. This is Cergy in the department 95 of Val-d’Oise in the région of Île-de-France. As I have a post on its main monument this will be on my black and white series, no pictures. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Cergy is located on the right bank of the Oise river on the limits south of the park of the Vexin français at about 28 km from Paris. It is the principal city in the metro area of  Cergy-Pontoise. It is cross by the autoroute A15 towards Paris or Rouen, and cut on the La Francilienne N104 towards Roissy CDG airport, Versailles on the N186 etc.  The A15  ends at sortie or exit 9 in the district of Grand Centre between the wonderful and favorite shopping center of the  Trois-Fontaines (see post)  in the plains of  Saint-Martin in Pontoise. However, the road continues without interruptions as the N14 and later the D14  by sortie or exit 13, and continues on as the scenic route to Rouen in Normandy; very nice indeed. The wonderful boulevard du Port takes you to Pontoise and Cergy-Village as well as the very nice Port-Cergy; the D915 takes you as far as Dieppe in Normandy.  For public transports, Cergy is in zone 5 at the end of the line RER A ending at Cergy-le-Haut  and passing by Cergy-Préfecture and Cergy-Saint-Christophe (my first job site was here in France ! which of course came by car!! ). The train stations of Cergy-Préfecture and Cergy-le-Haut have exchange poles to take you to several towns and bus depot such as well the intercity long distance buses even to Roissy CDG airport. The local public transport site is call STIVO,the network of the metropolitan area of Cergy-Pontoise.

My dear late wife, Martine , used to worked for many years at Roissy CDG airport in cargo area for DHL Global Forwarding at 27 Rue de la Belle Borne,in cargo zone 7, in the limits of the town of Tremblay en France, and she came by bus changing here at Cergy. The bus was the 95-18, Cergy Préfecture to Zone Technique . The Transdev bus network for it, webpage: https://www.transdev-idf.com/ligne-9518/express_9518_cergy_roissy_212/212-CG95

Better than the trains!  As DHL was a memorable nice job for my wife and lots of help on her passing I will put their webpage here as a thank you: https://www.dhl.com/fr-en/home/our-divisions/global-forwarding.html

The shopping center or centre commercial les 4 Fontaines were a favorite for the grocery shopping at Auchan, the car rental Hertz by the Esso gas station (great deals to Spain! ), FNAC, Armand Thierry fashions,and the Micromania video games store. As we took the road warrior theme seriously from wherever we live lol! webpage: https://www.3fontaines.com/

Being part of a new city or nouvelle villes of France , the history is surprisingly very short.  A bit of history I like; tells you a bit that the current town of Cergy is the union of several villages. Cergy  was first called Cergiacum in 1069 and Sergy in 1731,then other villages were Gency called Gentiacum in 1072, Menandon called Monlandon in 1135, Les Veaurois called Vaulx-Rouez in 1528, Le Brûloir, Ham was annexed to Eragny sur Oise in 1687, then back to Cergy after the French revolution, and finally, Les Clobilles.

Things to see at Cergy

Saint Christophe Church at rue de Neuville, as Cergy was elevated to a parish in 1120, the monks of the priery of the abbey of Saint Denis built the first Church in the Roman style that today left only the belltower until the second level (3rd US) , the transept, and some chapters. From early 18C, the gothic choir was done to replace the roman one. This choir with the collateral chapels represent the principal elements of the Church today. The lateral Chapels of the organ and the sacristy were added in the 14C. Today, only is left the fortified tower and a pigeon tower; the south gate entrance to the Church once closed has recently been open and renovated . The pierre-Fouret also known as the menhir de Gency is a megalith stone in the village of Gency, rue de Vauréal,in the garden of the a retirement home today.

The major things to see here are the Axe majeur,(see post) in the district of the Axe Majeur/Horloge done in a sculptural and garden style monuments from 1980. By 1985 ,Ricardo Bofill did a semicircular space around the original point of the Axe. It has great views of Paris; very relaxing place we came here often.

Another not been too yet is the Château de Gency  located on 96 rue de Vauréal or road D922 near the village of Gency dominating the Oise river descending from one side of the road to the road chemin de halage with apple trees and cow pastures. The park has 5 hectares of space on a miniature Buttes-Chaumont of Paris look done during the Second Empire (Napoleon III ) period. The place full of history was built in 1860, today the castle of  Gency  is a place for receptions not open to the public.

The other is the Port Cergy on the Oise river marina with yachts and nice contemporary housing and gardens given to the canals. It has a nice pleasure boat marina. More on the port Cergy in French webpage: https://portcergy.com/

.A great entertainment place came here often for lunch or happy hour/after work/apéro when worked nearby in Cergy St Christophe and even took the family here for lunches on Saturdays. The favorites were Hippopotamus with webpage: https://restaurants.hippopotamus.fr/hippopotamus-steakhouse-d16ad56c642a

And our tops the La Créperie du Port an English Pub style lovely place, webpagehttps://www.lacreperieduport.fr/

The city of Cergy on its heritagehttps://www.cergy.fr/notre-ville/lieux-cles/culture-patrimoine/lieux-remarquables/

The Cergy-Pontoise tourist office on Cergy in English: https://www.ot-cergypontoise.fr/en/the-cergy-pontoise-agglomeration/cergy/

The Val d’Oise dept 95 tourist office on things to see: https://www.valdoise-tourisme.com/les-incontournables/cergy-pontoise/

There you have it folks, something new in my blog that should have been on it long ago. The always memorable Cergy. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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June 23, 2021

How about Eragny!!

Another nice memory of our times in the Yvelines dept 78 and the beautiful city of Versailles! I have several older posts and need to update them with new links and places as time takes its toll. They are in my blog for the memories’s sake and hoping some can use the information on their travels in the Paris region. This is a nice place to go shopping in Eragny!!

I decided to start this post on an unique aspect of my belle France. I will put one memorable family picture of those early days in the Yvelines dept 78 where we road warrior the whole of the region of Ïle de France. As visitors, we tend to come to the famous places and many like it. France gets millions of tourists every year as No 1 by the official UN-WTO. However, as one who lives here,and travel everywhere not just to the famous and sparkling clean taxpayer supported sites (and some nice visitors) I like to take you places, off the beaten path of my belle France.

Let me tell you a bit about Eragny sur Oise. Our family love to come here when we lived in Versailles. Eragny  is in the department 95 Val-d’Oise  in the region of Île-de-France. Locals sometimes call it Éragny-sur-Oise to differentiate from other similar name town of Eragny in France. The city is located in the left bank of the Oise river at about 30 km (about 19 mi) from Paris, and it is a member of the metropolitan area of the new city of Cergy-Pontoise, (the area of my first job in France!)

It was , also convenient stop coming from Roissy CDG airport on the La Francilienne road N104 on our way home under the A15 by the N186 to Versailles. A bit further direction Paris,(or from Paris direction Rouen)  you can come as we did to a nice outlet stores mall  at Franconville off the A15 exit/sortie 4 ; the Quai des Marques (see post)  for especially my brand names business suits and coats. It’s takes a bit time by public transport from Paris but with a car is always easier.  You can  take at Gare Saint Lazare the train  direction Gare d’Ermont Eaubonne and descend at the station of Sannois  from there take bus 261 to Franconville and walk 20 minutes to the shopping.

Eragny sur Oise was where we went for the Art de Vivre shopping center, just because it had the Pizza Hut and Toys ‘R US stores  (now both gone from here! so anyway the memories lingered) nearest our home in  Versailles, and was easy on our runs to Normandy to pass by here on the A15. It is very nice and a good stop on your runs from Paris to Normandy and Brittany etc. on the A15. In fact most pizza hut are now take out or delivery only and toys r us went under.  webpage: https://art-de-vivre.klepierre.fr/horaires-acces/

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Might as well tell you a bit of history I like on Eragny sur Oise.

Early in the 12C the lands and villages around here had the name of Erigny, belonging to the abbey of Saint-Martin-des-Champs . It was exposed on a cliff dominating the Oise river. Eragny was just a small village until the 20C.  It was in 1564 that a Jean d’Alesso, coming from Italy with Saint Francis of Paul purchase the lordship of Eragny.  His coat of arms are now the town. François d’Alesso, marquis of Eragny was governor general of the Antilles in Martinique by 1691 and their descendants were spread all over the area and preserve it until the French revolution when they were confiscated as immigrants expropiated lands. In the 20C, an important writer set up home here, this was Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, author of  Paul et Virginie. He was a disciple of Rousseau, and took possession of a house here in 1804 that was the old presbytery, after his death in 1814 the town really came down to the sleepy town it is today.

Things to see in Eragny sur Oise

The Presbytère at  31 rue Bernardin-de-Saint-Pierre ,  it was built under the order of priest Sigogne in the middle of the 18C . Under the French revolution his successor died in the guillotine and the building change hands several times thereafter until given in 1804 to Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre in exchange for a debt of the family. The writer known for his work call Paul et Virginie lived there the last ten years of his life until finally purchase by the city in 1834. The house of the fisherman or Maison des Pêcheurs at  24 rue de la Fontaine, this was built behind a guinguette bordering the Oise river for the Sunday fisherman  coming from Paris as the train station was close by . The ground floor has original pieces and can be reach ,those in the first floor (2nd US) are reach thru an exterior balcony. The front gates of the old Castle at  6 rue de Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône ,has two square  pylon that still is there of the castle of Alesso from the mid 16C . The castle came down even before the French revolution. The Saint Pie X Church built in the 1950’s to replace an older Church destroyed during WWII. The army stables, at the Clos du Manége, the army trained here in a horse complex of seven identical stables built early 20C.  It stop working in 1918  when the army set up headquarters in the city of Pontoise . One of these stables is used today for equestrian circle club.

The city of Eragny sur Oise on its heritage in French: https://eragny.fr/ma-ville/decouvrir-eragny/patrimoine

The Cergy-Pontoise area tourist office on Eragny sur Oise: https://www.ot-cergypontoise.fr/en/the-cergy-pontoise-agglomeration/eragny-sur-oise/ 

The Val d’Oise dept 95 tourist office on its must see (not Eragny) : https://www.valdoise-tourisme.com/les-incontournables/

There you go folks ,enjoy my off the beaten path treat of Eragny sur Oise. Hope it helps expand your vision of my belle France. And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!

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June 23, 2021

Some news from France, CCCXXXVIII

And back with my regular news report by yours truly! Times are cloudy and rainy here. I am looking for quotes to redo my front garden and cut down some of the shrub from the side. Many already busy asking me to do in winter oh well la vie est belle in my belle France! Let me tell you the latest of my some news from France! While watching England vs Czech Republic in the euro 2020 playing nowdays due to the pandemic.

Return of the clubs on July 9 and standing concerts on June 30 The executive and representatives of the clubs have agreed to open the doors with mandatory health passes and 75% gauges inside and 100% outside. Concerts with a standing audience will be able to resume from June 30, but with a 75% level and the systematic presentation of the health pass at the entrance. Ok we are moving along the Summer looks awesome in my belle France.

Something to brag about and I will be there; enjoy the Tour de France cycling finest!!

I have mentioned it before but this is big here and in my Bretagne is huge. Cycling is in the blood of the Bretons and even thus we are not bikers can’t help but join in the festivities all the time and of course, the Breton beers are tops! The Tour de France passes near me this 2021!! It brings smiles to the side of the road, dreams of being in all runners, stars in the eyes of fans and not only. It is all of Brittany, mythical and festive land of cycling, which for 4 days gets under its wheel and its light! Yes! I will join in the fun!!! The four stages passing near me in this edition are:

Stage 1 – Brest-Landerneau (Finistére dept 29). The “postcard” stage on Saturday June 26 – 187 km. The lucky winner to launch the 2021 edition is Brest! welcoming this year its 4th big start , a record after Paris! The Finistère stage heads south via Daoulas, without straying from the coast; it crosses Locronan, mineral and radiant, a small town full of character, then Quimper, the capital of art and legends. Climb up via Pleyben and its magnificent parish enclosure … and that’s it, the Arrée mountains are looming. A sublime panorama of the Regional Natural Park, the windy summits of the Armorican massif play with the calves of climbers and your pupils … At the top of a 3 km bump, the arrival awaits the punchers at Landerneau, a stronghold of the contemporary art with alleys steeped in history. (see posts on these towns in my blog)

Stage 2 – Perros-Guirec – Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan (Côtes d’Armor dept 22). Punch, again and again! Sunday June 27 – 182 km. It’s been  25 years since Perros was not the starting city … and now the Tour returns to stop on the Pink Granite Coast for this second 100% granite coast stage! Exceptional images guaranteed, from Ploumanac’h to Trébeurden and beyond. Follow the coast to the east, then head south, to Saint-Brieuc via Paimpol, the abbey of Beauport and the cliffs from Plouha. Flirt barely with the mountains of Mené, before returning to the heart of Brittany. At Mûr always a theatrical arrival! The mythical climb of 2 km is a must that lights up stars in the heads of all runners, and dreams of a yellow jersey among the little Bretons… For the trouble, as in 2018, it will be climbed twice! (see posts on these towns in my blog)

Stage 3 – Lorient-Pontivy (Morbihan dept 56) My dept province/state the best !!! An imperial sprint Monday June 28 – 182 km .Seeing the riders pass, it would be almost a formality for Lorient, stage city of the Tour for the 13th time in its history … Happy and popular, its DNA goes hand in hand with that of the race ,and enthusiasm is mounting at the prospect of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Interceltic Festival at the same time! Yes!! From south to north, the Morbihan stage heads towards the bay of Quiberon, which is not called “sublime” for nothing … The estuary of Etel, Carnac and its alignments and hop, in La Trinité sur Mer, up in land, in the heart of Breton territory. Passing over the four-way bridge (N165) between Vannes and Lorient, a pretty little port catches the eye. Nestled in the back of an estuary, Saint-Goustan has spanned the centuries, retaining its cobbled streets, its stone bridge, its half-timbered houses and its lively quays. A historic town, Auray is also home to a high place of pilgrimage in Brittany (Sainte Anne d´Auray, and I will be base here to see the tour). Vannes is right to put an “s” in its name. The city is so multiple! Capital of Morbihan, marina, fortified square, medieval city, town of art and history. From the tree-lined quays to 15C houses, the streets are the sweetness of life. Come share this atmosphere! In focus, Pontivy the Napoleonic city, which is with Landerneau the news of the stage , ready to welcome a stage for the first time ever!. A great first, eagerly awaited! The sprint finish at the foot of the Château des Rohan promises to be beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.yes indeed!! (see posts on these towns in my blog)

Stage 4 – Redon-Fougères (Ile et Vilaine dept 35) – Castle life. Tuesday 29 June – 152 km. All the spotlight is on Ille-et-Vilaine, traversed right through its diagonal, from Redon in the south to Fougères in the north. Between land and water, Redon welcomes its first departure. The caravan and the runners then set off due north in inland Brittany, between wind and greenery, towards Bain-de-Bretagne. Then the peloton will take the direction of the “marches” of the territory and the fortified castles which once defended the region. Passage planned in Vitré, the medieval city with a thousand years of history, before finishing with a sprint near the castle of Fougères, the fortress town all in granite.(see posts on these towns in my blog).

Official tour de France webpage in English: https://www.letour.fr/en/

This place of worship has been closed for 15 years, but its reopening day has finally been announced: it’s June 23, 2021! The Samaritane of Paris!!! Discover a lot of beautiful new features: offices, a nursery, social housing and even Cheval Blanc, a luxury hotel with 72 rooms and suites with breathtaking views of the Seine and a 30-meter-long swimming pool. There are also 20,000 square meters of shops including 600 brands, magnificent art nouveau decorations and a magnificent glass roof to overlook the whole. The Samaritane is back sort of at 19 rue de la Monnaie 1st. webpage: https://www.lvmh.com/houses/other-activities/samaritaine/

The Musée de l’Homme offers its first exhibition for families, on the origins of laughter! The Children are the target and should be nice. Webpage: https://www.museedelhomme.fr/en/node/4203

There were the Uber X, Green, Comfort, Sedan. And then the motorcycles. With the lifting of restrictions, Uber wants to relaunch its Uber Moto option, created in September 2020 but forgotten with the confinements. “Premium”, the offer is therefore more expensive. The support costs are 40 euros compared to 1.20 on Uber X. You also have to count 1.60 per km by motorbike compared to 1.05 per km by car. Thus, a 10 km La Défense – Gare Saint Lazare race will cost around 56 euros (excluding price increases) by motorbike. On the driver side, the company also ensures their reliability. They will need to have passed an exam to obtain their license. And they will have to justify three years of license A, pass a theoretical then practical exam in order to obtain their license or justify professional experience in the world of transport. To have their vehicles insured, they must also justify 3 (and sometimes 5) years of personal insurance. The age of the motorcycle must be less than four years. The vehicle maintenance certificate is renewed each year. Ok for whom?

From RER A to metro line 6, several lines will be disrupted by major summer projects on the rail network from this Saturday, June 26 2021 Of course, just in time for Summer and the breakaway from the bondage of the pandemic…yikes! Be aware ok More info RATP webpage: https://www.ratp.fr/en/infos-trafic

Clairefontaine here there are nine football fields/pitches, seven accommodation residences for 200 rooms, including 110 luxury rooms, an auditorium, a medical center, a gym, physiotherapy and balneotherapy area, as well as a dozen meeting rooms … All on one area of nearly 60 hectares of greenery, well hidden away from view, on the northern ridge of the valley. At the Château de Montjoye – or Montjoie -, where since 1998 has proudly stood an XXL reproduction of the World Cup, everything is now done for football. And we are good thanks to this installations.

The residence of the Bleus (France’s teams)  is in fact almost 200 years old. It was initially a modest hunting lodge, built in 1830 and called “Mon Jouet”. Enlarged by its successive owners, it did not really take its letters of nobility until the end of the 19C. But it was when it became the property of the English aristocrat Henry Noailles Widdrington Standish around 1910 that the building took on the face we know it today, with its south facade erected in pure British style. During the Great War or WWI, the castle welcomed the war wounded arriving from Rambouillet, at the expense of the Standish family. It was then rented and acquired in the early 1920s by the banker André Lazard, passionate about hunting and floral art. Its orchids gave it real fame. Faced with energy needs, the Château de Montjoye can be seen then endowed with its own power station which will ensure the supply until the end of the years 1950s. It is in 1983 that the FFF, (French Football Federation) in search of a site intended to develop all the technical aspect of the French football, is acquirer of the premises. The center was officially inaugurated on June 11, 1988 in the presence of Pres François Mitterrand and João Havelange, president of Fifa. The site ,also train French referees, and especially young talent of French football within the National Football Institute (INF).

Clairefontaine FFF Centre National de Football: https://www.cnf-clairefontaine.com/le-centre/

The Château de Compiègne relies on the sleigh of Empress Joséphine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, to attract visitors. The last acquisition of the Château de Compiègne (Oise 60) belonged to the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. A jewel which should represent one more reason to discover the Carriage Museum. Webpage: https://chateaudecompiegne.fr/en/node/88

A concert on the water to participate (a little) in the restoration of the Ricquebourg castle. called the “Petit Trianon of the Oise”. It was a simple assistant farrier to have the glory of saving the favorite horse of Louvoirs, minister of Louis XIV. He will also have the right to breed and train horses for the royal artillery. What he will do in his castle, built in 1712, in Ricquebourg. It was acquired by the Ridgway family, originally from Pennsylvania USA. They enlarged the castle and transformed the French-style park into an English garden. Ricquebourg remained American until 1914, when WWI broke out.  The proximity of the front cost the castle dearly, which was partially destroyed by fire in July 1918. Restoration began in 1925. It was done with a material from the revolutionary era: reinforced concrete. They cemented the cellars, redone the balusters, the concrete handrails. With the frost and humidity, the concrete slammed and caused water to seep in, causing irreversible damage. The castle had been in peril for years. Restoration work related to the Stéphane Bern mission is still ongoing.  The Mission Bern weppage:  https://www.missionbern.fr/

The Heritage Foundation on the castle :  https://www.fondation-patrimoine.org/les-projets/chateau-de-ricquebourg

In Paris, room 601 at the Hôtel du Sentier is the starting point for a full stroll. When he returned from Egypt in 1798, Napoleon decided to pay homage to the land of the pharaohs by renaming the arteries of the Sentier neighborhood or quartier of the 2éme arrondissement or district, in the heart of Paris, with Egyptian names: rue d’Alexandrie, rue d’Aboukir, place du Cairo… On this one stands today a building whose facade, classified, decorated with three large carved faces representing the goddess Hathor and numerous friezes of hieroglyphics, is supported by columns whose chiselled capitals evoke the lotus. The 30 rooms, spacious (a luxury in Paris!), Bright and sober, have windows redone identically on the original model from 1826. The 601 has two major advantages. First, its small windows: they offer several openings on Paris, including a bird’s-eye view of the Cairo Passage , the oldest, the longest (370 meters) and the narrowest in Paris , recently renovated and which s’ illuminates in the evening. Webpage: https://www.hoteldusentier.com/en

The Hôtel L’Aigle Noir Fontainebleau or the Black Eagle Hotel is a 16C building and was one of the favorite vacation spots for the nobility, who accompanied the rulers on their travels to the castle, 100 meters away. The historic four-star hotel is luxurious, but the family room is still affordable. Empire-style carpeting and wallpapers, impressive breakfast room: children will feel as if they are sleeping in a museum. As they leave the hotel, they will come face to face with a pretty old-fashioned horse carousel. Take a tour of the merry-go-round, before going for a picnic in Diane’s garden, just opposite, then visiting the castle and its park, where you won’t escape the boat ride on the carp pond. Webpage: https://www.aiglenoirhotel.com/en/

Ketchup, a generic name given to a thick sauce made from tomato sauce, vinegar and sugar, enjoys such popularity that it seems to pass through eras and pandemics with the same ease as a fresh anisette in the aperitif time. Long criticized for its deplorable nutritional score (up to 22% sugar) and industrial manufacture (it sells twenty-one bottles of Heinz ketchup around the world every second), ketchup is in the process of moulting.  While more than 45% of French households say they consume it regularly, more and more small producers are revisiting the original recipe to develop more balanced sauces, less sweet and, above all, made in an artisanal way from local products. To the point of seeing their sales explode and of interest to chefs in gourmet restaurants. One is from my area delicious, the Breton ketchup from the Conserverie des Saveurs, based in Landreau, (44) contains 60% Breton tomatoes and 13% Roscoff onions – all seasoned with Guérande salt. Webpage: http://www.dvfrance.com/groupe-dv/les-entites-du-groupe/47-conserverie-des-saveurs.html

There you go folks, another round in my belle France. These are the latest from my point of view , of course,there are many more. Again, hope you are out in your part of the world and can look forward to vacation time, we are! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

June 22, 2021

The shopping in Paris on discount!!!

A while back long do not recall the date exactly someone in my blog asked me to write something about where to get discounted brand clothing etc in Paris. Well , I am not an expert but I set out to search for these places and started noticing them as I passed by them in Paris. Finally , I wrote the post and it was well received. Now I am updating the stores and links and hope the new generation of readers will enjoy it too.

As said, shopping is one of the pleasures of France. It’s haute couture and fashion mode are tops and there is a plethora of designers creators that are not really still known outside of France but still coming along.  By popular demand online and on private emails, I will redo my listing updated of course of the best places to shop at discount in Paris with some notable exception elsewhere. Of course, you can read my previous posts on shopping for first line stores.

I did a similar presentation on a previous online travel site no longer in existence. We do shop for the middle names of Pierre Cardin, Daniel Hechter, Olly Gan, Jules, and some upper names like Lacoste, Hugo Boss, and Georgio Armani. However, our main line comes from Armand Thiery and we are very satisfy by the quality price ratio and the service in all their stores.

Here I will give some food for thought on your shopping days in Paris and elsewhere in France. These are all second hand discounted clothing stores in Paris. Of course, I have not been to all of them even most of them, but these are the stores that come up in any conversation with friends and or colleagues , when it comes to discounted and or second hand dégriffés stores in Paris. The stores are listed by arrondissement or district.

Paris 1er district we have

Stock Antoine et Lili, 17 Rue du Jour, these are past fashion period garments out of season that up to 50% off, we have been here. you come close on metro Pyramides lines 7 and 14. Several other stores in Paris webpage : https://fr.antoineetlili.com/

 One mentioned is Stock Ekyog, 1 Rue Montmartre, discounted to 50% open Mondays 14h-19h , Tuesdays/Wednesdays 10h30 to 14H and 15h to 19h30, Thursdays/Fridays/Saturdays 10h30 to 19h30 you reach on metro line 4 Les Halles  webpage: https://www.ekyog.com/

 Going over to Paris 2éme we have

 La Marelle, 21 Galerie Vivienne , depot sale of luxury brands, ready to wear and accessories open Mondays to Fridays from 10h30 to 18h30, Saturdays 12h30 to 18H30, nearest metro line 3 Bourse; webpage :  La Marelle

 Stock Kookai, 82 Rue Réaumur, we have been here, articles from Kookai and previous years collection with discounts from 30-70% Open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h30 to 19h30, nearest metro linees 3 and 4 Réaumur-Sébastopol. Webpage: https://www.kookai.fr/collections/ventes-privees

In the Marais 3éme and 4émé we have

Stock Jonak, 44 blvd de Sébastopol discounts of 30-40% on previous years collections open Monday 12h-14h and 14h30 to 19h Tuesday to Fridays 10h45 to 14H and 14h30 to 19h and Saturdays 10h45 to 19h. Closest Metro line 4 Etienne Marcel Webpage : https://www.jonak.fr/

L’Habilleur, 44 Rue du Poitou, creators collection at discount prices according to season, open Mondays to Saturdays from 12h to 19h30 nearest metro line 8 filles du calvaire. Webpage; http://www.habilleur.fr/

Stock Zadig & Voltaire 22 Rue du Bourg Tibourg, been here good one, previous years collection at discounts from 30-60% open Mondays to Fridays 11h to 19h and Saturdays 11h to 19h30 Sundays 14h to 19h30 nearest metro lines 1 and 11 Hôtel de Ville. Webpage: https://zadig-et-voltaire.com/eu/fr

Stock Azzedine Alaia 18 Rue de la Verrerie previous collections at discounts from 30-90% according to collection chosen, open Mondays to Saturdays 10h to 19h nearest metro lines 1 and 11 Hôtel de Ville. webpage: https://www.visitparisregion.com/fr/stock-azzedine-alaia

Stock Sandro, 26 Rue de Sévigne , this one I have been and has collection from previous years and end of series sales , open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10h30 -19h , and Sundays 13h -19h30; nearest metro line 1 Saint Paul Webpage: https://fr.sandro-paris.com/fr/boutiques

Another one been to is La Piscine , 13 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, several brands high styles upper prices clothings and accessories by the best fashion houses at unbeatable prices ,several branches in Paris. Open Mondays 13h to 19h30 ,and Tuesdays to Sundays 11h to 19h30,, nearest metro line 1 Saint Paul, webpage https://www.lapiscine-paris.fr/content/17-la-piscine-francs-bourgeois

André,168 Rue du Temple. Reduction of stock on previous collections of the brand André, open Mondays to Saturdays 9h to 19h nearest metro is République. Webpage: https://www.andre.fr/andre-paris-turbigo.html

Paris 10éme we have

Stock Claudie Pierlot, 6 Rue de Marseille discounts ready to wear, shoes etc been here good stuff. open Mondays 11h to 14h and 15h to 20h ,Tuesdays to Saturdays 11H to 20h and Sundays 13h30 to 19h30 nearest metro line 5  Jacques Bonsergent , webpage: https://fr.claudiepierlot.com/fr/boutiques

Bel Air Outlet, 22 Rue Beaurepaire , several locations in Paris and France, discounts open Mondays to Saturdays 10h30 to 10h30 nearest metro line 5 Jacques Bonsergent. Webpage: https://www.belair-paris.fr/storelocator

Karl Marc John Outlet, 65 Quai de Valmy, women and children, open Mondays to Saturdays 10h30 to 19h30 and Sundays 13h to 19h30. Several stores in Paris and France. webpage: https://karlmarcjohn.com/

Paris 11éme we have

Stock Sagone,(shoes) 44 Avenue de la République for shoes of all styles men and women, open Mondays to Saturdays 10h to 19h. They have several branches. The main one as stated closest metro Parmentier line 3.webpage: http://www.sagone-chaussures.com/site/article/affichageArticleType.asp?idsegmentationprincipale=0000002&idsegmentation=0000006

Jyvé Stock, 35 bvld de Reuilly, discounts and second hand from several brands and men and women, open weekdays and Saturdays 10h45 to 19h30 ,nearest metro line 6 Dugommier and Daumesnil lines 6 and 8 webpage https://www.jyvestock.fr/

In the Paris 14éme we have in just one street !!!

Stock Sonia Rykiel ,110-112 Rue d’Alésia, all about Sonia at 50% discounts from older collections, open Tuesdays 11h to 18h45 Wednesdays to Fridays 10h45 to 18h45 and Saturdays 10h4( to 19h, nearest metro line 4 Alésia; webpage Paris tourist office : https://en.parisinfo.com/shopping-paris/73729/Stock-Sonia-Rykiel

Stock Chevignon, 122 Rue d’Alésia, basic leather and old jeans collections with discounts of 30-50% off, open Mondays to Saturdays 11h to 19h nearest metro line 4 Alésia. Tel +33 (0) 1 45 43 40 25 no Webpage for the outlet the main brand webpage here: http://www.chevignon.com/

Stock Zapa, 139 Rue d’Alésia, discount models from previous years at great prices, open Mondays to Saturdays 10h to 19h30, nearest metro line 13 Pernety. Webpage https://www.zapa.fr/fr_fr/magasin-d-usine-alesia-3671.html

Stock Daniel Hechter, 92 Rue d’Alésia, mens and women of the fashion designer, been here and to the original store in Opéra as well as Tronchet, my business vest.. fyi, at the stock or outlet you have up to 50% discount from older models. Nearest metro line 13 Pernety. Webpage official brand, https://www.daniel-hechter.de/company/en

In Paris 18éme you have

Stock A P C, 20 Rue André del Sarte, discount of up to 70% on some articles and previous years collections, open Mondays to Saturdays 12h to 19h Sundays 13h to 19h, nearest metro line Château rouge. The surplus store is not mentioned in their webpage now so check if still there needed; it is in google. I will post their official Webpage: https://www.apc.fr/surplu-s.html

Moving on to Paris 20éme we have

Scalp Stock Weill , 12 blvd Charonne, , classic collection of Weill and Atika at great discounts open Monday 11h to 19h and Tuesday to Saturday 10h to 19h , nearest metro lline 1 , 2 , 6 , and 9 as RER A Nation,no webpage for outlet but shown in google . Store tel +33 (0) 1 43 73 10 85 main webpage on first line is herehttps://www.weill.com/en/

Then you have the Paris tourist office with a listing of many of them and more. https://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/themed-guides/inexpensive-paris/savvy-shopping/big-label-clearance-stores

And if you have a car, east of Paris , by dept 10 Aube in the region of Grand Est you have the city of Troyes, and there around it ,you have several outlet stores of good value such as Marques Avenue, Marquescity and McArthur Glen all next to each other really.  I have visited them too and shop as well in around Troyes. The webpages are:

Marques Avenue: https://www.marquesavenue.com/troyes/centre/

Marquescity: http://www.marquescity.fr/marquecity-plan.php

McArthur Glen: https://www.mcarthurglen.com/outlets/fr/fr/designer-outlet-troyes/nous-rendre-visite/

Hope it helps your find, of course as you know, Paris has endless shopping opportunities and will be silly of me to tell you these are all or even the best. These are some and on some of them I have been the experience has been good. Hope it helps

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

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June 22, 2021

The Markets and a Garden of Paris!

And here I am cruising in my blog updating this wonderful memorable old posts, and again thanks for reading me since Nov 2010!! It has been a blast, and hope with the help of WordPress can continue the journey. This post will be on the black and white series, no pictures. Plenty of pics in the individual posts on those written on. The markets and a garden of Paris!!! Enjoy it as I.

And who would not come to Paris and do not visit a market day or garden? These visits for me is what Paris is all about ,more so than entering a building. This is real Paris , the eternal city of bustling people and beauty all around you. We will always have Paris. I like to bring up to date my previous posts on market and a garden. Why together well it rimes with from the gardens to the market to the table. And a lot more than just eating ok.

I know you might know, there are several gardens in Paris and I am sure we all have our favorite. Well for me this is the Jardin des Tuileries. (see posts) .Not only is historical, beautiful and stunning with a superb location ,but I also worked for several years in front of it practically on rue Castiglione. What better way to have a relaxing moment from work than to walked the garden , and then bring the family on weekends as well.

I like to give you once again a bit of history I like.

The jardin des Tuileries extends from the Louvre to the east to the place de la Concorde to the west and bordering on the north the rue de Rivoli, Place des Pyramides and on the south the Seine river. Lovely spot indeed.  The Arc du Carrousel built in 1806 in the jardin du Carrousel marks the entrance to the jardin des Tuileries as the Palais des Tuileries that enclosed the Louvre on the west side was burned down by the uprising commune in 1871 (later demolished by the city of Paris in 1881). Way back in 1519 king François Ier chose these lands that was occupied from the 12C by rooftiles factories (like those now on the roof of the Louvre still!). In 1553 Catherine de Médicis decided to lived in the Louvre and had a castle built, buying the lands of the Tuileries to do a park/garden Italian style with fountains, caves, greenhouse and petting zoo.  By 1664, Colbert ordered André Le Nôtre (the one of Versailles, Marly, Saint Cloud, Saint Germain) under King Louis XIV to designed the gardens. Of course, Monsieur Le Nôtre was born in the Tuileries ! and it was a work of him that attracted the attention of Catherine de Médicis to do the garden name after the rooftiles factories or Tuileries. You have in the gardens the museums of Jeu de Paume and Orangerie.  The metro Tuileries here on line 1 entrance along the garden on rue de Rivoli has two stairs with pockets in portrait style on the entrance and exit.

The city of Paris on the Jardin des Tuileries in French: https://www.paris.fr/equipements/jardin-des-tuileries-1795

The Paris tourist office on the jardin des Tuileries in English: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71304/Jardin-des-Tuileries

Now, let me tell you about the markets of Paris; a must to visit, one several better. There are of all types and uses, and I like one that is not a popular tourist stop but it is a nice neighborhood of Passy in the 16 district of Paris. But, first let me tell you about some others I like. Please check times as these can change under the new world rules….

The market or Marché Saxe-Breteuil  with the best view of Paris. It is all along the Avenue de Saxe in the 7éme arrondissement and one of the particulars is that it has a wonderful view over to the Eiffel tower. The market is at Avenue de Saxe 7éme, Métro : Ségur,line 10. Open Thursdays and Saturdays from 7h to 14h30.

The market or Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest in Paris since 1615. Huge guinguette or party ambiance for this historical market lively, quality, authentic at 39 Rue de Bretagne, 3éme arrondissement  Métro Filles du calvaire, line 8. Open Tuesdays Wednesdays, Thursdays from  8h30 to 13h ,and 16h to 19h30; Fridays and Saturdays from 8h30 to 13h ,and  16h to 20h; Sundays from 8h30 to 14h

The market of Marché de Belleville, very cosmopolitan.  An not typical market located between the metro stations of  Ménilmontant and Belleville, offering food of first quality and fresh known for that. Another point is that you find many second hand products that went unsold of the huge Rungis central market at unbelievable prices. Located at  63 Boulevard de Belleville, 11éme , Métro line 2  Couronnes or Belleville also line 11.

The market or Marché d’Aligre, lively and friendly. One of the best in Paris but with a bit of disorder and for that Parisians love it. It is a symbol of the 12éme arrondissement located at 3 Place d’Aligre, 12éme  Métro line 8 Ledru-Rollin. Open every day except Mondays from 7h to 14h

The city of Paris on its markets: https://www.paris.fr/pages/les-marches-parisiens-2428

Now, let me tell you about the Marché couvert de Passy (covered market of Passy). I go by here often when coming to Paris and even take walks around and that is how one day I found it, and becomes the nostalgic market for me when sneaking into Paris before the pandemic.

It is a huge structure  dating from the 1950’s with big metallic poles holding it. The shopping space is small  with maybe 20-30 merchants inside. All very quant lively and nicely decorated stalls such as the ones for Alain et Francine au Petit·Maraîcher (vegetables) , Les Galets d’Etretat (cookies) , Au panier.de Nicolas (goodies) etc.  We find everything here from butcher, charcutier , feather birds, rabbits, ready take out food, flower shop, pharmacy, with very high quality. At the end you find the fish market or Poissonnerie de Passy with a good reputation for good product, service and price even if a bit higher than elsewhere you get beautiful fishes and seafood here with tastings available!  There is a Portuguese corner and the produces from there like chouricos and cold cuts in a rustic quaint stall,and you could purchase the pottery from the country in blue and white. There is the cheese maker affinity  Androuet  and just wonderful selection even of English cheeses from the house of Paxton and Whitfield, supplier to the Queen of England in person !  And of course French cheeses from the country to watered your mouth ! I am already there lol!!  Located at  16,  Place de Passy  Tél. +33 (0) 1.48.85.93.30/ Metro line 9 La Muette just around my favorite Parisian resto La Gare!! even VTers  went there with me ::)  Open all year and from 8h to 19h. Closed Mondays, and closes between 13h-16h as well as Sundays afternoons. I just hope to find these people there when back in Paris after the pandemic.

The Paris tourist office on the Passy market in English: https://en.parisinfo.com/shopping-paris/73871/Marche-couvert-de-Passy

There you go folks, hope you enjoy the ride on a wonderful part of visiting , living, rejoicing in Paris. Just the post makes me go and visit again!!! Enjoy the markets and a garden of Paris!!! And remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all!!!

June 18, 2021

The Royal town of Poissy!!!

Another of my memorable times while living in Versailles and working in Paris for almost 9 years was Poissy. This town is close in the royal circle of the Yvelines dept 78 in the region of Ïle de France. As I have several posts already in my blog this memory lane post will be on my black and white series, no pictures. Hope you enjoy it. This was sort of like an introduction to Poissy written back in 2017 in my blog. I will update text and links for you and me. And thanks for reading me since Nov 2010!

Getting out into the A13 autoroute de Normandie direction Rouen until exit sortie 6 Versailles centre that brings you on the N186 is only 23 kms or take a bit longer but more scenic route on the D190 into the N13 at St Germain en Laye and onwards to the N186 to Versailles. The bus no 9 from Poissy train station/bus terminal next to the bus terminal annexe at rue de l’Europe in Versailles near the Castle on Transdev network here: https://www.transdev-idf.com/ligne-9%20Express/poissy-versailles/015-PA2RS

I like to remember memorable places of mine and this is another one. I used to come by here on many business/family trips and to get my sons off school at the train station in Poissy , also a stop for the RER A into Paris.

The memorable museum of toys and the delicious historical drink Noyau de Poissy as well as its wonderful Collegiale Church Notre Dame which witnessed the birth of King Louis IX as well as baptized (the future Saint Louis) are worth the trip easy from Paris on the RER A train. It ,also, has a nice marché Beauregard or market day and a pretty riverfront (Seine) scene of music jazz and restaurant on a peniche boat. La villa Savoye and the parc Chateau de Villiers are good too the park is just across from the Seine river.

For the lovers of nature, walkers, bike riders etc the city is squeeze between two wonderful and historical forests. The forest Domaniale of Saint Germain en Laye to the west and the Forest Domaniale of Marly le Roi to the south. It is ,of course, at the confluent of the Seine river with three islands that of Migneaux ,the Grand Motteau and of Blanc. You can even arrange a boat ride at the harbor or Rue du Port, rive gauche right by the old bridge ; the existence of which is not sure but have found written document of the existence of a wooden bridge going back to 1162! the bridge was 400 meters long over the Seine river from Poissy to the town of Carrières-sous-Poissy , of this bridge only is left about 6 arches but only about 330 meters away from the new bridge and 570 meters from the bridge of the island of Migneaux that links it to the city.

In  all a very nice town for a walk to see the beautiful buildings and lively life not to mention home to the manufacturer of PSA Peugeot automobiles.

The city of Poissy has an excellent webpage on their heritage with a center of interpretation of heritage in French: https://www.ville-poissy.fr/index.php/sport-culture/equipements-culturels/maison-de-fer/le-centre-d-interpretation.html

The Yvelines dept 78 tourist office on Poissy: http://www.sortir-yvelines.fr/Art-et-culture/Art-et-culture-dans-les-Yvelines/visite-decouverte-yvelines/visiter-poissy-ville-royale

The Poissy tourist office webpage is not working but the city page gives you the contacts: https://www.ville-poissy.fr/index.php/sport-culture/equipements-culturels/l-office-du-tourisme.html

Easy ride by train or car from Paris for a good day of seeing something different in France. And Poissy is a Royal town to boot as told above. Worth a detour me think, hope you enjoy the post as I for the memories of always.

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

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June 17, 2021

More of Paris, do we ever stop !!!

An older post which gives me great pleasure in updating it. I was by Paris when an old friend of Real Madrid internet group we belong for several years finally made his way to Paris and just needed to see them in person. This was done and stayed a memorable moment in my life as well.  This is the brief story of that encounter.

Do we ever stop of seeing Paris? well, never, its a mouvable feast, eternal city of lights. Every opportunity is a welcome mat to civilisation, fun, history, architecture and specially the arts and culture we so much drank from it on each trip.

I was again by Paris yesterday, like so many posts before, (see Paris in my blog), the city never ceased to amazed me. More so because of a good friend from Algeria was coming over with his family and at least I had the opportunity to say hello , that is Paris the sublime meeting point of the world, or as Bogart used to say in Casablanca, We will always have Paris!!!

We had our drinks at La Terrasse resto on the place de l’école militaire, all there in the square is good and sublime.He came with chemist wife and small child from Alger, Algeria. As a fan of Real Madrid I guess he spoked Spanish too. It was a wonderful exchange of football, countries, jobs, the world. Memories forever.  The La Terrasse restaurant is a favorite of mine and not far from my world HQ office in Paris so it was a natural to meet there. A picture for friendship and good cheers!

paris-la-terrace-mohamed-Reis et-moi-madridista-argelia-mar14

This is La Terrasse webpage:  http://www.laterrassedu7.com/?lang=en

While in Paris, I had sublime 10 floor views of the city towards the Eiffel tower,and the Invalides Church. I walk around the Eiffel, and went around the école Militaire. Walking past Place Joffre you see of course still the Eiffel tower but also,a unique monument to Peace. This walking Paris is always good, and I did around these areas, walking in Paris is to live longer! I walked from my office to the restaurant above.

Of course, I came by TGV train from Auray to Montparnasse direct, as much as don’t like trains many times  I have no choice, I took the metro line 6 because it goes above ground on the way ok. However, on the way back, I took the wonderful bus 92 from place de l’école militaire to gare de Montparnasse , much better ride and wonderful Paris scènes ,above ground. I am still amazed at the number of visitors that insist on taking these trains, its like a tourist attraction lol!!! Then on the TGV from Montparnasse back home and  because of railroad tracks works after Rennes are under repairs, I have the distinct pleasure of taking the SNCF buses or cars. from the Gare de Rennes to Auray  in 2 hours! nice ride as it was very late but boy going out of a train station to go to a bus station this late at night almost midnight was not my cup of tea even in the smallist station like Rennes. I arrive well at my car  in Gare d’Auray for the last 15 minutes trip home.

There you go folks , jotted down in my blog for the memories of always and good cheers with good friends. Until we meet again, salut!! Hope you enjoy the brief event and do walk and walk in Paris. The La Terrasse is a great place to mingle and meet folks indeed. Again, hope you enjoy the event.

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

June 17, 2021

Coming back to the Eiffel tower!!

This is actually a new post with older pictures to tell about something that will happened once the gates are open all over the tourism world! One of the emblematic monument of Paris, and France is the Tour Eiffel or Eiffel Tower in Paris. I have written several posts on it but this one is on what is coming up. Hope you enjoy it.

The Eiffel Tower is located on the north end of the Champ de Mars, a large public park in the 7éme arrondissement of Paris. You can find the tower at the intersection of the Quai Branly and the Pont d’Iéna

Due to the terrorist risk, the Eiffel Tower operating company closed the front of the tower to free movement in June 2016 and secured the perimeter by installing in 2018 on two sides a thick bulletproof glass enclosure of 6.5 cm completed by anti-car-ram blocks, on the other two a metal mesh 3.24 meters high (one hundredth of the Eiffel Tower) which takes the shape and curves of the tower.

In 2018, the Eiffel Tower must undergo a facelift which is complicated by the presence of lead.   To give back to the Eiffel Tower, on the occasion of the 2024 Olympic Games, the yellow-brown color desired by Gustave Eiffel in 1907, the company operating the monument, La Sete began in 2019, the 20th campaign of painting of the “iron lady”. The painting project in progress on the Eiffel Tower has been suspended since the beginning of February 2021 because of the traces of lead measured on the surface, in the enclosure of the monument.  This work is part of a reorganization plan of 300 million euros, most of the objectives of which must be achieved before the Olympic Games in 2024.

September 23, 2020, the emblematic monument of the city of Paris was evacuated for several hours at midday, due to a bomb threat. It has been announced the reopening on July 16, 2021. 

Let me update on the extra security measures now around the Tour Eiffel. In addition to the barriers which looks like a war zone to me as used to passed in front of it last in November 2019 due to the virus. I would be tented to go again but with this security will be even more of a hassle. Even with security barriers that looks like a war zone, people keeps coming back. It is Paris after all, it is the Eiffel tower!!

Everyone who visits the tower needs to go through security, and there is no way to skip the security checks. There is a security check to get inside the perimeter barriers and then another security check for those entering the monument via the stairs or elevators. However, visitors who buy their tickets ahead of time online (highly recommended) can save time with fast-track security checks for the elevators. The electronic timed tickets purchased online in advance save you time with fast-track security checks and no need to queue at the Eiffel Tower ticket offices. Thet tickets are personalized so bring some id like passport with you. If you prefer a quieter and less crowded visit, I recommend visiting either in the morning or the evening after dark. The least busy times are generally 9h to 11h and 20h to 22h. Of course, have posted these before and many others to hard to say which time is best nowdays.

paris tour eiffel entr barriers nov17

paris tour eiffel exiting barriers nov17

There are three metro stops and one RER commuter rail stop within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower such as my usual line the no 6 (Nation – Charles de Gaulle Etoile) stop/arrêt Bir-Hakeim. Also, Line 9 (Pont de Sévres – Mairie de Montreuil) stop/arrêt Trocadéro. And Line 8 (Balard – Créteil) stop/arrêt Ecole Militaire. As well as RER Line C stop/arrêt Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel. There are several bus stops within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower, like my line on bus 82, stops tour Eiffel or Champ de Mars. (see post). Bus 42, stop: tour Eiffel .Bus 87, stop: Champ de Mars and Bus 69, stop Champ de Mars. You can actually reach the Eiffel Tower by river if you are taking the hop-on, hop-off river cruise on the Batobus. The harbor is at port de Suffren just going down to the Seine river from the tower.

If you are driving,and I have glorious passing with the Eiffel tower ahead of you! There are several paid parking garages located near the Eiffel Tower such as Parking Pullman Tour Eiffel (18 avenue de Suffren). Parking Quai Branly (25 quai Branly).  Parking Bouvard (443 Avenue Joseph Bouvard). Parking Sainte Dominique (133 rue Sainte Dominique). Parking Joffre Ecole Militaire (2 place Joffre). All good and within 10 minutes of the Eiffel tower on foot.

The official Eiffel Tower webpage on getting in etc: https://www.toureiffel.paris/en/planning-smooth-visit

The Paris tourist office on the Eiffel Tower: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71062/La-tour-Eiffel

There you go folks, another dandy monument of my eternal Paris. You need to be prepare more than ever to travel and be aware of the latest info. The official sites are best and the tourist office second best for info. Enjoy the Eiffel Tower if you must said you were in Paris!

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

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June 17, 2021

The Hôtel des Invalides of Paris!!!

I like to re write almost new text and updated links with older pictures on this wonderful monument of Paris, France. I have written before in my blog on the church, this time will do the building,the institution itself so what about the Hôtel des Invalides of Paris!!!

In my walks of Paris I come to see many nice buildings, some I passed by and at first do not even know what they are, so many gorgeous architecture. However ,the Invalides has always caught my eyes. It was near my old HQ office so even visiting now takes extra time around there. Of course, I am talking about the Hôtel des Invalides of Paris. I like to tell you a bit about the history I like on the invalides.

Paris hotel des invalides and dome st lous church behind c1995

The Hôtel des Invalides  was ordered by king Louis XIV in 1670 to house the wounded soldiers of his armies.  Today, it is still with the same functions but also the Cathedral Saint-Louis des Invalides (see post), several museums , and a military necropolis especially the tomb of emperor Napoléon Ier.  This huge architectural complex is one of the most important Classical style design in France, been the work of architect  Jules Hardouin-Mansart (Versailles and al fame).  Interesting to note, it takes the concept from the Monastery of El Escorial outside Madrid ( see post) ordered built by king Felipe II of Spain , but also takes ideas from other hospitals in Paris such as the Salpêtrière.

Paris invalides entr on the esplanade des invalides mar13

In 1659, after the treaty of the Pyrénées (marking the frontiers even today of France and Spain) ,king Louis XIV  took again the idea from Cardinal Richelieu that had done one in 1634 at the Château de Bicêtre  to take care of handicap soldiers under the commanderie Saint-Louis.  The project finally saw the light several years later by ordered of the king in 1670  to built a Hôpital/Hôtel des Invalides to the ageing military, wounded or inapt for war soldiers . The establishement works as a hospital and hospice, military barrack, and convent is all exempted from taxes and administered by a governor.  The soldiers are cure with funds coming from the revenue of the parishes and abbeys starting in 1676; the building was not fully completed until August 28 1706, when the keys of the hotel was given to the sun king Louis XIV.

The Hôtel des Invalides also has museums such as the army museum or musée de l’artillerie est. 1872, army history museum or musée historique des armées ,est. 1896, and both united in 1905 as the army museum or musée de l’armée. The Church is link directly to the Royal Chapel better known as the Dôme des Invalides.  This Chapel with the Dome has a large lantern of 107 meters high that was used only by the Royal family. Finally, the dome is cover completely in gold in a gothic style.  It is a square pavilion facing the street at decorated angles of columns where there are statues and has an obelisk finished by a Cross on top.  The construction of the dome was finished in 1708.  The dome was renovated in gold in 1807, 1830, 1839, 1937 , and lastly in 1989, needing 12 kg of gold or about 26 pounds. It has two cupolas in stone with two scenic drawings decorated with several Saints and a large one representing  Saint Louis  in its mantle of Royal ermine ( fleur de lys=Lilys) giving his sword to Jésus-Christ in person surrounded by musical angels.

Paris invalides esp de l'invalides canons mus armee et eiffel mar13

Since 1861, under the dome and its cupolas rest in peace the so called emperor Napoléon Ier inside six coffins follow by a sarcophagus of red quartz in a open sky crypt in the center of the building.  The choir of the Cathedral of  Saint-Louis (see post) is the only one in France of all its Churches and Cathedrals that has a permanent French flag. In December 1940, the ashes of his son known as the king of Rome or Napoléon II or the Aiglon (English) were transfered from Vienna in a funerary urn by an adviser to Hitler and the govt of Vichy (collaborator) as Paris was in occupied zone.  Here lies as well the remains of brothers Joseph and Jérome Bonaparte as well as the queen of Westphalia and other members of the Bonaparte family. Other commanders of the Great War (WWI) and WWII are also here such as marshals of France Ferdinand Foch, Hubert Lyautey, Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, Alphonse Juin, , the generals Robert Nivelle, Charles Mangin, Pierre Auguste Roques, and Henri Giraud, and the admirals Boué de Lapeyrère ,and Gauchet.

I have come here by car and even eaten across the street (see post) on the Café de l’Esplanade. Also, you can do it by public transports such as metro Invalides lines 8 and 13 , Varenne line 13 or La Tour-Maubourg line 8. The Hôtel des Invalides is in the neighborhood or quartier of Gros Caillou, and  the 7éme arrondissement or district.

The official webpage of the Army museumhttps://www.musee-armee.fr/en/english-version.html

The formalities to entered the Hôtel des Invalides as a resident patient in French: http://www.invalides.fr/patients/droits-et-informations/les-formalites-dadmissions

The Paris tourist office on the Hôtel des Invalides: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71310/Hotel-national-des-Invalides

Hope you have enjoy this brief tour of history at the huge Hôtel des Invalides of Paris , one of the great French institutions that goes beyond into the veins of the French. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 17, 2021

Some news from France, CCCXXXVII

And back to the wonderful some news from France series now in its 337th edition thanks to your loyal reading over the years since Nov 2010. Let me tell what are the latest and now the restos/bars are open! Welcome to France!! Bienvenue! or as we say in my neck of the woods Degemer mat!

The world changes ! After weeks of rumors, the Plaza Athénée formalized  the appointment of Jean Imbert as head of its kitchens, to take over from Alain Ducasse. And maybe attract a jet set clientele. Associated since last year with Pharell Williams in the ToShare restaurant of the Hotel White 1921 in Saint-Tropez, Jean Imbert is close to Marion Cotillard, Omar Sy, Madonna, Robert De Niro and Beyoncé.

The Four Seasons George V has reopened one of its three restaurants, the one Michelin star George, which offers Italian specialties. A revival with fanfare facilitated by the superb terrace of the palace and the notoriety of the chef. Since the start of the health crisis, Simone Zanoni has become a star on social networks. Gordon Ramsay’s ex-right-hand man is stopped in the street by passers-by asking for selfies. He even set up a family business of Italian products sold online, Casa Zanoni.

La Estancia (“the ranch”), which the young entrepreneur Nicolas Hesse has just opened in Paris. The butcher shop made in Argentina.  Between Argentina and France, the crossing is done by boat, at 0 ° C, and it lasts a month. Good thing, this is precisely the time you need to give these cuts of black angus beef to tenderize them. Before opening La Estancia, Nicolas Hesse met many cattle farmers, chose one with whom he even partnered. His family having some means, he is also preparing to acquire a local vineyard to serve his own wine in restaurants … or rather in his future restaurants, if he manages to duplicate his concept throughout France. La Estancia, 27, quai des Grands Augustins, 6éme webpage :  https://laestancia.fr/

La Rochelle with the certainty of finding a haven in which to spend the night. At the “Villa Grand Voile”, open last summer, no need to overdo the marine decoration, the ocean being at the end of the street. Between a nod to a boat cabin and a tribute to bourgeois history, the 11 rooms are adorned with the chromatic spectrum of the blues of the ocean and the sky, the stormy grays and the pinks of maritime twilight. White on the beds and walls. From parquet to the ground. An azure square in the courtyard to dive into a pocket pool. Even in stormy weather, we sleep like an old sea bass in these comfortable rooms, in which an iodized and gourmet breakfast is served to the song of the seagulls. In his Michelin-starred restaurant, which bears his name, Christopher Coutanceau works like no other with the lobster that is eaten whole, the flesh cooked on a rock of pink salt, the shell transformed into chips, the coral in foam and the brain in vinaigrette. . In his marine bistro, “La Yole de Chris”, right next door, we can enjoy dishes that are just as salty but more affordable.  Villa Grand Voile 12, rue de la Cloche, 17000 La Rochelle. Webpage : http://www.villagrandvoile.com

In a few years,the rosé wine, the little wine of summer, has changed a lot. And it challenged a lot of preconceptions. It comes from Provence. It is true that Provence is the leading producer of rosé wines of controlled designation of origin (AOC): 38% of them are labeled Côtes-de-Provence, Coteaux-d’Aix-en-Provence or Coteaux- Varois-en-Provence. But if we consider French rosé wines in general, whether they are AOC, with a protected geographical indication (IGP) or Vin de France, it is Languedoc which is the first producer with, in 2017, 2, 6 million hectoliters vinified. Out of a total of 5.5 million for the entire French vineyard. The main rosé production regions are Occitanie (alone, the IGP pays-d’oc accounted for 23% of the national volume in 2016), Provence (19% of the national volume), the Loire Valley and the Rhône valley. It’s best if it’s clear. Let us say rather that the French prefer it clear. FranceAgriMer and the Interprofessional Committee of Provence wines in 2018 designed a series of pie charts to classify the rosés consumed in various countries according to their color. In France, it is clear, 30% of them are very light, only 15% are very dark. But in Italy and Spain, the result is the opposite: respectively 13% and 11% of rosés opened are very clear, against 46% and 50% of bottles with a very dark shade. Where does such a difference come from? First of all, varieties of grapes and terroirs. Light grape varieties, such as Clairette Rose, Grenache Gris, Pinot Noir, produce pale rosés when Syrah, Carignan or Merlot quickly transmit their color. Grenache oir gives rosés with an orange hue, while Cinsault delivers a more yellow color. Also, the more acidic a variety, the brighter its color, predominantly frank pink. Finally, weather conditions cause changes. The drier and hotter the year, the more colorful the grapes and wines.

“Pastis is like breasts. One is not enough, and three is too much, “said Fernandel.!!  Before sipping the famous pastaga, drink the words of Guillaume Strebler, who works at the Distillerie de la Plaine, in the 6éme arrondissement of Marseille. His workshop to “assemble your pastis” allows you to discover the dry ingredients that go into the recipe, by touching, smelling and tasting anise, liquorice, fennel or star anise. We continue with the identification of macerates obtained from 45-degree alcohol and these same spices and aromatics, joined by mate, pepper and verbena as well as anise essential oil. The latter contributes to squinting, that opaque whitening obtained when water is poured into its pure pastis. All you have to do is compose your own recipe from the ready-to-use macerates, before leaving with your homemade bottle – that’s a lot more than three glasses! Webpage: https://wecandoo.fr/atelier/assemblage-pastis-marseille

The arrival of Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Moncler in the Champs-Elysées are still moving upmarket. Avenue des Champs-Elysées has nearly 90 shops. See more webpage: http://www.champselysees-paris.com/shopping/list

Under the sun of Cergy-Pontoise (Val-d’Oise 95). It is this new city in the great Parisian suburbs that the Louis Vuitton house has invested to film its Cruise 22 fashion show, broadcast on the brand’s website on June 15, in the afternoon. It is more exactly around the Axe Majeur (see post), this monumental open-air work of art imagined around the Cergy-Pontoise leisure center from the 1980s, that Nicolas Ghesquière has chose to unveil its new cruise collection. Webpage in French: https://fr.louisvuitton.com/fra-fr/magazine/articles/women-cruise-2022-show#

A jewel of Art Nouveau, the cupola of Galeries Lafayette has regained its former glory. The magnificent century-old work of 1,400 square meters built in 1912 by Ferdinand Chanut, Jacques Grüber and Louis Majorelle, three renowned artists, has regained its luster thanks to long-term restoration work, which has undergone a boost thanks to confinement. Webpage: https://haussmann.galerieslafayette.com/en/events/glasswalk-an-incredible-experience/

At the Centre Pompidou center, after two years of work, the caterpillar is restarting! Beaubourg’s iconic exterior escalator has been completely replaced. It had been at a standstill since fall 2019. A colossal project, accompanied by an enlargement of the main entrance. By 2023, another major renovation will shut the museum down for nearly three years. Be there quick!! Webpage: https://www.centrepompidou.fr/en/

Free parking for scooters and motorcycles in Paris will soon end. The measure will be effective from 2022. It is now done: in 2022, prices will be 3€ per hour in the first 11 arrondissements (zone 1), and 2€ per hour in arrondissements 12 to 20 (zone 2). For this, 5,000 parking spaces will be created, and fines will increase from 50€ to 75€ in zone 1 and from 35€ to 50€  in zone 2. Paris is excluding itself once again!

At La Défense (dept 92), the Rose of Cherbourg ready to be reborn. Until then not very welcoming, this link between Puteaux and the business district will welcome, by 2022, a tower designed by Jean Nouvel, vast green spaces and a suspended footbridge directly inspired by the famous New York High Line. The circular boulevard interchange will be transformed into a suspended promenade inspired by the New York High Line. it will be partly covered by nine arbors. More info in English webpage: https://parisladefense.com/en/discover/projects/rose-de-cherbourg

The great return of the Fête des Loges in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines 78) Canceled last year, the famous funfair will resume its usual summer quarters from July 2. The Fête des Loges, 368th, on the agenda, such as the official inauguration of Saturday July 3, the coronation of the Queen of Lodges on Monday 5, or the celebration of the Saint-Fiacre on Thursday 22, with its stroll in music and its mass organized on the track of the bumper cars. From Friday July 2 to Saturday August 15. From 15h. to 01h30. Monday to Thursday, from 15h. to 02h00. on Fridays, from 14h to  02h00. on Saturdays and from 14h. to 01h00. on Sundays and public holidays. Free entrance. Webpage: https://www.fetedesloges.fr/#infospratiques

In Marseille, room 604 of the New Hôtel Le Quai is the starting point for a sunny escape. A stone’s throw from La Canebière, the New Hotel Le Quai claims its discretion behind a 19C facade. Renovated and reopened in 2020 by Caroline and Camille, daughters of Georges Antoun, the president of the New Hotel group, the establishment, which was once a guesthouse, is dressed in wood. The large room on the ground in geometric designs entertains at breakfast time, while the minimalist reception counter welcomes at any time with reserved benevolence. On the floors (6, for 48 rooms), the felted corridors, with striped graphic carpets and raspberry walls, lead to the rooms whose atmosphere evokes the Provencal holiday homes of the 1970s. A newbie to be tested in historical Marseille. Webpage: http://www.new-hotel.com/en/hotels-marseille/le-quai-vieux-port

And yes my part of the world is unique and more and more are coming here to my Bretagne . There is a need to make rules for the avalanche before its too late. We are on the move! The calm before the storm in the village of Saint-Jacut-de-la-Mer (Côtes-d’Armor 22), a charming peninsula on the banks of the Channel, the number of inhabitants goes from 906 to 10,000 to arrival of summer in which the town has 63% of secondary residents. There is a risk of becoming an open-air retirement home. Brittany has them on a good part of its coasts. In 2017, 13.3% of dwellings in the region were second homes. On the Morbihan coast, this rate climbs to 80% in villages like Arzon! (Presqu’ïle de Rhuys) .The Breton Democratic Union (UDB) party already with a proposal? Reserve the purchase of real estate in the most desirable areas for people who have lived for a year in the same community of towns. It is inspired by an abortive idea of the Corsican separatists, which provided for a period of five years of life on the territory to access the purchase on the island. To be continue….

For a different taste from America in Paris. We could count on Grindz of Hawaii to warm our hearts and make us travel! It must be said that this new neighborhood canteen with good vibes and a colorful atmosphere saved our lunch breaks thanks to its recipes full of flavors. On the menu, fresh, good and homemade! A second Hawaiian address will open very soon in the 8éme arrondissement! Grindz of Hawaii 29, rue Beaubourg 3éme. Open Monday to Saturday from 10h to 21h. webpage : https://www.grindzofhawaii.com/

There you go folks, another wonderful belle France awaits us all!!! Be there or be square!!! We are on the move again!! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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