Posts tagged ‘Paris’

August 13, 2019

Le petit trains or the little trains!!!

Now on a windy cool semi cloudy day in my neck of the woods, and temps of 21C or about 65F let me bring you to the magical world of litle tourist trains which abound in my belle France. I cannot tell you all but the most significants for my family and with some pictures of some of them.

We have enjoyed them tremendously especially when visiting and early on that my boys were younger,now grown men difficult to get them into them but the memories lingered for the parents ,especially. I like to briefly share some of our favorites petit trains with you all. Enjoy it as we did! No specific order of the experience.

The Petit Train of Tours taking you to the old neighborhoods of the city of Tours such as the  Hôtel de Ville – Palais de Justice – Basilique Saint-Martin – Place Plumerau – Théâtre – Place Foire Le Roi – Château -, and  Cathédrale Saint-Gatien. More about it here: Petit train de val de loire, Tours

The Petit train of Albi is great for the hilly streets and a a great experience when approaching the Cathedral! More info here: Tourist office of Albi on the petit train

The Petit Train of Rouen, other than Paris and Versailles this one was the first one taken in France way back in the 90’s, and repeat with the boys A wonderful experience on the old neighborhood of Rouen and the parvis of the Cathedral! More info here: Tourist office of Rouen on the petit train

The Petit Train of  Bourges. hah, when we saw the steep streets at first this one was the best option to see the most important monuments and choose those most like to come back on foot! The approach to the Cathedral is awesome. More info here: Tourist office of Bourges Berry region on the petit train

The petit trains of Quiberon, Vannes ,and La Trinité sur Mer/ Carnac are awesome especially at the beginning of the summer beach season as later are packed! Theses towns are in my beautiful Morbihan, just south of me,  and they are worth the walk but on a petit train at first is sublime. More info on their sites here:

Petit Train of Quiberon

Petit Train of Vannes

Petit train of Carnac








La Trinité sur Mer

The Petit train du loch in Auray. Also, in my lovely Morbihan breton and the first one taken while living here. It is a good idea as the lower town of St Goustan is very steep in streets and cobblestones; so a first try here is recommended. More info here: Tourist office Bay of Quiberon on the petit train of Auray


The Petits Trains du Val de Loire, and in Amboise. A lovely ride on the Château Royal; Château du Clos Lucé,  the banks of the Loire river and the golden island or l’île d’Or . Great views magnificent rides and we take our house wines here so we tested a few time after a long day lol! More info here: The petit trains du Val de Loire in Amboise

The Petit train of Angers, a wonderful ride on old Angers discovering the Cité la doutre, wooden houses ,anecdotes as told by the conductor and of course the Cathedral. More info here: The Petit trains du Val de Loire in Angers

The Petit train of Beaune! from departure at the  rue de l’hôtel Dieu in front of the Hospices of Beaune! Nothing more sublime than this and a narrated tour of the old town with its wonderful monuments and the vineyards of Burgundy! More info here: Visio petit train of Beaune

Under the slogan  «Bénodet, bonne idée» or Bénodet, good idea, take a ride into the old port and town of Bénodet, by its corniche de l’estuaire to the corniche de la mer, along the ocean and to the pointe Saint Gilles to the Fort du Coq. Great sights of boats and sea always gorgeous. More info here: City of Bénodet on the petit train


The Petit train of Caen, again one of the earliest little train we took as a family , great memories. You take at the wonderful Church of St Pierre facing the tourist office , and go on to see the  Château, Abbaye aux Dames,  port, Tour Leroy,  Abbaye aux Hommes, place St Sauveur, and the old city center of Caen. Still very nice to do! More info here: The Cap Petit Train of Caen

The Petit train of Chartres, another of the earlier ones we took and very nice. Along the banks of the river, to see all monuments and of course the Cathedral of Chartres glorious as ever. More info here: The Petit train of Chartres

The Petit train of Deauville; this one is a long run worth it to avoid long walks, you can always come back to the best sights. Starts at City center and goes into Place Morny, Vieux Marché (old market), Yatchs basin, Port Deauville, Poney Club, Mini-Golf, CID, Piscine (pool), Plages (beaches) and along the sea, Les Planches, Promenade M. d’Ornano, new gardens ,  wonderful luxury Hôtels, and Casino,and back to the city/town hall or  Mairie. More info here: The petit train of Deauville

The Petit train of Dieppe, a nice narrated ride on the narrow streets of Dieppe with history of the town included.  The ride takes you into the old town, and the port, the landing beach and its monuments. More info here: The Petit train of Dieppe

The Petit train of  Guérande ; very nice on narrow cobblestone streets and as have friends with small children here we took it too lol! Goes from the foot of the gate or porte St Michel, the main entrance to the fortified city. More info here: The Petit train of Guérande

The Petit train of La Baule, a great ride from the bay 8 km connecting the towns of La Baule to Pornichet. Passing by great beaches and wonderful view of the ocean! More info here: The Petit train of La Baule

The Petit train of Le Mans,another great idea on a narrow steep and cobblestone fortified town. You go into the old town of the  Cîté Plantagenet and the pedestrian center, along the banks of the Sarthe river, with story telling indeed very interesting. More info here: The Petit trains du Val de Loire in Le Mans

The Petit train of Nantes. A great ride with lots to see and come back for it in details later on. The trip goes into the city center retracing the history of Nantes.  You leave from the wonderful Cathedral Saint-Pierre, to the center gazing at beautiful architecture we like it still. More info here: The Petit train of Nantes


The Petit train of Quimper , goes to the historic center town and into pedestrian only streets! and along the wharfs or quais of the Odet river! More info here: The Petit train Celtic of Quimper


The Petit train of Saumur. Very nice as it was the last petit train we took as a family after my dear late wife Martine passed away from cancer. You ride along the banks of the Loire river into the historic equestrian and military heart of the buildings of the cavalry, Church of St Pierre, medieval streets of the city center to arrive at the majestic Château de Saumur overlooking the Loire river. More info here: The Petit train du Val de Loire in Saumur

The Petit train of Tolouse. It has two tours or trips one lets you see the monuments such as the Place du Capitole, Basilique St-Sernin, Place St-Pierre, Quais de la Garonne, Church de la Daurade, neighborhoods or quartiers Croix-Baragnon and St-Georges, and the Place Wilson.  The second trip takes you to discover the monuments of the neighborhoods or quartiers Dalbade, Palais de Justice, and the public gardens such as  Jardin Royal, Grand Rond. Also, the palace or Palais Niel, and the Canal du Midi. A sentimental favorite in France and worth the ride on both tours. More info here: The Petit train of Toulouse

The Petit train of St Jean de Luz. a nice ride looking at its beautiful houses, Church of  Saint-Jean-Baptiste (St John the Baptist), thalasso and casino,the house of the future queen of France Maria Teresa of Spain, and the wonderful place Louis-XIV. This one is going back a lot but nice memories, More info here: The Petit train of Saint Jean de Luz

st jean de luz

The Petit train of Fougéres, you go to the foot of the castle at place Raoul 2. And go no with a beautiful ride into old Fougéres for a 40 minutes ride! More info here: The Petit train of Fougéres


The Petit train of Montmartre, Paris. It was the second petit train we ever took in France! Well this one by now is very touristic in my opinion but with the steep cobblestone streets of Montmartre it is still a good idea to take it at first. You will ride into its picturesques streets, the ateliers of painters, the monuments, the cabarets, the vineyard, and the wonderful Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Sacre Coeur with a panoramic view of Paris to end start at the Place du Tertre. More info here: The Petit train of Montmartre, Paris

The Petit Train of St Malo. another good option on a narrow cobblestone fortified city to take the tour first. You take it at the Esplanade Saint Vincent, between the tourist office and the Castle. More info here: The Petit train of St Malo

St Malo

St Malo quai-st-vincent

The Petit train of Port du Crouesty, Arzon; you take it from here to the next port harbor of Port Navalo passing by the windmill or Moulin de Pen Castel. A nice ride along the ocean and harbors; more info here: The Petit train of Arzon, Port du Crouesty


The Petit train or Noirmout’train of the island or île de Noirmoutier . This offers four tours but take the grand tour first time to see it all.  These are call the découverte or discovery , village anciens or old towns, marais salants or salted marshes and the grand tour or big trip. More info here The Petit train of Noirmoutier or noirmouttrain

Ile de Noumoutier

And last but not least, the first petit train we took in France in our dear beloved Versailles. It is an internal train on the property of the castle even if sometimes it is taken outside on heritage days . We have not taken it since 2011! You will ride in the property of the Domaine of Versailles which includes the gardens, the palace/museum, and the Hameau, Petit and Grand Trianon. Sublime to take it at least once and if too tired of the walks in the domaine. Enjoy it. More info here: The Petit train of the Domaine of Versailles


Versailles by rive gauche RER C station

There is one more webpage that showcase all of the above and a lot more petit trains in France. For info it is here: The Petit trains of France

Wow, impress myself no idea on how many of these wonders we have been to, great memories indeed. Much have been said about the little trains or petit trains and sometimes the price ratio does not seems correct. However, for someone with limited time and or not good at long walks they are a perfect choice to do here. Enjoy them as we have done over the years, and glad still around us for the enjoyment of all! The Petit trains are sublimes!

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

August 9, 2019

A bit of Neuilly-sur-Seine!

So here I am  and coming back to tell you about my regular routines. I have mentioned in previous posts, that I am lucky enough to have worked in Paris for almost 10 years and now the priviledge to visit it almost every month on business runs and one or two a year on family pleasure runs.

Of course, I go over into our former home and the wonderful city of Versailles, but also, do get some runs into less frequented towns around Paris. This is the case of a nice chic Neuilly-sur-Seine in dept 92 of Hauts de Seine, region of ïle de France! 

neuilly sur seine

This is one of my typical runs to Paris almost every month now. However, not on the tour de France weekend darn! This was last month !

I went back to my beloved Paris again, and this time to my ultra chic quartier des sablons in Neuilly-sur-Seine, dept 92.  This was an area that I used to passed by for work and pleasure, so know it well; this time had a play  at the marvelous théatre des sablons, More info here:

neuilly sur seine

neuilly sur seine

Well, I went by TGV train from Auray to Montparnasse, and then took metro line 13 to my hotel,  at Grand Hotel du Calvados, next to the train station at 20 Rue d’Amsterdam, 9éme; info here: Grand Hotel de Calvados Paris, right by the Gare Saint Lazare, typical hotel here is smallish rooms and baths, basic breakfast place, nice friendly staff, good for a night or two and or single or couples. It is centrally located with unlimited transportation options. In a hurry no pictures kept lol!!!

However, before reaching the hotel ,I stop for dinner at Restaurant Le Maresquier same owners) at 12 pl Saint Augustin; wonderful modern ambiance and inventive fusion food, with a côte de cochon that was to kill for it and great southwestern Madiran red Tourus, nice souffle grand marnier to boot all for 54 euros, tops, chic, class, well done.   More info here: https:


It was an easy to roam area, nice updated, Gare Saint Lazare is wonderful with a big modern shopping center inside. The area seems lively, good ambiance, more crowded!!


Next day  ,off I went to the theater of Sablons or Théatre des Sablons, I took bus 43 right at the Pasquier-Anjou stop across from the Chapelle Expiatoire monument to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette many missed. The bus dropped me off at Chartres just next to the theater. The line is here from RATP , Line 43 info here:

Then, in the evening, I took bus 82 right at Chartres stop too, and it goes all the way to Gare de Montparnasse in rue des departs, wonderful right to some of the best spots in Paris such Tour Eiffel! The line from RATP  ,line 82 info here:

Had my late night snack at Ekki Porte Océane (the old brasserie porte Océane closed missed it) at Montparnasse, and took my TGV back to Auray. The parking here is free, so very nice indeed. It is ,also,, the closest to my house now about 20 minute car ride. Reaching home by almost midnight and ready to work  next day lol!! on a very light day.

So will start backward on this post lol! No I am ok just different today. Let me tell you a bit on the town of Neuilly-sur-Seine !

The town of Neuilly sur Seine  is bounded on the east and south by Paris (from east to south: Porte de Villiers, Porte des Ternes, Porte Maillot, Bois de Boulogne), to the west by the Seine river ( La Defense, on the towns  of Courbevoie and Puteaux) and north by the town of Levallois-Perret by  rue de Villiers.  It includes a large part of the island of La Jatte (with the exception of its northern point attached to Levallois-Perret), and the northeastern end of the island of Puteaux, whose part in NSS  is also known under the name of Ïle du Pont ( bridge Island).  The national road N13 in Neuilly SS takes the name Avenue Charles-de-Gaulle, formerly Avenue de Neuilly. It is an extension, to  La Defense and the west of the Paris area, of the Avenue des Champs-Elysées and the Avenue de la Grande-Armée in Paris.

More on the interesting island or ïle de la Jatte here: Tourist office of Paris on the island of Jatte

A bit of history I like

The crossing point or ford will later turn into a port and this port is a gap of Clichy, built on the wharf of the abbey of Saint Denis. The name will then turn into the port of Luny, port of Nully (1346) then Neuilly. Until 1700, the strategic importance of the bridge established on this place on the Seine river  is such that it was  call the Pont-Neuilly.  A wooden bridge is built following the fall of the ferry carriage of Henry IV and Marie de Medici in June 1606. In 1772, under Louis XV, a stone bridge 219 meters long was built, the bridge is this time in the historical axis and no longer in the extension of the current rue du Pont. In 1942, a metal bridge replaces it as the current  Pont de Neuilly bridge. In 1992, the bridge was widened to allow the surface crossing of the extension of line 1 of the metro to La Défense.

King François I, on his return from prison in  Spain in 1529, built the castle of Boulogne, on the edge of the forest of Rouvray ( Bois de Boulogne is the part that remains today) which, under Louis XIII, took the name of Château de Madrid . It is demolished in 1793, during the French revolution. It was located approximately around 31 Boulevard Commandant-Charcot. No vestige remains. Only a few traffic routes keep the name, such as the driveway, the villa or the avenue de Madrid.  In 1777, Claude Baudard de Vaudésir of Saint Gemmes General Treasurer of the Navy of Louis XV, who will be dismissed for embezzlement, had built and develop a domain planted with trees and shrubs  sought after,  la Folie Saint-James (madness Saint-James) . In  July 6, 1815 Wellington comes to Neuilly where he establishes his headquarters at the  Folie Saint-James and leaves on the 8th, to come to Paris

It is in 1786 in Neuilly, under Louis XVI, that the apothecary Antoine Parmentier will try the first cultures of the potato in the plain of Sablons.  At the French revolution, Port Neuilly  becomes a town ,  February 7, 1790, The castle of Neuilly built from 1751 and modified by Joachim Murat who bought it in 1802, is the favorite residence of King Louis-Philippe and his family from 1830 to 1848. The castle of Neuilly was burned during the Revolution of 1848 (February revolution and the 3rd since the monarchy was put down in 1789) . Only one wing remains, located at 52 boulevard d’Argenson, occupied today by the Congregation of the Sisters St. Thomas of Villeneuve.

In 1859, the district of Ternes is detached from the town to be included in the new Paris of Haussmann. Before that date, Neuilly, with its hamlet of Ternes), extended to the Place de l’Etoile, bounded on the east by the current Avenue Kléber and Avenue Wagram . In 1866, the vicinity of the Porte de Champerret gate will also be detached to form part of the new town of Levallois-Perret.  An extension of the Treaty of Versailles, the Treaty of Neuilly between the Allies and Bulgaria is signed, November 27, 1919, in the hall of the city/town hall. In 1929, the town of Neuilly-sur-Seine gives the city of Paris its share of the Bois de Boulogne and a hexametric band along the 17éme arrondissement.

Other than the above theater, some things to see I like are

The parish Church Saint-Jacques, located at 167 boulevard Bineau, was built in 1936. The parish Church Saint-Pierre, located at 90 Avenue du Roule (Avenue Achille-Peretti), was built between 1883 and 1914. It includes a Grand-Orgue  Mutin-Cavaillé-Coll from 1898.  The castle of Neuilly, currently a convent of the sisters of Saint-Thomas-de-Villeneuve, located at  52 boulevard d’Argenson. Of the castle destroyed in 1848, remains today only the north wing, known as the pavillon of Madame-Adélaïde ( younger sister of Louis-Philippe d’Orléans,king of the French) . This wing was acquired in 1907 by the sisters of Saint Thomas de Villeneuve, and  a chapel and a building attached to the municipal hospital relying on the ruins of the castle.  Park of the Folie Saint-James,  this park, located at  34 avenue de Madrid,  and the Park of the Convent Saint-Thomas de Villeneuve, this  park, located at 52 boulevard d’Argenson.

Some webpages to help you come visit this chic town just across the Seine river from Paris are

City of Neuilly sur Seine on its heritage in French

Tourist office of Hauts de Seine dept 92 on walks in Neuilly sur Seine

There you go an oasis of tranquility and class just bordering Paris, the off the beaten path, Neuilly sur Seine. Worth the detour by the theater and church of St Pierre and wonderful stores or go into the bois de Boulogne by the boulevard des Sablons into the Jardin d’Acclimatation! 

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


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August 5, 2019

Paris! Paris! Paris! ok so see my Paris!

So on a nice rainy cloudy day in Summer with the heatwave or canicule past us  let me bring you back to my eternal Paris; where it was more sunny than in my neck of the woods for a change! . Enough to write a book on my blog but I like to take you to some emblematic places , and some off the beaten path of my Paris.  All written before in my blog. A bit long but I love the history of what I see. Bear with me please!

Let me tell you about the Faculté des Droit or Faculty of Law of Paris. Before the creation of civil law chairs in the 19C, the Faculty of Law of Paris was called “Faculty of Decree”  in former French “Faculté Décret”. The decree was the part of the law which did not belong to the ecclesiastical courts, that is to say, the civil law and the criminal law of the king. Specializing in this interesting area of ​​Parliament, the University gained a reputation for authority on these issues throughout the West.


In 1771 it received a brand new building on the Pantheon, the one she still occupies today (see photo). It was closed, like the other French faculties, by the French revolution, on September 15, 1793. The “School of Law of Paris” was created in 1802, and became by the decree of March 17, 1808 organizing the Imperial University of Paris. The “New Faculty of Law of Paris”. In 1896, it was grouped with the other four faculties in Paris to form the new University of Paris.

Official Pantheon Sorbonne University of Paris on the law faculty

The train station of Saint-Lazare,  or Gare St Lazare is one of the six main stations terminus of the network of the SNCF in Paris. Located in the quartier of Europe neighborhoodt of the 8éme district or arrondissement, it is one of the former heads of the West-State network. First station built in Île-de-France region  since 1837 and mainly used since for suburban traffic, it is the second station of Paris and France by its traffic and the second of Europe.


The work of the Passage and Cour of Amsterdam sector,a side seldom seen or photograph by visitors was  completed in 2008, just while I was still using it to come in from River Droite in Versailles! , consisted in widening the existing passage to the Impasse d’Amsterdam  leading to the street of rue d’Amsterdam (see photo) , with the creation of a real secondary entrance on this axis. They have metamorphosed this space to make it more modern in its architecture, more accessible to travelers and more secure. A new mainline sales area with sixteen counters has been set up opposite the platform  27, replacing those removed in the sale des pas perdus as part of the third phase of the renovations.

Official Transilien regional transports on the St Lazare train station

One of the dandies of awesome Paris ok.  Located in the 6éme arrondissement of Paris between the Latin Quarter, Saint-Germain des Prés and Montparnasse, the Jardin du Luxembourg is one of the favorite green spaces for Parisians and tourists. It covers twenty-three hectares, twenty-one of which are open to the public. The fun part which my boys did enjoyed when came to live here was the rental of remotely operated boats that they maneuver on the basin!! (see photo) The majestic piece of water, octagonal in shape, was installed under the First Empire by Jean-François-Thérèse Chalgrin , Architect of king Louis XVI, ordering public holidays under the Consulate and designer-among other wonders of the Arc de Triomphe at Place de l’Etoile!


It hosts in its center a fountain composed of three cherubim’s, half-naked, semi-draped, emerging from a small landscape of stylized support  to the basin. From the basin shoots a central stream of medium size and the water is poured out by two flanges, spewed by chimerical heads its origin;  the hamlet of Chantilly.  All around, on shimmering water, the famous little sailboats, dreams of childhood and others !!!.. In winter, the cherubs are dressed in ice and the birds are skating on it! The Great Basin is also an exhibition place for majestic Phoenix canariensis or Canary Island Date Palms giving an open-air sculpture gallery.  These date palms have long belonged to the botanical heritage of Luxembourg. During the winter, they are kept in the Orangery, building decorated with busts of great artists of the 19C. The sculptures that adorn the surroundings of the Great Basin are not the best known of “Luco” as the gardens are known to Parisians.  You see  Calliope, muse of epic poetry and eloquence;  its presence  is mentioned in the Jardin du Luxembourg in 1902. Also, a Venus au Dauphin  whose author is not identified. Some steps away  lead you  to a Flora holding a crown , the author of the work is not identified. Along the water, you will see Marius standing on the ruins of Carthage. A little further, it is the Vulcan god who presents the weapons from his forge! Gorgeous indeed!

One other monument that I like amonts the many found in the Jardin du Luxembourg is the one dedicated to Eugéne Delacroix, the painter (see photo). A complex monument comprising a fountain, a bust and decorative characters. This monument was inaugurated on October 5, 1890.  Eugène Delacroix is a French painter born in 1798 in Charenton-Saint-Maurice and died in 1863 in Paris. Le Temps raises Glory to the left, so that she lays a crown and a palm in front of the bust, on the right, Apollo, genius of the Arts, applauds this late recognition. The total height of the monument is 4.50 meters. Dalou used a photograph of the painter by Nadar to carved his features. On the pedestal you can read  ” A /Eugéne Delacroix / 1798 – 1863 / Ses Admirateurs”  or To / Eugéne Delacroix / 1798 – 1863 / His Admirers.


Tourist office of Paris on the Jardin du Luxembourg

One beautiful area of my eternal Paris and a great historical monument often bypass is the Lycée or High school Henri-IV  , located at 23, rue Clovis in the 5éme arrondissement of Paris, in the Latin Quarter . The story goes that after the victory of Vouillé on the Visigoths which opens the rich Aquitaine, the king of the Franks Clovis founded around 506 the Royal Monastery of the Holy Apostles, dedicated to the apostles Peter and Paul. Clovis was buried there in 511. The following year, the Basilica, continued by Queen Clotilde, acquired an additional prestige by receiving the relics of St. Genevieve. The rue Clovis and rue Clotilde  are now flanked by the Lycée Henri-IV, and rue Clotaire is adjacent to their son, King Clotaire I. The abbey protects the border door of the enclosure of Philippe Auguste wall  at 50 rue Descartes. Part of the wall is visible on the path leading from the school to  5-7 rue Clovis (see photo below)  and at end of 48-50, impasse Jacques-Henri-Lartigue. The square of the neighboring Place de la Contrescarpe takes its name from this military function.

On June 24, 1667, the copper coffin of Descartes is deposited there under a marble monument. rue Descartes now borders the Lycée Henri-IV. King Louis XV vowed in 1744 to build a new monumental church at the abbey. The abbot of Sainte-Geneviève blessed the land in 1758, the king laid the first stone in great ceremony on September 6, 1764. This new church designed by Jacques-Germain Soufflot will become at the French revolution, the Pantheon of Paris. The canons are hunted during the revolution: their abbey is declared national property in 1790.

The Central School of the Pantheon is replaced by the Lycée Napoléon, the first high school of the Republic. The abbey church was razed between 1801 and 1807 to pierce rue Clovis. During the Restoration, the school is renamed Royal College Henri IV. It is a high school of the elite, frequented by the sons of king Louis-Philippe and the high aristocracy. The high school regained its Napoleon name under the Second Empire, and in 1870, with the proclamation of the Third Republic still changes its name, for the Lycée Corneille. But in 1873, the government of President Patrice de Mac Mahon, royalist legitimist, and the assembly of the Moral Order renamed the high school the name  the only Republican Bourbon appreciated, “the good King Henry” Lycée Henri-IV as it is today

Today, do not confuse the college and high school Henri IV, they have different procecures that goes beyond this post. For me, the most significant and beautiful to see is the tower. The Tour Clovis tower is the remnant of the old bell tower of a church disappeared between the high school and Church Saint-Étienne-du-Mont (nearby and very nice see my post on it) In 1803, the breakthrough of rue Clovis and the construction of the facade of the school cleared the religious complex. Since then it sounds a distinct chime every quarter of an hour, and announces the hours. The base of the tower, with arched windows dates from Philippe Auguste. This same king makes the monastery of St. Genevieve the guardian of the south gate of Paris, in the current rue Descartes. Pieces of Philippe Auguste’s enclosure wall can be seen on rue Clovis (going down the metro Cardinal-Lemoine) (see photo) and rue Jacques-Henri Lartigue (from the Bibliothèque des littératures policières or Library of Police Literatures). The name of the Place de la Contrescarpe, meeting place at noon of  high school students, shows the ditches of the wall. The warheads of the first and second floor date from the 14C. The coronation of the Flamboyant Gothic tower, rebuilt after 1483.


Official Lycée Henri IV on its history in French

And further on this wonderful street and part of my eternal Paris in the Quartier Latin  is the rue Clovis  a street in the 5éme arrondissement  or district of Paris located mostly in the Sorbonne quartier or neighborhood. This road that connects the Place du Pantheon and the rue du Cardinal-Lemoine is located in the Saint-Victor and Sorbonne neighborhoods or quartiers  of the 5éme arrondissement or district of Paris. The breakthrough of the road in the 19C requires the demolition of the Church Abbey Sainte-Geneviève, of which only the bell tower known as the Tour Clovis or Clovis tower  remains in the premises of the Lycée Henri -IV, located at No. 23 rue Clovis  Near the 5-7 rue du Cardinal-Lemoine, remains a remnant of the wall of Philippe Auguste which was restored in 2010.


You can take a very nice walk as such: Facing the Pantheon, turn left on the left of the Pantheon, stay on the right sidewalk along the Pantheon, which is on your right. At the end of the square cross rue Clotilde and continue straight, you are in rue Clovis  on the right sidewalk and you pass in front of Lycée Henry IV which is on your right.  Continue to the next intersection and turn right on rue Descartes, go straight on. At the next crossroads, cross and continue straight ahead, you are in the rue Mouffetard, continue until the place de la Contrescarpe! Awesome Paris , unique the only one!!!

Tourist office of Paris on the Quartier Latin

There you go , I hope you enjoy the walks and history bits of my Paris! The world comes over and nobody does it better!!! Paris , what other title do you need! Enjoy it

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


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August 5, 2019

Notre Dame Cathedral , Update Aug19!

So on a sunny day in Paris at around 27C or 81F cloudy, and same here now but at 69F or 19C I bring you another update on the saga of our Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris.

For reference my previous posts on the situation are here

History and what was saved at the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris update Jul19

As work was approved to start the cleaning up and further reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral, traces of lead (plomb) was found in it and its surrounding area alarming several levels of authorities here. This should not be a surprise as many of the old buildings monuments of Paris have lead in its frame especially if dating from ancient times.

Lead contamination at the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris.  The cry is to put Notre Dame completely under the hood that is completely covered !  The lead contamination is there, and must act to drastically reduce in the coming months pollution rates to protect all those concerned, workers on the site but also local residents, traders, second-hand booksellers as well as cleaning agents in the city.  In the 51 samples taken between April 26 and July 15 at the corner of rue d’Arcole and rue Notre-Dame, there are 31 exceedances which are pollution peaks 12 times higher than the reference value , denounces  Annie Thébaud-Mony, researcher at the association Henri Pézerat, showing a card of samples taken by the Regional Health Agency, the City and the prefecture. Pollution values ​​on the ground are extremely high on Île de la Cité and on the forecourt, but also in the 5éme and 6éme arrondissements. These measurements are up to 4,850 micrograms per m2 at the edge of the Luxembourg Garden. The Saint-Michel fountain would also be polluted.

We must put Notre Dame totally under the cover including bell and its spires. It is absolutely essential that this site be done in the same way as the usual sites of lead or asbestos pollution, with the confinement, put the workers in heavy and unconfortable outfits, but also create decontamination airlock, showers, do not bring in and out the pollution, continues Annie Thébaud-Mony, hailing in passing the decision of the prefect of the region to close the site until the week of August 15.  In addition, the group requests that the Paris Public Assistance decide on the creation of a follow-up center that would allow the exposed persons to be registered and, if they are worried, to converse with a doctor.   The school group located rue Saint-Benoît  6éme) was closed because of a lead rate too important. But while the association Robin des Bois has filed a complaint against X to define “the responsibilities of each on the missing and little information out!

The site will be completely closed including the streets that frame it. These are  John Paul II Square, the Rue de la Cité, and the Maurice Carême promenade. If the new surveys that are due on tomorrow Tuesday reveal that other adjacent streets are polluted, I will also ask them to close.  The goal is for the site to be cleaned up in the month: it’s the city’s request to the State. They must go fast. There are disturbing records. For the schools of the Fifth and Sixth arrondissements, which are 300 meters away from places with a lead level greater than 5000 micrograms per m2

Verneuil and Saint-André-des-Arts schools. The yard of one of these schools is contaminated. Like the terrace and the garden of the other. But it turned out that the terrace above was made of lead. Because Paris has many lead constructions, you  will find abnormal rates not necessarily due to the fire of Notre Dame. Schools 500 meters around Notre Dame have all been cleaned.

Around 400 tons of lead are then consumed and pollute the Notre Dame Cathedral and its surroundings. Toxic metal has poured on stones and soil. The interior and the surroundings of the Cathedral are contaminated with too high levels of lead, which by inhalation or ingestion, can cause digestive disorders, disruption of kidney function, damage to the nervous system or abnormal reproduction. Lead dust is particularly harmful for children who may be suffering from lead poisoning. A high health risk especially as according to the samples taken by the mayor of Paris on May 13 – one month after the fire – nine out of ten institutions have had lead concentration rates requiring rapid decontamination intervention.

The information in French from the city of Paris on the issue of lead is all here: City of Paris on lead contamination of Notre Dame Cathedral

The lead mainly is around the frame area of the Notre Dame Cathedral as evidence by this photo taken from Wikipedia. As well as the official Notre Dame Cathedral site on its frame or charpente here: Official Notre Dame Cathedral on the charpente or frame


Photo credit:Wikipedia Frame or charpente of Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris

As it seems, the time to get all going for the reconstruction will now take more time as there are many social organisations now included in the decisions and will be hard to get a concensus. At the end a government intervention will be needed, me think.

Update as told you the council was meeting yesterday Tuesday. The findings so far,

The number of children detected to control the lead in their blood after the pollution caused by the Notre-Dame fire has doubled in July and now stands at more than 160, according to a report released Tuesday by the Regional Health Agency Ile-de-France. Of these, six are in the “alertness threshold” (25 to 50 micrograms of lead per liter of blood) and one is above the threshold for mandatory reporting of lead poisoning (50), although this cannot be reliably attributed to the pollution caused by the fire.  The mobilization of the associations, but also that of the unions, demands the putting under construction the frame of the cathedral, which the mayor of Paris and the prefecture of police consider unrealistic. The suspension of the work carried out on the cathedral, it came after the publication of a report of the labor inspectorate with alarming conclusions. This interruption will not go beyond the next weekend (by Aug 15) , said the prefecture, the time to strengthen the rules of health care that apply to people working on the site.

Until next time from Notre Dame Cathedral and various media sources in France I leave you for now.

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

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August 2, 2019

Restaurant: Fontainebleau!

And onwards with my tour of memorable restaurants and what is coming to France without going to them! Culinary and wine capital of the world!!! This one is short and sassy but lots of good souvenirs.

If you have read my blog , I will cut it short. Fontainebleau is in dept 77 Seine-et-Marne the region of ïle de France. The department 77 is the native dept of my dear late wife Martine. I came here early since 1990, and never stop, I am friend of the castle.

Obviously, this is very close to family and good for same day visits, so not too many eating adventures here, and even one is already closed. However, the Le Délice Impérial is a classic there and a must to go eat.

Au Délice Impérial at 1 rue Grande, Fontainebleau. At the corner of rue Grande and rue de France, the superb stall of pastries can not escape the eyes. It must be said that three pastry chefs officiate every day in this house founded in 1889 for our greatest happiness. The house offers on-site catering, but also takeaway.


I have been there a couple of times , and the last one in town all day, we ate again at the Le Délice Imperial. They have a huge dessert center where 3 pastry chefs change each day the menu. At the side of the restaurant, they is a small fast food place for sandwiches etc, and you can take home too. We had several beers, coffees, two desserts for each, milk shake, tagliatelle bolognaise, burger dish, and 3 roasted pork dishes, all delicious. Worth the detour when taking time to see the Château de Fontainebleau walking distance to it.

More info on the restaurant: Tourist office of Fontainebleau on the Au Délice Impérial

Hope you enjoy it as we did/do and have a great time in a wonderful city with a hugely important castle, Fontainebleau.

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


August 1, 2019

Wines: France and Spain!

Ok so let’s go back and talk about one of my favorite subjects in a general sense as it can be very personal issue. I will write a bit on wines, the beautiful healthy drink of the gods. And why not make this time a combine entry of the two countries very dear to me and who not only are No 1 and No 2 in visitors by the UN-WTO but also produce some if not the best wine in the world. I will spare you reading about my credentials in the wine world. Oh yes, of course, as the title says Wines: France and Spain!

According to the OIV =  International Organization of Vine and Wine ; more on it here: Official site of the OIV

The world vineyard area, whatever the final destination of the grapes grown in it, including the vineyards that have not yet entered production, is in slight increase compared to 2017, +24,000 hectares. Spain remains largely at the top of the cultivated area, with 969,000 hectares, followed by China (875,000 ha) and France (793,000 ha)!

In 2018, the world production of fresh grapes (for all uses), China is the first world producer with 11.7 million tons, followed by Italy (8.6), United States (6.9), Spain (6, 9) and France (5.5). The three European leaders increased their production by 28%.  Table grape production has doubled to 27.3 million tons, with China’s world leader followed by Turkey.

The wine (discounted juices and musts) reached one of its biggest productions since 2000 with 292 million hectoliters, 17% more than in 2017, year of serious climatic difficulties. Italy (54.8) is the world leader, followed by France (48.6) and Spain (44.4 hl). Productions in the United States, Argentina and Chile are still high. South Africa suffered a severe drought and fell. Second year followed by recession in China, due to a fall in crops: -22%.  The available data show a stabilization of world consumption with 248 million hl. Since 2014 it fluctuates between stabilization and recovery in Europe. The United States confirms its leadership with 33 million hl, followed by France (26.8), Italy (22.4), Germany (20.0) and China (17.9). The distribution was, by volume: 54% bottled wine, 33% bulk, sparkling 9%, BiB 4%. But in value the bottled ones represent 69.7%, the sparkling 19.8%, the bulk 8.6% and the BiB 2%.  Spain (21.1 million hl), Italy (19.7) and France (14.1) dominate exports by volume, with more than half of the world total. The main importing countries were Germany (14.7), United Kingdom (13.2), United States (11.5), France (7.1) and China (6.9).

The first forecasts for the harvest of 2019,in  Spain, counting with the unknown of how the high temperatures of August will affect the ripening of the grape  draw a campaign with a medium production and a harvest that will be generalized around September 10, somewhat earlier than in 2018. The agricultural organizations and Cooperatives Agro-Alimentary consulted by Efe (Spanish press agency)  calculate a harvest of between 40 and 44 million hectoliters of wine, which means a return to normality, with a considerable reduction compared to the current one and that It can even reach 20%  less in some areas.

There are no serious accidents been recorded, with the exception of the storms that affected the area of ​​Utiel-Requena (Valencian Community) and La Manchuela (Castilla-La Mancha) a few weeks ago, with multiple cases of hail. To this is added the heat of recent weeks, which can have a very negative effect on the vineyards, given the water stress that the plant already suffers; and although they insist that it is early for exact valuations, all these climatic conditions could lead to a normal pulling down campaign.

More in Spanish from Efe here: official Efe Agro on Wines of Spain

The wineries in Bordeaux are still full of wine when we approach the grape harvest, sales fall sharply, especially in supermarkets, the Chinese market is going bad ! Bordeaux wines have announced a series of measures to try to turn this brutal crisis. The new president of the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bordeaux (CIVB), Bernard Farges, has recognized ” Bordeaux suffers at this time”.  The sales have decreased greatly, under the short-term effect of the 2017 harvest (-40% due to frost), but also due to the structural effects of the sector and the evolution of the types of consumption, exports are up 4% in value, but in fact they have been saved by high-end wines, because the global volume drop reached -13%, caused particularly by the collapse of the Chinese market, in which French wines suffer from the competition of Australians and Chileans, who have no import tariffs, and this at the time the economy China is slowing down. In the long term, the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bordeaux (CIVB) , also wants to evolve in terms of communication to reach the young generation and remove Bordeaux from its clichés. My five cents; need a lot of work catching up, I told you so many years back! More info at the CIVB here: Official CIVB in French can be change

The recognition by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of the first 84 Singular Vineyards, which has just been published in the Official State Gazette. The Rioja Qualified Denomination of Origin gives the possibility of identifying a more specific origin for certain wines, certified by the Regulatory Council. They were thus defined as wines from vineyards with more than 35 years of age and whose yields do not exceed, naturally and by virtue of their limited vigor, 5,000 kg. per hectare in the case of red varieties and 6,922 kg. in white varieties. In turn, its transformation is limited to 65 liters per 100 kg. of grape, its cultivation is respectful with the environment and its harvest manually. The counter labels that will guarantee these wines will include, certifying all these extremes, the mention “Viñedo Singular”, or Singular Vineyard , which will allow consumers to know that all the characteristics described are certified by the Regulatory Council. In fact, Rioja is not marking a path, but several, sometimes contradictory. It has not entered, for example, by the process of distinguishing the towns of its current territory that do not offer enough quality in their territory to receive the DO label, but still receive it. And it already has 84 high quality vines selected without specifying whether there are one or more levels in that category (such as ‘grands crus’ and ‘premiers crus’ in Burgundy). Finally, its regulation of the village wines or towns  fails, compared with that of the best French denominations, because it requires, for a wine to hold that category, which is made in the same town from which its grapes originate, thus making it impossible for a Winery that can make several ‘village wines’ when it has vineyards in several villages. In Burgundy a winegrower usually produces two, three, five or ten wines from different ‘villages’ in the same facility. And it is logical: what counts is the vineyard, not the location of the winery.  In the list there are vineyards already well known by Rioja wine followers, such as the Tapias de Marqués de Riscal, Alto Cantabria or Finca La Emperatriz, along with others that are completely new. More to come on this issue and will follow up!

More from the Consejo Regulador de la Rioja here: Rioja wines consejo regulador on vinedos singulares

The publication in the Official State Gazette,(BOE) that makes it official law in pdf file is here: BOE official announcemnet of the 84 vinedos singulares

And let me finish with some exciting samples of the Navarra region wines which I have been drinking for a long time and just in recent years are becoming very good value price/quality ratio.  In specific let me tell you about the wonderful wines of Navarra!

A panoramic review of Navarrese whites in which we find more white Grenache wines than chardonnay is a sample, anecdotal if you want, of the transformation of the wine sector in the community since those times dominated by French grapes!. From this white selection my favorites are:

Chivite Chivite Collection 125 Blanco FB Collection (2016);  bodegas y Vinedos Artazu, Artazu Santa Cruz de Artazu Blanco (2015), Chivite Legardeta Chardonnay FB  (2018), Bodega Nekeas  Nekeas Cuvée Allier FB (2017) (great price /quality ratio here) , Laderas de  Montejurra  (Emilio Valerio) Emilio Valerio Rosado de Leorín (2018);  and Bodega del Señorío de Otazu Otazu Chardonnay (2018).

On the reds my selection are (only my selection there are more ok) : The red Garnacha in Navarra. The regional community was slow to begin the recovery of a native grape that had been systematically uprooted. Now we contemplate its happy return, with several styles according to the terroirs of origin , the Navarra vineyard is geologically and geographically diverse  but always with a combination of power and elegance that has excited us. The selection are :

From Viña Zorzal Senora de las Alturas (2016), Lecciones de Vuelo (2016); Malayeto (2016); Corral de los Altos (2016) , then , Bodegas y Viñedos Artazu, Pasos de San Martín (2015); Bodega Inurrieta , Inurrieta Mimaò Garnacha (2017); Bodegas Nekeas El Chaparral by Vega Sindoa (2017), Grupo Chivite Las Fieles Garnacha (2015); and Bodega San Martín Sdad. Coop.La Matacalva Garnacha (2016).

A wonderful town nice places to see and most of all its wines, the tradition of Madrid!

The town of Valdepeñas, is located in the province of Ciudad Real autonomous región of Castilla La Mancha.  At present, the Wine Festivities are held annually in Valdepeñas, at the beginning of September. Its wines belong to a designation of origin that was founded in 1968, and that produces wines throughout the region.

Of the eight visited wineries in Valdepeñas, the most unique is Dionysus. It is better known as La Bodega de las Estrellas (winery of the stars), not because they are famous, but because they make organic wines (mostly in traditional clay jars), taking into account at all times, from pruning to racking, lunar phases and  the position of the stars. They make 12 astrowines, ad hoc wines for the Aries, for the Leo, for the Virgo and for the rest of the zodiac gang. Córcovo is a family winery, with quality wines and an impressive cave of barrels carved into the rock. To make tastings and acquire oenological jewels you should go to the Enoteca 11 Ánforas ( amphora’s). Their webpages to follow

Bodegas de las Estrellas

Bodega Corcovo

Enoteca 11 Anforas

Without wine, Valdepeñas would not be Valdepeñas. And Madrid, without wine from Valdepeñas, would not be Madrid either: The Puerta de Alcalá gate was built thanks to a special tax that levied the consumption (important since the mid-16C) of these wines in the city and court. These and other curiosities are told in the Museo del Vino (wine museum ) ,open from Tuesday to Sunday; entrance, 3 euros, former cellar of Leocadio Morales, from 1901, where the afternoon will be night walking through the monumental vessel of jars and contemplating the photos that the American Harry Gordon took on this earth during the vintage of 1959.

Museo del Vino de Valdepenas wine museum

vineyards fairs of Valdepena from Castilla La Mancha in English

Tourist office Castilla La Mancha on bodegas in Valdepenas

And if you are in France soon, check these dates out for wines galores!!

The 2019 Foire aux vins (wine fair)  is coming!  The major supermarket and stores, my selection are Auchan: from 24 September to 8 October 2019, Carrefour hypermarkets: from 10 September to 23 September 2019 Géant Casino: 3 September 15, 2019, Franprix: from September 18 to October 6, 2019, Intermarché: from September 10 to September 29, 2019; Lavinia: from September 17 to October 15, 2019, Leclerc: from October 1 to October 13, 2019, Monoprix: from September 9 to October 27, 2019, and Nicolas: from September 11 to October 15, 2019.

A great domaine and great wine to keep in mind while in France or maybe you can get where you are!

The Domaine de Fontenille, in the Luberon Regional Nature Park, between Provence and the Rhone Valley, organizes from September 19th to October 27th, from Thursday to Sunday, the Matinées Vendanges. Domaine de Fontenille, Route de Roquefraiche, 84360 Lauris.  Les Matinées Vendanges – Price: 60 € per person On reservation only by phone at +33 (0) or by email

Webpage Domaine de Fontenille:

And for closing, cachet finale at Château d’Estoublon!!!

The Château d’Estoublon,  majestic work, took up its quarters in the 8C near Fontvieille, in the valley of Les Baux, in Provence. Surrounded by unspoilt nature, it offers a quality wine tourism program, with a very upscale service in the spirit of the region. The 1.6-kilometer stroll lasts about 45 minutes and allows you to cover a part of an exceptional site that includes 120 hectares of olive groves and 20 hectares of vineyards. In addition, the Château, whose entrance is magnified by a path of century-old pine trees, has a restaurant, the Bistrot Mogador, located in a former winery. The Bistrot has a beautiful terrace, with a view of the rose garden. Guests can also settle in an indoor room, which is an old cellar. A shop-grocery store allows you to taste different wines from the estate, commented by experts, free of charge and without an appointment. Château d’Estoublon, Route de Maussane 13990 Fontvieille. More info here :

This is it in the wonderful magical wine world; do you dine with wines? we do every day good for you. Enjoy them while you can, life is too short. The pleasures of France and Spain, unlimited!!!

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


August 1, 2019

Some news from France, CCXLII

So here I am again on my news of my belle France! There is never a dull moment here, so much around me, it is just wonderful. Today we are cloudy, cool ,17C or about 64F , and a bit light rain at times. It is time for a cooling off period after the canicule!At our eternal Paris is a bit better for a change temps of 24C or 75F and sunny.

And now the latest news from my belle France. Hope you are having a wonderful summer, might this year took it at the end for vacations just to be back at the rentrée!! early Sept19.

After a year of construction, the new Place de la Madeleine (8éme) will be inaugurated between late October and early November 2019. The works make the square much more pedestrian. This square of the 8éme arrondissement is the 7th of the capital to be developed as part of the renovation of major Parisian squares launched by the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo  in June 2015. Now that is one thing that was needed around this square my old walking path to work in Paris. Bienvenue! A bit more on the Place de la Madeleine from Paris tourist office!

Scooters/trottinettes  are no longer welcome on our Parisian sidewalks. Users of the latter will now have to comply with the parking rules for cars and scooters / motorcycles. It will therefore be necessary to park the scooters on existing parking, but the goal is not to limit the actual places, the City of Paris began in early July 2019 to create materialized locations to accommodate, eventually, some 15,000 of them. Ok good initiative to regulate them as any motor vehicule!

The Gobelins teddy bears are conquering Paris ! Until recently, they had been found exclusively in the quartier Gobelins neighborhood, (13éme arrondissement or district) but teddies will now be exported to other neighborhoods of the capital. In café terraces, slouched on deckchairs or hung on lampposts, you might have crossed already at least once these teddy bears on a human scale. A real element of distraction for locals and tourists, teddy bears should, from the start, make their show in various other neighborhoods, and leave to conquer the capital, as explained by Philippe Labourel of Paris, the bookseller of the 13éme who came up with the phenomenon. Rather nice indeed! More about them in Huffingtonpost in French here:

From now on, every Friday and Saturday until the end of August, classical music concerts are held in the arena of Montmartre. A concert of classical music in open air in the garden of the arena of Montmartre (18éme). Built in 1941, this arena is perched on one of the slopes of the hill  between the Place du Tertre and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Sacré Coeur), and welcomes up to 250 spectators.The opportunity to discover a unique place that only opens for occasional events. For this second edition in 2019, 12 performances are organized on Fridays and Saturdays evening until the end of August, as well as Thursdays August 15 and 22.Every Friday and Saturday until August 24, as well as Thursdays August 15 and 22. Garden Arena of Montmartre, 25, rue Chappe , Metro Abbesses. Online ticketing on site on concert days 17h to 20h30, price is 35€ doors open at 20h, and the show lasts 2 hours. More info here: .

Something on history I like

Clinging to the cliff overlooking the Seine river, Château-Gaillard watches over this small town of the Eure, dept 27. In the Middle Ages it was a fortress. More than 800 years after its construction, Château-Gaillard still attracts all eyes. It’s impossible not to be magnetized by this elegant silhouette defying time, clinging to the cliff. Once at the top, the site offers a breathtaking view. On one side, the ruins of the mythical castle. On the other, a meander of the Seine river  of spectacular beauty. The white of the limestone rock enhances the insolent blue of the river and the green of ubiquitous vegetation. In 1196, when the construction of Château-Gaillard began, a good part of the French territory was attached to the English crown. Normandy particularly attracts the greed of the French. The border between France and England is precisely here. Richard the Lionheart is at Les Andelys,  King Philippe Auguste opposite, in Gaillon.  The castle fortress is built in less than two years as a military fortress, no little gargoyle all carved and pretty. When Richard died in 1199, his brother Jean Sans Terre succeeded him, and only four years later, the French troops began the siege of Château-Gaillard. After four months of siege and two months of attack, the Anglo-Norman garrison surrendered. Château-Gaillard has never really been used, except as a stone quarry. The town is divided in two. You can stroll along the beautiful Norman style houses in Petit-Andely, the village at the foot of the fortress, which revolves around the Gothic church Saint-Sauveur. To reach the Grand-Andely, with its lively commercial square, you make a leap to the 19C along the brick houses. Château-Gaillard is open from March 30th to November 3rd, from 10h  to 18h  in July and August, closed on Tuesdays, admission 4.50 euros adult. Guided tours at 11:30, 14:30 and 16:30. More info here:

And the tourist office of the Eure dept 27 on Chateau Gaillard:

Closed for renovations, the municipal museum of art and history of Colombes (hauts de Seine dept 92) will reopen at the end of 2019, it is located at rue Gabriel-Péri, a charming little museum in the city center of Colombes. Closed since last June, the Municipal Museum of Art and History is currently under construction. The current building already existed in 1790. Its wide interior courtyard and driveway suggest a post office relay function. In the 19C, the space is divided into several commercial activities. It is in 1989 that it is arranged in museum of art and history of the city. But the most spectacular novelty is the creation of a Salon de Thé or tea room. The municipal museum gathers a variety of collections, reflecting the history of the city. From the Ancien Régime with the presence of Queen Henriette at the 1924 Olympic Games hosted at the Stade Yves du Manoir, through the industrial era marked locally by the perfumer Guerlain, Ericsson phones, Goodrich and Kleber tires. On the Beaux-Arts side, the collections include paintings by Victorine Meurent, Edouard Manet’s muse, which regularly attracts American visitors. More info at city of Colombes here:  City of Colombes on the museum

Great news!!!. After eighteen months of  renovations, the Salon de la Paix (Peace Salon)  is again open to visitors to the Château de Versailles. From this past Tuesday, July 30, the public will be able to rediscover this room arranged between 1681 and 1686, made of marbles and reliefs carved in lead and in gilded bronze. The Salon was soon reinstated at the Queen’s apartment, where it became the salon des Jeux (games’ room). It was then separated from the galerie des Glaces (hall of mirrors) by a partition. More info at the palace but only in French so far:

The wonderful emblematic places of Paris through a souvenir object, an atmosphere and a hotel nearby.  A temple of Anglo-Saxon books/letters. To be or not to be at Shakespeare and Company!!  Located at kilometer zero, starting point of all French roads, in a former monastery of the 17C, the wonderful English bookstore has become a tourist attraction, immortalized in the film Before Sunset. With it’s superstar cat (Queen Aggie and her suspicious look), its artists and writers lodged upstairs for a few services and reading a book a day (William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg were among those guests ), the place opened by George Whitman in 1951 has everything to attract the curious. it may be that this object lands in the archaeological category in the face of the tide of “all-digital”. This threat does not seem to affect tourists who trot in single file, backpacks, in narrow passages between tables and in small halls that lead from room to room. Frustrated by their inability to strafe furiously every corner of the bookstore, they will be able to catch up during a break at the adjoining Shakespeare and Company café.  Indeed lots of tourists but an institution in Paris! More info here:

The Hôtel Belloy Saint-Germain  in the Latin Quarter, address of this 4-star is steeped in history: it was here, at 2, rue Racine, then named Hôtel des Etrangers, that the 19C circle of zutistes poets such as Paul Verlaine, Charles Cros, Léon Valade , and the caricaturist André Gill etc came in. In 2018, the Belloy opened an extension, installed in the building just opposite, at number 1. Pastel colors, reproductions of paintings, hay chairs and breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower or Notre-Dame: the twenty-one rooms of the Petit Belloy  look a lot like, and do not have much to envy, their neighbors Belloy Saint-Germain. Breakfast is served at the Belloy , so you have to cross the street to start the day in the same mezzanine where, Arthur Rimbaud stayed for a few months. Petit Belloy Hotel Saint-Germain, 1, rue Racine, Paris 6éme.  More info here :

Paris in August is the best time to enjoy it. But, if  you think everyone has deserted the capital, your favorite restaurants might not. Do not panic, there is one eternal favorite where I bring all my friends and family visitors to Paris who is open in August! And ,the opportunity to test them without a horde of hungry Parisians! Plenty written on it on my previous posts.

La Gare or the Station, an institution with flavors of the world by Gaston Acurio, The Le Gare is simply located in a former Parisian train station and offers a travel card young adventurer modern day to discover the world. Its street kitchens and family tables, this is the inspiration of the chef through workshops and different universes. Rotisserie, cocktails and family brunch on Sunday!  You will love it , all do!!! La Gare, 19, Chaussée de la Muette, 16éme metro line 9 Muette out turn left and see it  More info here :

There you go another bashful of information on my belle France, enjoy the summer, its wonderful! And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

July 29, 2019

Port de Suffren and gourmet Paris!

So I am on the foodie mode again ,and getting some souvenirs of my vault to share here first time or expand on bits from previous posts in my blog. One of the best advantage of living in France is the gastronomy and wines etc are the best in the world. Yes often imitated but never surpass ,it was the first region by Unesco on World Heritage Immaterial mention on it.

Anyway , let me tell you about the Port de Suffren very near the Eiffel tower. And more importantly about an event that has mark my hunger and thirst ever since, the Saveurs et vins encounter at the Maxim’s peniche boat now Le Paris.

The port de Suffren at the Quai Branly off the pont Bir Hakeim bridge or just coming from the Eiffel tower and go down on your left to the Seine river. The name Suffren comes from 1905 that was the avenue found next to it . The port is about 600 meters long from the Pont d’Iéna to the Pont de Bir-Hakeim and is mostly filled with housing peniche boats.


There are two other nice eating places here such as the Bar de la Marine, and the Peniche Cercle de la Mer. On the left side of Pont d’Iéna you have the Vedettes de Paris cruise boats and on the right side the Bateaux Parisiens cruise boats. And you should know this so won’t dwell on them.


The event that took me to find out about this area was the Saveurs et Vins or tastes and wines that was held back in 2008 at the Maxim’s peniche boat own by Pierre Cardin fame. The best houses came here for you to taste. The Maxim’s otherwise official page is here: Maxim’s de Paris


I was looking forward every year to the event. When I came to the Morbihan breton it was too far to go just for a day so instead had made friendship with many of the participants and contacted them to go direct to their place to taste and purchase. It has become a family tradition.


The event at the  Maxim’s peniche or boat event call saveurs et vins or tastes and wines event on the Seine river  at the port de Suffren just down the left stairs from crossing the tour Eiffel. It goes on every year in March usually around the 18-20. More on it here: Official Saveurs et Vins at Suffren

You can reach in Paris by taking métro Bir Hakeim line 6 or RER C Champ de Mars/Tour Eiffel, you go down the stairs by the carrusel side with your back on the Tour Eiffel its your left, walk along the Seine river at the  Port de Suffren for about 100 meters and the boat peniche Maxim’s is there anchored.

Many wonderful independant producers come here, and the offering is the best in country France. Some of my favorites that still attend this event are

Chocolats de Beussent-Lachelle (pas de Calais  62 ,but 25 stores nationwide: Chocolats Beussent -Lachelle

Champagne Philippe Gonet (Le Mesnil-sur-Oger  51 ,south of Epernay): Champagne Philippe Gonet

Domaine Dutertre (Amboise-Touraine 37 near Amboise ) : Domaine Dutertre wines

Souleilles terre de foie gras , (north east of Agen 47 ): Souleilles foie gras from Agen


Hope you like this gastronomic tour of some of the best of my belle France. You too can come and visit while in Paris and maybe you get hook on some of them as we did and have and still do! The properties above are visit at least once a year and or follow into other fairs like the one in my capital city of Vannes 56.

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




July 28, 2019

Tour de France 2019 Final!!!

So quick post so happy to see another wonderful Tour de France, even if this year could not go on the spot, is an event the family looks forward every year and the TV coverage is super , say better even than on site for the views if the ambiance is less of course. Consolation.

I wrote earlier on the start of this wonderful historical traditional race back on July 5th here

Tour de France 2019 !!!

And now after 21 stages the race is over at the ave des Champs-Elysées in Paris. The last race was great because it passed by areas we love and been to them and even lived; starting from lovely Rambouillet in the Yvelines dept 78.

The youngest winner in history , Egan Bernal of Colombia. Impressive and many friends very happy about him. I know his native town as visited and the area too. He is from Zipaquira in the vally of Boyacà where they have a wonderful Cathedral in a salt mine with the 14 steps of Christ awesome. This is not far from Bogotà.

He , Bernal not only won the yellow jersey but also the best young rider at 22 years old he has a huge future in cycling ahead. He is the firs Colombian to win the tour de France as well!!

The final race in Paris was won by Caled Ewan, of Australia , his third stage in the race, rather a good future there too.  Peter Sagan, on points, Roman Bardet on climber, Movistar as team , and Julien Alaphilippe as combative spirit also won recognition.

The top general overall winners were

1º Egan Bernal (Ineos)  Colombia

2º Geraint Thomas (Ineos)  1’111 Great Britain

3º Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo Visma) – 1’31” Netherlands

4º Emanuel Buchmann (Bora) – 1’56” Germany

5º Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck) – 3’45” France

6º Mikel Landa (Movistar) – 4’23” Spain

7° Rigoberto Uran, (EF Education First) Colombia

8° Nairo Quintana, (Movistar Team) Colombia

9º Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)  Spain

10° Warren Barguil, (team Arkea-Samsic) France

The official webpage for the tour de France: Tour de France 2019

Another great race with all kinds of weather situation and injuries and broken hearts and very happy winners as always. Until next time in France, the tour de France!

Ah took some pictures from the TV here that do not want to go to waste so will post some in a kaléidoscope to follow, hope you enjoy them.


Tour de France 2019 TV photo!

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

July 28, 2019

Canal Saint Martin, Paris of course!

Ok so cannot be too far away from Paris so once in a while will pop in with something of my working city. Even thus my new duties will take me less coming to the city the memories will be memorable from wherever I will be… I like to touch on something that have come several times, and especially with the family for fun times along its banks. It’s just a break from my restaurant series!

Let me tell you a bit about the Canal Saint Martin! And to start let me tell you , recommend you , to take a cruise on Canauxrama on the canal sublime!  They propose several times and tours, the official webpage is here: Official Canauxrama cruises on the Canal Saint Martin


We went always early to walk its banks and basins and even the Rotunda, we park just south of the Bastille tower underground. Precisely 53 bd de la Bastille webpage here: Bastille Indigo parking underground

From here we simply walk all over and had an easy out as well. Once in the city walk all over with the convenient of entering or leaving at any time.  Going over the Arsenal and the Rotunda Ledoux or Point Ephémére or Rotunda Stalingrand ,and the basin de la Villette! You will love the walk along this wonderful canal St Martin! And now a bit more history info I like a lot!


The creation of the Canal Saint-Martin is decided along with that of the Canals Saint-Denis and Ourcq. The construction of the canals was delayed by the situation in France between 1809 and 1815. Then king Louis XVIII re launched the project. Funding must be found: the prefect proposes to use private capital. In 1818, the Compagnie des Canals de Paris was created. It won the auction opened by the City of Paris in November 1821 for the construction of the Canal Saint-Martin in private concession, The prefect of the Seine laid the foundation first stone on May 3, 1822. The new canal was inaugurated by king Charles X on November 4, 1825.


In 1860, Georges Eugene Haussmann, prefect of the Seine, included the Canal Saint-Martin in his plans to modernize and expand the city. The canal is then covered in part by vaults including Boulevard Richard-Lenoir. In 1908, the recovery was extended to create the current Bd Jules-Ferry. The Canal Saint-Martin is mainly used to transport passengers for tourist cruises and little for the transport of goods. It is open 363 days a year. Its banks are also popular with Parisians for strolling and even picnicking !

The Canal Saint-Martin is a 4.6 km long canal located mainly in the 10éme and 11éme arrondissements of Paris. It connects the Villette basin and beyond the Ourcq canal to the port of Arsenal (the marina of Paris) ; which communicates with the Seine river. It is a small-scale canal originally intended to provide drinking water in the capital. Opened in 1825, it has nine locks and two rotating bridges for a total drop of 25 meters. In the network of Parisian canals, 130 km long, which belongs to the City of Paris includes this canal. This canal along its extension is reach by the following Metro stations Bastille, Bréguet – Sabin, Richard-Lenoir, Oberkampf, République, Goncourt, Jacques Bonsergent, Gare de l’Est, Château-Landon, Colonel Fabien, Louis Blanc and Jaurès.


The entrance to the canal consists of the double lock of the Villette located in the Place de la Bataille-de-Stalingrad, near the Rotunda Stalingrad. In its open-air section, it is bordered by the docks of Valmy and Jemmapes. The Louis Blanc basin is supported by a masonry bed that rests on stilts. When it was decided to bury the canal, the bed had to be lowered, the basement being of gypsum there. Pillars 16 meters deep had to be sunk, about every 10 meters. But the water has gradually dissolved in the ground and the canal now rests on a void.


The Canal Saint-Martin is then covered from Bd Jules-Ferry (Temple vault built in 1907). It then passes under the Bd Richard-Lenoir (Richard Lenoir vault built between 1860 and 1862), and finally under the Place de la Bastille (the Bastille vault made in 1862) to open onto the port of the Arsenal. The vaults Richard Lenoir and Temple are pierced with ventilation vents.They also allow the natural lighting of the tunnel.


The canal Saint Martin has several basins, these are the basin des Morts; Combat Basin; Louis Blanc Basin; Recollets basins; and the Marais Basin. They are separated by five locks, four of which are double such as La Villette lock (No. 1 and 2); Lock des Morts (No. 3 and 4); Recollets lock (No. 5 and 6); Temple Lock (No. 7 and 8); and the Arsenal Lock (No. 9). The crossing of the canal Saint Martin is made by two revolving bridges, two fixed bridges for cars and by pedestrian walkways: they are the footbridge of the locks of the Villette (passarelle) ; Rue Louis Blanc Bridge; Eugéne-Varlin Bridge; Bichat Bridge; Grange-aux-Belles turning bridge; Grange-aux-Belles bridge; Richerand Bridge; rue Dieu revolving bridge; Alibert bridge (passarelle) ; and the Passarelle des Douanes bridge (or pont des Douanes bridge 1860).


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Paris on the Canal St Martin

City of Paris on its canals including St Martin

My fav Yelp reviews on the Canal Saint Martin in English

There you go another dandy and sublime eternal Paris, like no other city in our world. The Canal Saint Martin is one more reason why the most come to Paris and why it is No 1 in most travelers wish list. Enjoy Paris and its Canal Saint Martin!

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


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