Posts tagged ‘Paris’

October 21, 2017

Getting around public transport in Paris and IdF

On a cloudy on and off rainy day ,and the sun in and out with temps in the 15C/60F in my neck of the wood, I left early into the main town here and then came back. This is the time to tell you again about the public transport options in Paris and the region IdF=ïle de France of which Paris belongs.

First, let me re post two previous posts on transports in Paris going back to the beginning of  my blog experience in 2010 and another in 2012. It might be interesting to some to see the differences.

Of course, as you can by the post, trying to tell all on the transports in Paris is a tall task, there are so many variables and locations that the reader might be wise to ask me if doubts as some already have in my post on airports connections on private. I will just try to update on the previous posts and a bit more to help you understand. As for me, I have been using public transports in Paris since 1990, all modes at all times and days; whether on business or personal. After a few years, I have become accustomed to do public transports on business trips still need to do in the area and on personal trips I use my car. Yes ,you can drive in Paris…. if used to do so in big cities of course if your experience is from smaller towns than Paris might seems overwhelming at first.

The Paris transport sites that sometimes overlaps to the region is the RATP=Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens

The weekdays operating hours of the Métro are from 5h30  to about 01h15.  On Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as on the eve of bank holidays, trains run until about 02h15.  The RER operates daily from 5h30 to about 01h20 . When the metro is closed, the Noctilien night bus network takes to the road. Night buses operate from 00h30  to about 5h30.

Roissybus connects Paris (Opéra rue Scribe) to the Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport (CDG) and runs from 5h15 to about 0h30.  Buses depart every 15 to 20 minutes and the trip takes about 60 to 75 minutes.  Orlybus connects Paris (Denfert-Rochereau) to the Orly airport (ORY) and runs from 5h35  to about midnight. Buses depart roughly every 8 to 15 minutes and the trip takes about 30 to 40 minutes.  Orlyval connects the Anthony RER B station and the Orly airport (ORY) and runs from 6h to 23h35 . Trains depart roughly every 4 to 7 minutes and the trip takes about 8 minutes.

Mobility impaired folks can take advantage of the accessibility programme to make 57 RER A and B stations accessible for persons with reduced mobility: These stations are clearly marked by the access pictogram on our line maps.

RER A B C D E  are Five lines that serves 257 stations and stops including  33 inside  Paris.). You , also, have 8 trains lines in the region IdF all named with letters for easy distinctions. These are Trains H, J, K, L, N, P, R, and  U.  You have 10 tramway lines running in and around the periphery of Paris , these are lines  1, 2, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11Express.  There are really 16 lines of Métro and these are lines 1, 2, 3, 3Bis, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7bis, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14; all with 303 stations/stops. The bus lines are numbered from 20 to 199. To understand the number we go to a nice definition: The first number correspond to a quartier or neighborhood of Paris such as the lines Saint-Lazare/Opéra for the lines 20 to 29 , and Gare de l’Est for the lines 30 to 49).  The second number corresponds to the periphery neighborhoods ; for example  the west or ouest for the  3 ,and the southeast or sud-est for the 7. The lines 20 to 99 are the ones inside the city of Paris and the near periphery. The bus lines 100 to 199 are for the suburbs of Paris and some like the lines 102, 109, 111, 132 , and 169  entered a bit inside Paris. The night bus Noctilien works around 5 axis on big stations with correspondence such as the stations Châtelet, Montparnasse, Gare de l’Est, Gare Saint Lazare, and Gare de Lyon.  All the RER stations are served by the Noctilien bus and its 47 lines working from 0h30 to 5h30.

The prices are adjusted every year usually around July but sometimes in January, and of course it goes up/ Right now the single inner Paris ticket or Ticket t+ cost 1,90 €; and if planning to be for a few days it would be cost effective to buy the Carnet of 10 Tickets t+ for  14,90 €. For the bus if buy it on the bus it cost 2€ and if buy it with the metro Ticket t+ will be 1,90€, and the carnet works the same. There are other tickets ,the most commonly used are the tickets origin/destination to do a traject between two stations in the region of  Île-de-France. Once you validate the ticket it is good for the trip with a limit of 2 hours after validation. It allows you do the roundtrip between points in Paris and the RER ,Métro, The tramway T2 between La Défense and Issy Val de Seine as well as the tramway T4.It is good on both directions and can be use on the bus Noctilien as well.

The forfeit Mobilis is good for one calendar day from 0h to 24h to do as many trips as you need in the zones chosen and all modes of transports except going to the airports CDG and Orly. The Mobilis is given in a magnetic coupon with the chosen zones (Paris has 5) ,you need to write your name and the first day hour of use, as well as validated on the entry machines to the transports, usually yellow. This is a personal ticket and cannot be used by another person, not exchange and not reimbursable.  The costs per zone are Zones 1-2 7,50€ ,Zones 1-3 10€, Zones 1-4 12,40€ and Zones 1-5 17,80€.

The other use by visitors especially foreigners are the Paris Visite, you have as well several reductions to discover Paris and the region in entertainment, transport, culture museums attractions etc.  You buy according to your needs and stay , always good to compare on single ticket use on what you plan to do here. The costs are Zones 1-3  on days 1, 2, 3, and 5; 12,19,50,26,65,and 38,35€ respectively and on Zones 1-5 on days 1,2,3, and 5; 25,25, 38,35, 53,75, and 65,80€ respectively. There are reduce prices for the 4-11 years old, free below 4.

There another good one that is a take down of what we use to go to work in Paris but design to help the visitors. This is the Navigo Découverte, that comes in a case, the identity card, and a magnetic card to recharge money into it. This card allows to travel all over for a week and you need to keep all of them with you. The cost of the card along is 5€ and need to go to an agency SNCF, OPTILE, RATP, or the counters of the  Guichets Services Navigo SNCF.  You will receive it immediately with a life span of 10 years, keep it as for next visit it will just need recharge new money and off you go, the card keeps the money unused on it. The only situation is that it needs to be use from Sunday to Saturday.

The site for the region and some lines in Paris is call the Transilien and you can access it in English here:

Many ask for the use of Wi-Fi in the public transport and Paris is modernizing as I write.  Right now the Métro and RER stations with free WiFi are: Metro  Gare de Lyon (M1 platform, direction La Défense);  Gare du Nord (M4 – SNCF transfer hall; M4 around information and ticket desks); CDG Etoile (Transfer hall, Sortie Carnot); St Lazare (Transfer hall); Porte Maillot (Around information and ticket desks) ;Chaussée d’Antin (Around information and ticket desks); Gallieni (Eurolines access area);Bibliothèque François Mitterrand (Passenger area) ; St Denis Université (Passenger area). On the RER : La Défense (Transfer hall; RER A platform, direction Paris; Mezzanine (1), Mezzanine (2)); Auber (Transfer hall); Cité U (Around information and ticket desks);  MLV Chessy (Around information and ticket desks) Noisy Le Grand (Passenger area, bus station side) ; Val de Fontenay (Passenger area)

If you are going to or from the airport, there is also free WiFi available on all our Orlybus and Roissybus.

How to connect to the Wi-Fi:

To connect to WiFi service, first activate the WiFi function on your smartphone, tablet, laptop or other portable device; then select the network named “RATP gratuit” and validate the General Users Conditions (CGU).  You can enjoy 20 minutes of free internet access, and at the same time discover our services: the RATP and Next Stop Paris apps and the maRATP programme.

Zenway is an itinerary search engine that is more intuitive. Using large tactile displays, Zenway allows you to make multi-modal itinerary searches and access practical information about the station’s immediate area – map, address search, points of interest, available services – in 7 languages. This orientation information rounds out the real-time traffic information provided on our multimodal displays.  You can already explore our Zenway passenger information displays at Gare de Lyon, Montparnasse – Bienvenüe, Denfert Rochereau, Charles de Gaulle – Etoile, Les Halles, Madeleine, Gallieni, Concorde, Porte Maillot, Marne-la-Vallée Chessy, Gare du Nord, Saint-Lazare, Val d’Europe, Bir-Hakeim, Bastille, Opéra, La Défense, Saint-Michel, Grands-Boulevards, Havre-Caumartin, and Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre.

I will try to uploads some helpful maps on the whole system here, and they are name Paris do not know how but it shows the metro, RER, Noctilien, Buses, zones tariff map, whole network map etc.. Enjoy Paris and its wonderful Ïle de France region or the island of France! Enjoy your weekend and happy travels. Cheers!

Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris



October 19, 2017

Some news from France CLXXII

On a cloudy cool humid Fall day looking at the wonderful trees already with the leaves fallen I write this update on my belle France.  Temps are about 17C or 62F rain calling for tonight but none now in my neck of  Brittany.  Over in Paris the temp is a bit hotter but still cloudy at 71F  and no rain call for.

There is a new edition no 37 of the Asterix  cartoon series out already in stores. Entitled “Astérix et la Transitalique” this new adventure takes them into a course on chariots across the transalpine peninsula facing teams coming from many countries at the times including a champion Roman named Coronavirus. Photo is from Les Echos. More in French here:


The latest show by Bartàbas and the horses is coming on and expect a tour of France later on. It has been an inspiration for like me all lovers of horses. Putting the art on the arena and showcasing the horse at its very best. The spectacle is call Ex-Anima. See it is a must if in France. You get there for example from Opéra Garnier  take metro line 7  direction La Courneuve-8-Mai-1945 and get off at  Fort d’Aubervilliers, take exit or sortie 1 and walk about 3 minutes to Zingaro at  176, Avenue Jean Jaurès. More here in French:

The dept 93 Seine-Saint Denis tourist office has more in English here:

From the local newspaper le Parisien I learn of new statues by the Centre Pompidou. Just open this morning the statues of  Renzo Piano (seated) and Richard Rogers (standing), the two architects that built the Beaubourg 40 yrs ago! The statues are in solid inox steel and painted in two tones of green. They are facing in the Place Edmond Michelet facing the Centre Pompidou. The official site is here in English

The Grand Paris Project continues and now approved 51 projects to turn Paris into the modern age (do not know yet if for good or bad). The new architects will unveil a new Paris with a metropolitan identity. It is in combination with the other big project on transportation, the Grand Paris Express. About a third of the sites will be close by one of the future metro stations. Amongst the new concepts are the  «Lumières Pleyel », creating a  space of 176 000 m² in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis) including a building that will go over the railroad tracks near the future Olympic Village (Paris 2024) . A metropolitan demonstrator in the area of  Ardoines,in  Vitry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne), a future  glass storefront where the warehouses are now been demolish to leave space for a program of  139 832 m², with new activities, commerces and residences. Also, the  «Maison du peuple » at Clichy-la-Garenne (Hauts-de-Seine) a building of the 1930’s that will be renovated including a tower of almost 100 meters(330 feet).  Photo is from Le Parisien. More on the project in English here:

The Grand Paris Express in French is here:


From October 20th to evening of November 5 2017 the rooftop of the tour Montparnasse will be a roller skating ring, time for school vacation. You will have a panoramic view 360 degrees where 80 skaters of all ages and all levels will slide in security. The roller skates will be provided on site but bring protection such as helmets and knee pads. The rink will be available 7 hours per day and two night sessions until 23h. The first is for October 28 on the theme of Halloween!! and the second November 4th with a Disco night! The Tour Montparnasse in the 59th floor at entrance by 33 avenue du Maine. Hours 13h to 20h free admission for the skating, but need admission tickets in the terrace for 17€ More info here:

News for the frivolous travelers starting next May 2018 at the airport of Beauvais the airline Wizz Air will start flight to Koutaissi in Georgia with 3 weekly flights that will become the longest flight leg at the airport. Also, the Spanish airline Volotea will do flights Beauvais – Ajaccio in Corsica with two flights per week. Tickets are on sale for Spring Summer 2018. Keep an eye on it here in English:

I like to tell you about a great cheese of France. It is from my wife’s region she grew up with it and has not stop even now. I got on it in 1990, and has become my favorite cheese as well.  This is the BRIE and specially the crowned Brie de Meaux. The king of cheese, the cheese of kings crown in the Congress of Vienna 1815 by all leaders of Europe at the time of the peace after Napoleon. A bit of chronological history here:

774 Charlemagne said of Brie ” I just come to discover one of the table most delicious ever tasted” After trying a piece of the Brie de Meaux in the abbey of Rueil-en-Brie. By 999, Robert II the Pious, enjoyed so much that he helped sell it in person! 1200, the Brie becomes a political weapon when Blanche of Navarre served it to flatter king Philippe Auguste to obtained from him the regency of the County of Champagne . 1534; Rabelais cited the Brie in his novel Gargantua. 1600, Queen Margot makes toasts from the Brie to Henri IV that is very fond and stop him from seeing his mistress Gabrielle d’Estrées. 1668 La Fontaine served a Brie in the peak of a raven when telling of the story of the fox for his novel. 1710, king Louis XIV loves the Brie and wanted it every day in the menu.  59  cars do the trip Versailles-Meaux to supply him every week of the cheese for the table of the king!!! 1725 king Louis XV marries Marie Leczinska ,the gourmand queen that invented the bites à la Queen from the Brie cheese. 1815 at the Vienna congress minister Talleyrand a great diplomat serves the brie cheese where all proclaim it king of the cheeses and the cheese of kings. 1980, the Brie de Meaux received the designation of AOC as well as AOP as well as the Brie de Melun, the smaller cousin. You have plenty of official info on this wonderful cheese from the association of cheesemakers here in French:

And you can see a bit of history here with youtube:

On . the home front my wife is doing ok under treatment ,and has passed all well; now is the long battle with Pancreatic Cancer begins.  All vital organs are ok and no loss of weight. Hoping for the best with lots of enthusiam for life and the 27 years already lived together. So far. Thank you in advance to all my readers for your best wishes.

Enjoy life is beautiful but it can be short. Have a great end of week y’all. Cheers


October 17, 2017

Tour de France bicycle race is here again, 105th edition!!!

And we got the schedule for the great one, the Tour de France bicycle race in its 105th edition. This time it passes by my Bretagne/Brittany/Breizh in many stages.

Mark these days down, July 9-29 2018. Here are the stages/etapes dates, and length in km :

Date Etape Km
7 juil 1. Noirmoutier – Fontenay-le-Comte 189 km
8 juil 2. Mouilleron-Saint-Germain – La-Roche-sur-Yon 183 km
9 juil. 3. Cholet-Cholet (clm) 35 km
10 juil. 4. La Baule-Sarzeau 192 km
11 juil. 5. Lorient-Quimper 203 km
12 juil. 6. Brest – Mûr de Bretagne 181 km
13 juil. 7. Fougères-Chartres 231 km
14 juil. 8. Dreux-Amiens 181 km
15 juil. 9. Arras-Roubaix 154 km
16 juil. Annecy
17 juil. 10. Annecy – Le Grand-Bornand 159 km
18 juil. 11. Albertville – La Rosière 108 km
19 juil. 12. Bourg-Saint-Maurice – L’Alpe-D’Huez 175 km
20 juil. 13. Bourg-D’Oisans – Valence 169 km
21 juil. 14. Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux – Mende 187 km
22 juil. 15. Millau-Carcassonne 181 km
23 juil. Carcassonne .
24 juil. 16. Carcassonne – Bagnères-de-Luchon 218 km
25 juil. 17. Bagnères-de-Luchon – Saint-Lary-Soulan 65 km
26 juil. 18. Trie-sur-Baïse – Pau 172 km
27 juil. 19. Lourdes-Laruns 200 km
28 juil. 20. Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle – Espelette (clm) 31 km
29 juil. 21. Houilles – Paris 115 km


The first stage is from Noirmoutier island into Fontenay-le-Comte on 195 kms on nice terrain but skipping the passage du Gois under water on certains times a day and one of the best roads of the world.

By the 4th stage it will enter Brittany at Sarzeau in the Peninsula or presqu’île de Rhuys . It will continue here on stage 5 going along backroads from Lorient to Quimper. Moving into stage 6 going from Brest to Mûr de Bretagne! a hill of 2 kms on a 10% inclination point (taken with a car and already exciting to do I imagine with a bike will be super). July 13 will be stage 7 from Fougéres and leaving Bretagne into Chartres.

The famous July 14 National Day or Fête Nationale will be from Dreux to Amiens in Picardie. By stage 8. On July 18 o stage 11 will be passing Albertville , a town my wife worked before our marriage.  On stage 18 July 26 the race will arrive at Pau, a nice town for us. Many years ago we used to go here with my wife’s family to see the race passing by.

The last one on July 29 stage 21 will be from our beloved Yvelines dept 78 of the town of Houilles and into the Champs Elysées of Paris. Wonderful!!!

Follow the race officially here:

See the official map in picture and one of my oldies from 2015 passing by Saint Avé (see tour de france in my previous post in my blog) near my job near Vannes. Enjoy it , one of the traditions of France!

France Saint Ave


October 16, 2017

Some news from France CLXXII

This is another day in the saga, and due to Ophelia storm off the Irish coast we are having a different day here in Brittany. It was announced sunny and warm but it turn out grey humid cool and temps in the 15C or about 60F.  And this is time to tell you a bit of what is going on in my belle France.

In the 17éme arrondissement de Paris on the street or rue Mère-Teresa you will see soon a passarelle that will bring together the ZAC Clichy-Batignolles (parc Martin-Luther-King) to the new district of  Saussure-Pont-Cardinet. It will have 120 meters long and will be accessable to pedestrians, bicycles, buses and all vehicules with a speed maximum allow of 30 KPH or about 18 MPH. The bridge passarelle will be open by end of 2017. Métro Wagram, Rome, and the trains station Pont Cardinet take you here. 

There is a new concerts sports arena just behind the Grande Arche de La Défense (Hauts-de-Seine dept 92) business and shopping area. The U Arena able to sit 40K ,and just opening with the concert of the Rolling Stones this coming Thursday. It will be the home of the Racing 92 rugby team of the French first league or Top 14. Inside you will be like entering a big oven of 40 meters high with seats in the shape of U around the field. The stands are exchangeable and could go from 5K to 40K persons, will take 20 hours to change the venue from a stadium to a concert hall. It will have 28 kiosks for food /drinks and an innovative system to order. The beer glasses will be filled from the bottom by a hole in the bottom of the glass. It will be super connected with 4G and Wi-Fi for all and 15K simultaneous connections . On its four corners will have a huge screen of 1600 sq meters to receive the images on 44 video projectors with roof mapping as well as in the 7th levels of 11 totals inside a glass enclosure. More here in French:

Something closer to my old neighborhood town , this is the beautiful Saint-Germain-en-Laye:

There is a gorgeous terrace with views over Paris of 2500 meters long just next to the castle that has been pressure clean for the first time in 100 years! The castle now houses the Musée d’Archéologie Nationale at Pl Charles de Gaulle. A magnificent piece of French history where Louis XIV was born in the old now gone castle and a very interesting museum of archeology from the area.  Museum here:  

and castle here:

Another great place to be is the Théâtre Alexandre Dumas at Place André Malraux, jardin des Arts. Tel +33 (0) 1 30 87 07 07. More here:

You will do well to stop by an old favorite for meat cuts and take out food at the Boucherie Lepeltier, 58, rue de Paris. Tél. +33 (0) 1 34 51 01 60.

And you look up the mansion on the same street that belongs to Madame de Maintenon ,now there is a wonderful resto is even better at Le Buron du Vieil Abreuvoir, 3, rue du Vieil-Abreuvoir . Tél. +33 (0) 1 30 87 05 58.

To get good CD and DVD to rent out and watch inside the médiathèque  or Library Bibliothèque Multimedia at  9, rue Henri-IV is great and a very good selection. More here:

Every Monday the jazz crowd heads for the animated shows of Lindy Hop at the Bal de la Marine. This is a peniche (boat) at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. They give lessons at the peniche Cercle de la Mer. This is a private club but with interested persons of the ocean you can go in as it is done for 40 years! The quintet of jazz players is call the Césarine & The Swing Cotton. Location le Bal de la Marine Port de Suffren just seeing the Eiffel tower above you .  Time! from 20h and initiation price 5€ a full course 15€. More here:

Some of the night entertainment of a city made for it are some of my favorites:

The French version of the Opera ,the most Parisian of Verdi, Don Carlos , Opéra Bastille, until November 11 at 18H.

And the Barber of Seville or Le Barbier de Seville, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, from December 5-16 2017 at 19h30; a must theater very nice indeed.

How about the work of Le Temps qui reste at the nice Théâtre de La Madeleine, 19 rue de Suréne until November 4th.

At the Théâtre Edouard VII, 10 place Edouard VII, until November 14 admission 70€ worth it great show La Vraie Vie and beautiful theater not far from the Madeleine and grand department stores. More here:

The Théâtre Le Ranelagh, 5 rue des Vignes (16éme) is showing until January 14 2018 the work of L’Avare. admission 35€. This is a nice seldom use theater but rather nice and a very nice area of my favorite Paris.

And not to be outdone, my beloved Versailles at the historically wonderful Théâtre Montansier, 13 rue des Réservoirs is showing the Le Médecin malgre lui .

Ok ok so I sneak one here,a real beautiful Brasserie with Parisian tradition of family from the Aveyron region is the Brasserie Flottes, 2 rue Cambon, (1eme) tel +33 (0) 1 42 60 80 89. Of course here any beef is glorious as well as the pig lacquer in honey: more here:

It is England in all it’s finesse with a salon de thé and cakes that are to kill for. This is a library next to my old work place very English, this is WHSmith 248 rue de Rivoli (Ieme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 44 77 88 99. More here:

Right around the corner you can smell the perfumes at Boutique Fragonard, 207 rue Saint Honoré, Tél. +33 (0) 1 47 03 07 07.

And they have launch creations inspire on theatrical objects very original indeed, as well as funny. These are found in the Boutique de la Comédie Française 2 rue de Richelieu, tel +33 (0) 1 44 58 14 30. More here:

And by Delamain, there is a friendly ambiance that allows you to discussed all your needs with the salespersons and they find all you need fast too. This is the library or Librairie Delamain, 155, rue Saint-Honoré (Ieme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 42 61 48 78.

And do not forget ever when in Paris, you must visit the Jardin des Tuileries, the first masterpiece of the grand gardener of France ,André Le Nôtre. Main entrance 113 rue de Rivoli facing rue Castiglione. More on it here:

At the wonderful Hôtel Nacional des Arts et Métiers, you find a wonderful restaurant inside. From the rue Réaumur  go into the patio of the Hôtel and find the restaurant in a typical Italian trattoria style , mamma mia this is good, and of course the hotel is nice too but not tried.  A great romantic meal in Paris, try it to believe, you will. More here:

Now, let’s check out the rest of France on some of my most memorable spots. This is FRANCE.

At Rouen  the 2 CV Tour gives you a half hour of fun and you can take it all in two hours with a convertible classic of French automobiles the 2CV horsepower. The 30 minutes ride takes you into the city center/downtown along the rue Jeanne-d’Arc ,rue du Gros-Horloge, place du Vieux-Marché… etc. The 2 hours ride is the total ride in the city center/downtown with a panorama of the Sainte-Catherine (the hill overlooking the city),  panorama Canteleu , and the Basilique Notre-Dame de Bonsecours up a very hilly road. Check it out at 2CV Tour from 29€ to 49€  Tél. 33 (0) 7 64 09 01 76. More here:

We go to Chantilly , and discovered the  Pavillon de Manse. Here you find the  machine des Grandes Eaux built in 1678  to feed water to the fountains and basins of the gardens of Le Nôtre. The pumps, siphons, and tubes have been restored and the young is encourage to experiment the new. From Tuesdays to Sundays ,family visit animations for 3€ for the 3-15 and 7€ for adults.  More here in French:

At not so much visited but a city full of history and heritage is Orleans . The first Biennale d’architecture (architecture biannual) , organize by the Frac Centre-Val de Loire. During more than 6 months the creation of 48 architects will be shown in about a dozen cultural and historical sites of the city and the region.  It will last until April 1st 2018. More here:

The historical nice abbey or Abbaye de Royaumont, the biggest Cistercian monastery in the region of Île-de-France, and only 35 km from Paris.  This is very nice solemn peaceful and beautiful architecture and history. It is reopening after renovations from now; see it at Asniéres-sur-Oise, Tel +33 (0) 1 30 35 59 00. More here in French, English still been work on:

Just north of Paris at Pierrefonds ,they are celebrating the 150 years of the Castle. There will be aan exposition in  Centre des monuments nationaux until Nov 20th putting together a series of photos and designs of the castle in 1867! In the heart of the forest of Pierrefonds ,the castle and its medieval looks are a figure of imagination and the history of royal France. More in French here:

Practical information in English on Pierrefonds here:

At modern yet old Le Havre we are having the 13e Transat Jacques Vabre. Top chrono for  Salvador de Bahia, Brazil on Sunday November 5 at 13h35.  However, since October 27th at 16h the festival starts off in the center town with a course village on the wharfs of the basin Paul-Vatine where the 41 sailing boats will be tied up such as Class40, Multi50, Imoca, Ultime..etc. Free admission until November 5th from 10h-20h and to 22h on Fridays and Saturdays. More here:

Then, stick around in nearby Dunkerque for Operation Dynamo , the program on the beach or plage de Malo-les-Bains, the site of the evacuation of the allied troops to England in WWII. You can cap it off at the  Musée Dunkerque 1940, house in a casemate bunker of Bastion 32, HQ of the defense of the fortified sector of Flandre (8€ admission)  . Later ,visit the exposition of  «L’envers du décor», consecrated to the turning of the film Dunkirk or Dunkerque. (free access until Nov 10th) More info at Tel +33 (0) 3 28 66 79 21. And here:

Going east to lovely Strasbourg to see the unique Château Musée Vodou house in an old water tower dating from 1878. It houses the biggest collection of private object having to do with the cult of Voodoo from West Africa in the world; more than a 1000 pieces collected by a true fan of the cult and Africa. Open Wednesdays to Sundays from 14h to 18h free until 14 yrs of age and then 14€ adults.  Tél. 33 (0) 3 88 36 15 03. More info here:

Moving in back to Paris we can stop at Epinal  and its museum of images or Musée de l’image, rich of one of the biggest collection in Europe with more than  100K printing on the course of the last 5 centuries from the  17C to our days.  Saints figures, images of Napoléon, the WWI and contemporary artists illustrations. Open Tuesdays to Sundays for just 1€ until 18 yrs old and 6€ adults. More in French here:

Coming closer to our new home at Nantes, discovered the wonderful city museum of arts or Musée d’Arts de la Ville ;one of the best in the region. After a long period of renovation it is now open with a new building dedicated to contemporary arts ,a new restaurant ,and library bookstore. You can walk from the train station and admission is  8€. More in French here:

You know there is a Louvre nord, north, yes it is at  Lens. There is a new exposition on the place of music in the old civilizations of the old West to Rome passing by Greece and Egypt. they will do reproduction of sounds from old instruments and the oldest song known in the world. Interesting see it at Louvre Lens until January 15 2018. More here:

Going up to the west a bit to where family is located, you come to Le Cateau Cambresis and the wonderful museum or Musée Matisse, showing now the painter and illustrator Alain Godon on the idea of the importance of the voyages of Henri Matisse from New York to Tahiti. An expo of popular colors with 150 works to see. From now until March 4 2018. More in French here:

We move all the way south to Marseille and the Bonne Mère with the exposition of Jack London and his travels in the south seas between 1907 and 1909. It shows a mixture of audiovisuals, marine objects,and photos of the times many of which are on loan from the grand American and European museums. AT La Vieille Charité, 2 rue de la Charité, Marseille. tel +33 (0) 4 91 14 58 80. More in French here:

Back up closer to me at Chinon, in the fortress open every day there is an open space the Camp des Assailants (Attackers camp) showing an exposition on the technique of the middle ages wars; all at the foot of this castle one of the most known in the old kingdom of France. Many rooms traces the history in a museographic showing with multimedia borne in 3D, sound etc. All until November 13. More in English here:

How about going to Burgundy and the always wonderful Hospices de Beaune ready for its 157th edition organize for November 19 on a gastronomic weekend of organ, food and festival of wines. More of this a must extravaganza in your travel calendar here in English:

Leave you with a jewel of French castles in my wife’s region of Seine-et-Marne, Vaux-le-Vicomte, there is an exposition of film posters of those filmed in the castle from the Iron Mask to Moonraker, and Jean de La Fontaine amongst many such as here:,%20Vaux-le-Vicomte,%20Seine-et-Marne,%20France&ref_=ttloc_loc_3

And the official program in English at the castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte here:

What a way to end this post. Enjoy the bounties and beauty of my belle France. Until next time on the printing airwaves of my blog. Enjoy your week, Cheers.





October 11, 2017

Cap d’Ail, and a sneak at Monaco

And after the hectic travel day , time to tell you about my latest hunts in the south of France. This is the famous French Riviera, very chic and very much in the news lately. The road A8 is the famous traffic jammer road of France especially in Summer, lucky me took it now flawless with hardly any traffic.

I had a taste of Cap d’Ail just in the border with Monte Carlo, Monaco! The tourist office here :

I arrive by Avis rental car from the Nice-Côte d’Azur airport coming in on the A8, then M6007, and into city center and port Cap d’Ail. The ride was flawless into my hotel.

Ahh the Hotel was the venerable the Riviera Marriott Hotel La Porte de Monaco in the port de Cap d’Ail right by the harbor on avenue du port. Wonderful views over the harbor , and city including Monaco from my room in 5th floor. More on the hotel here:

I had my underground garage parking with many fancy cars of great value for 25€ per day; a must as parking is very tight on a Cape location. My room was a king size room facing the harbor towards avenue du port. Glorious!!!

Once here I headed to get some foodie and drink, so stop by the Restaurant Le Cap that gives to the side of the hotel facing the harbor by the pool, and had my Riviera Club Sandwich ,huge and excellent for 20€ with a glass of Carlsberg beer.

A bit of relaxation around the harbor, walks of sizing the huge amount of money in the harbor yachts and beautiful apartments all around the hilly mountains around the harbor. An idyllic place for a honeymoon, romantic, couples, not really for a business meeting or tourism.

At night , I headed with some friends over to Monaco to find a place for dinner. We were recommended the Restaurant Amici Miei at the harbor of Fontvieille facing the cliffs and on top the Prince of Monaco’s castle; lovely.  This is an Italian restaurant cook by mamma herself and husband serves you with all the dishes explanation. The top is the son who is also a server comes to pick us up from the hotel and back, style chic this is after all Monaco.  The restaurant site is here:

And if you need more as their site is under construction, check my favorite place in my blog roll bottom of my front page here:

Again, the place is very chic upscale and nice. The kind of place you can dream of retiring too lol! A bit slow pace for me, too up the ladder but worth a visit in my belle France. I left the hotel and came back to Nice airport (see previous post). The trip was nice and quicker until the airport……

Another adventure another needle in my map of France, and at least can say I was here! Enjoy the small introduction to Cap d’Ail, I saw a nice beach too, and lively city center so might be a repeat with the family God’s willing in the future.

Stay safe and enjoy your life’s giving they are precious; happy travels. Cheers







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October 10, 2017

When France is on strike ,the world shakes ::)

Indeed this is a national pastime , I am convince. Here in my belle France going on strike looks like a party a great event to be out ,and to tell each other of the mess we found in our days at work or travel. I have stories but they seem so natural and so routine that I seldom mentioned them. Now is time to tell at least one.

I had my trip to Cap d’Ail just in the border with Monaco for this past weekend and early week. It seems a natural simple trip until…..monsieur madame Gréve decided to intervene.

I took my usual leisure drive with my car on the N165 road to the airport at Nantes Atlantique, it was first block by a huge accident and long lines of jams , but luckily I left much early with plenty of time, even thus needed to rush to the gate at gate 42 to take my Easyjet flight to Nice Côte-d’Azur airport.

The flight was flawless even still complaint about the lack of food and paying for anything extra you want, not my kind of airline but……you know.  I arrive at the airport of Nice by 14h40 or 2:40 pm

I headed to the Avis car rental counter where I was ask to choose a car so decide to pick a Fiat big wagon, can’t even recall the model name lol!!! Once out of Terminal 2 to the Car Rental Center, was a bit difficult to find the spot J21 ,so needed to ask an attendant, fine. I had purchase a GPS package knowing all these corniches (very tight turns hilly roads ) here and not been back in a while. Finally, got into my car and put on the GPS to reach the closest final destination Port du Cap d’Ail.  Well , this is like a fortress to get out me think, and I do quite a bit of car rentals here (found out some of my collegues found it so as well reassuring not alone lol!). It took me two round trip tours inside the car park and ask an attendant again to finally get my car out of the car rental parking lot going thru security gates and ticket machines and al. Amazing control….!!

And I was on the road, the GPS worked very nicely ,indeed.  But it directed me to the expressway A8, really want to go all the way on the M6007 but already a bit tired of the turns and the desire to reach destination opted for the easy directions on the A8.  This is a toll road twice for a total of 3,90€ each way. The tolls station can take cash coins and credit/debit cards and you can ask for a receipt on a green or red button.

I reach my hotel on the spot, no problems at all. This was the Marriott but on that more on a later post to follow. There was underground parking ,nice for 25€ per day and the cars underneath were awesome !

Now the headache was on the way back fron Cap d’Ail. I left the hotel alright with my GPS but this time it took me into Monaco where the famous regular police check point ask me for my papers just routine and nice manners; we need these.

I already knew by email alert my flight on AF return by Orly then Nantes on October 10th was cancelled due to the air controllers strike on the day in addition to others. So rather than risk an extended strike, decided to change my flight to come back on the 9th October.  The drop off car rental was nice and got on my T2 terminal at Nice.

The flight was to leave at 17h30 and reach Orly terminal Ouest or west by 18h55. However, the flight was delayed on Air France and missed my connection at Orly West! Wow here began the fun. Missed flight and the strike starting officially the employees of the airline were busy and the people screaming for quicker service….me included lol!!!

All flights to Nantes were gone and there was no more schedule because it would fall after 22h and the strike was officially started.  Therefore, after much negotiations with the AF staff, they book me on a flight to Lorient; nearer me and know the airport if you can call that ….

Then, I said to them, wait my car is at the Nantes airport covered parking! and would reach Lorient by midnight (which did ). The employee of AF got to work again for me, (I am Sky team gold member); and told me there would be a taxi at Lorient waiting for me to take to Nantes about 1h43m away and AF will cover the bill!!! Wonderful. The fly was done on a ATR 42/72 two propellers airplane that serve as a taxi to get passengers out of Orly , one group landed like me at Lorient and the plane will take off again to drop another group in Quimper !!!

The cries of passengers to find connections was frenetic and loud , and the airline employees were doing their best to get them out before the strike, even losing money which indeed with me they did.  The gates were changing ,and some cancellation posted on the board, sure was to be many passengers stranded. I heard my colleague was robbed of their suitcase in city center/downtown Nice!! and other colleagues were attack by knife and hospitalize while doing some tourism in Marseille. Just to top it all off for the day.

Me at Lorient a bit past 10pm or 22h the taxi was waiting for me. The guy was a nice talkative type and we had a great trip, it was saying talking the trip goes faster ,indeed. We discussed the world and try to fix it hehehe!!! and figure out he likes Spain and scuba diving but it’s more into rugby then football/soccer…oh well .I reach the covered parking at Nantes airport by midnight.

My car was waiting for me to take me home. The ride out was fine and the road was empty, arriving home a bit past 2am or 02h00. At least, I made it back very tired but glad to be home and now can watch the news on the strike; even the nurses are on strike not enough paid and support  see life is a routine here. The teachers too, not enough staff, we seems to have a bunch of complainers not realizing why 85 millions people come to us to indulge themselves of our way of life !

The good thing it is my last trip by airplane of the year and my time will be taken with the family and taking care of my wife illness; we go to Rennes to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Enjoy your week and keep safe in the airwaves! Cheers

Cap d'Ail Cap d'Ail Cap d'Ail Cap d'Ail Lorient Nantes  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice Orly Orly




October 5, 2017

How to ,from and back the airports of the Paris region.

Ok I am on my mood to show you how to get around the airports of the Paris region, CDG Val d’Oise dept 95) , Orly( Val du Marne dept 94)  and Beauvais (Oise region dept 60). I have use them all over the years and lately a lot CDG but this weekend will go back to Orly ::)

I start off the links to them here:




I will star with CDG Terminal 1. Yes there is one, indeed.  It has post office, and currency exchange bureaus as well as lost items office. Children’s areas by the CDGVal hall 5 departure gates 2 and 17. At the same level there is a pharmacy. Game Arcade at departure gates 1 ,3, 4,5,7. As far as restaurants you have in the public zone McDonald’s Naked, and Paul ; and under security area Alto Café in satellite 2, Brioche Dorée in satellite 1, 4,5,6, Café Eiffel nad Pradier.  You can rent cars such as Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Enterprise Citer, and Sixt.

Moving on to the busy Terminal 2 where I go by the most. I will broke it down into satellites A,B,and C and satellites E,F,and G.

The A,C,D, you have currency exchange and ATM cash distribution machines 24:24, post office, internet bornes, lost items office, Children’s areas such as T2A departure area, mezzanine baby spaces, T2C departure central area.  Here you will find bag plastic wrapper by public zone gates A8,C11, and C14, pharmacy public zone, massage center at 2A and 2C, prayer room by shopping level ,and game arcade at 2C. You have restaurants in public areas such as 2A Starbucks, 2A/C Frenchy’s bistro and McDonald’s, 2C Paul, 2D Brioche Dorée, Hippopotamus, and Starbucks. In the security zone at 2A you have Exki, Fauchon, Starbucks, and Brioche Dorée; 2A/C Seafood bar and Café Eiffel; 2C Bert’s and McDonald’s, and 2D Brioche Dorée and Exki. The car rental desks of Avis, Europcar, Hertz,Enterprise citer, and Sixt.

While in the E,F,G  , you have Banks, currency exchange and ATM cash distribution machines such as HSBC and Travelex. Children’s spaces at 2E departure area after police filter,and 2F departure lounge after security checks. Massage centers at 2E halls L, M, and 2F. Also, museum space at 2E hall M. Plastic wrapping luggage in public area 2E gates 2,6,and 14, 2F gate 6 departure level. Luggage lockers at 2E by the train TGV station. Medical center at 2F door 17 arrivals; pharmacy 2E public area departure, prayer room multifaith at 2E hall L door E63 7/7 days 2F arrivals door 1 7/7 days from 6h30 to 22H (6:30am to 10 pm). Game arcades at 2E hall M, and business center at 2F and 2G. Restaurants are plenty on 2E Brioche Dorée, Espressamente Illy, Naked, arrivals level, 2F Brasserie Flo, Espressamente Illy, Ladurée, Marks&Spencer, Starbucks. 2F1 Brioche dorée, Pradier and 2G Paul. In security areas where I always eat are 2E hall K, Exki, Paname Restaurant, Paul, Prêt à manger, Starbucks, and Yo Shushi; Hall L Exki, Fly Bar, Illy, I love Paris by Guy Martin (great), Hall M Caviar House & Prunier , seafood bar, Exki, Paul, Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Café Cubiste. 2F1 , Exki, ,Paul, and Petrossian, 2F2, Bellota Bellota, Bert’s, Brioche Dorée, Caviar House & Prunier, Seafood bar Paul, and Yo Sushi.  At 2G you have Bert’s, Illy, and Ladurée. I highlight the ones I have tried ok. You can rent cars here like Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Enterprise Citer, and Sixt.

And there is a Terminal 3 sometimes used; the police is base here, as well ATM cash distribution machines in public area, currency exchange, internet kiosks, plastic wrapping luggage in departure hall and children’s spaces with video games airside. Restaurants are in public area Brioche Dorée, and by security Alto Café.

Inside the CDG airport complex in addition to walking you can take the CDGVAL airport shuttle monorail train. This goes constantly between Terminal 1 passing by Parking R (here there is a Mercure hotel) , Terminal 3 (here 5 min walking to roissypole hotels and line buses including RER B)  , Parking X, and Terminal 2 (here you connect with the TGV RER B and hotels). The service is open 7/7 days from 04h00 (4am) to 01h00 (1am), and by bus from 1am to 4am. Trips take about 8 min so they say , never time it. More here:

Also, there is a navette shuttle bus the N2 operating from 5h30 to 23h going around all the terminals  but in T2E only between 21h30 to 23h. This is a free service, more here:

You can get to the airport by car of course, no problems at all Porte de la Chapelle on the A1 or the A3 by the Porte de Bagnolet, then A1 keep on right lane.  More on parkings here:

However, must visitors come and go by public transports. there is the Bus Direct line 2 goes from CDG to Porte Maillot, Trocadéro, Tour Eiffel; and line 4 goes to Gare de Lyon, and Gare Montparnasse.  There is line 3 takes you from CDG to Orly airports ,stops at CDG in T1 arrivals gate 32, T2A-C gate C10, T2B-D gate D14, and T2E-F gate E8. The stops at the airport are at T1 arrivals gate 32, 2A-2C gate C10, 2B-2D gate D14, and 2E-2F gate E8 or F9.  Trips take about 40-60 minutes and cost 17€ with R/T 30€, more here:

Then, you have the ever popular RER B,not my favorite and passing thru some of the worse areas in the Paris region. Trains go every 12 minutes again never time it, and takes ,about 30 minutes to Châtelet-Les-Halles from 4h56 to 23h40 stopping at T1,T2 TGV station and then CDGVAL to terminals and it goes to Paris from T3 and T2 take the RER Band from T1 take the CDGVAL shuttle to T3 Roissypole station.  More here:

The wonderful Roissybus is great, leaves from all terminals to the angle of rue Scribe and rue Auber behind the Opéra Garnier every 20 minutes and takes about 50 minutes ride. The return goes to CDG T1 exit 32 arrival level, CDG 2A-2C between exits 8 and 9, from CDG 2D exit D11, and from CDG 2E-2F , from T3 arrival hall running from 6h to 23h. cost is 12.50€ more here:

At T3 RER B station or T2 Gare TGV train you can go on the RER B to Antony, then Orlyval to Orly every 3-8 minutes from 6h to 23h.  More here:

There is a direct TGV service to CDG which taken often, this arrives at T2 TGV station between E and F. More here:

There is a night service call Noctilien between Paris and CDG 00h30 to 5h30, two lines N140 and N143, there are five points in Paris for correspondence such as Châtelet, Gare de Lyon, Gare Montparnasse, Gare de l’Est/Nord, and Gare Saint Lazare. To CDG T1 gate 12, CDG T2F gate 2, and CDG T3 bus terminal at Roissypôle. More here:

Taxis of course, another dandy here are the Les Taxis Bleus, Taxi G7, then the new ones Alpha Taxis and Taxis 7000. My favorites are the taxi bleus ,more here:

Let’s go over Orly the south Paris airport.  Here you have two terminal West and South or Ouest et Sud.

The terminal west or ouest has urgent medical care by Gate B arrivals around the clock. Vaccination center from Mondays to Saturdays 8h-12h and 14h-19h Sundays from 8h to 19h in urgencies with an added fee. Lost items space on arrivals facing elevators:lifts A100 from 7h to 16h. You have courtesy telephone booths at level 0, information desk at level 1 departures gate A, level 0 arrivals gate B. Tourist desks are at level 0 arrivals gate A and assistance to person with specific needs at welcome center level 1 departure gate A. Family areas in public area departure level, video games arcade in rooms 10,20,31, and 40 Sony PS3. Luggage weights balance in Hall 1,2,and 3. Internet kiosks entrance to halls 2 and 3-4; post office arrivals gate A M-F 8h to 18h30 Sat 8h to 12h30. Banking HSBC arrivals gate A 8h30 to 19h15,ATM cash distribution machines at arrivals gate A, departures leaving the CDGVAL train and at gate G. Plastic wrapping luggage at Hall 1 departures and prayer room at level 0, business center at Hall 2. Pharmacy at departure level, and restaurants such as in public zones central hall, Café Pouchkine, Caviar House & Prunier Seafood bar, ladurée, Monop’daily, Carrefour city (arrivals) and Red d’Hippo. At Hall 1 you have Starbucks, Boco in departures , and Hall 2 Ladurée , Paul by gate B at departures, and Hall 3 Paul at departures gate G. Under security areas you have Hall 1 Exki gate 10, Hall 2 Exki gate 20, ,and Brioche Dorée, Hall 3 Kayser Relay, gate 31 and Hall 4 Eric Kayser, Ladurée by gate 40. Car rental available are Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Enterprise Citer, and Sixt by exit A; you can even rent motorbikes.

You have connection between terminal Ouest and Sud on Orlyval every 4-8 minutes at Orly Ouest get it at Gate A departures and Orly Sud at Gate K pedestrian walking area and Orly Ouest at Gate 1 level Arrivals. As well there are navette bus between the parkings and the terminals; more here:

Moving on to Terminal Sud or South, you have here medical service by stairs S3 lower level M-F 8h to 17h. Assistance of persons with needs, lower level Gate B, ¨Pharmacy level 1 public area; children’s area public entrance with playstation games in halls A and B, smoking section in hall A and B; information kiosks in public area departure and arrivals, tourist information lower level near gate L; internet kiosk in central area hall A and B. RATP Paris transport desk by gate K, ATM cash distributors in public area lower level by gate A and near gate C, duty free shopping area level 1 hall A and Hall B gate 20 international baggage area. Currency exchange at lower level towards gate C and Hall A. Prayer room on chapel in level 2, mosque and synagogue at level -1. Interfaith office at level -1, plastic wrapping luggage station at level 0 gates B and C; business center in Hall B. Restaurants in public area are level 0 Brioche Dorée, departures and arrivals, Paul at gate B and Starbucks. Level 1 you have Cup, McDonald’s, Paul,and Zumo. Level 4 conference center, terrace with views on the airplanes.  ¨Past security areas you have at level 1 hall A, Bert’s, Kayser relay, Paul and on Hall B, Exki, Illy, and Kayser Relay.

You can get to Orly by car of course, the road A6 by the porte d’Orléans A6a or by the porte de Gentilly A6b than the A106 until Orly airport.  All well posted. Coming from Orly to Paris you can take the Porte d’Orléans ,A6a or Porte d’Italie A6b. Parkings are at P4 or P7 for both terminals. Direct access to airport at parking P0 and P2 for Orly Ouest and parkings P1,P3, and P6 for Orly Sud. More here:

You can, also, take the Direct Bus here on the line 1 going from places in Paris such as Gare Montparnasse,Tour Eiffel, Trocadéro, and Place de l’Etoile to Orly. The bus stop at T Ouest exit D arrivals, Sud exit L arrivals, takes about 30-40 minutes one way 12€ Roundtrip 20€. More here:

There is the combination RER B and Orlyval with transfer at Antony for both terminals. You get the Orlyval at terminal Sud exit K. Orly Ouest at exit A train every 4-8 minutes doing it from 6h to 23h. The traject takes about 25 minutes to Châtelet-Les-Halles.

There is a navette bus service between both terminals At Sud is at Gate H and at Ouest is at gate D and it goes to all the parkings too.

There is ,also, the RER C then navette Go C Paris shuttle. To Paris you go from Pont de Rungis the RER C station is at exit G bay 6 at Orly Sud and arrivals level bay B exit H at Orly Ouest.  Departures every 15-30 minutes from 4h34 to 12h56 or 4:34 am to 12h56 am the trip takes about 35 to 50  minutes from Paris Gare d’Austerlitz. More here:

The Orlybus from Place Denfert-Rochereau in front of the RER station there, every 15-20 minutes from 5h35 to 23h05 takes about 30 minutes ride. The return is done from Orly Sud exit G quai 3, and Orly Ouest arrival level gate D, quai B from 6h to 23h30. More here:

Now there is the tramway the T7 depart from metro station Villejuif Louis Aragon/RER C station La Fraternelle. It arrives at Orly station takes about 35 minutes and it’s open from 5h30 to 12h30 or 5:30 am to 12h30 am.

Taxis are available such as Alpha Taxis, Taxis Bleus, Taxis G7, and Taxis 7000. Again your choice, I used the Taxis Bleus and they are enough for me. More on the Bleus here:

You can go from Orly to CDG by Le Bus Direct line 3 stop at Ouest at exit D, and Sud exit L takes about 1h10-20 cost 21€ one way or 36€ roundtrip.  You can ,also, take the OrlyVal then RER B to CDG T1 or T2 TGV terminal. You take the Orlyval to Antony and there take the RER B to CDG airport.

The airport at Tille Beauvais is simply low cost airlines like Ryanair. There is a direct bus whether you have ticket or not from the airport to the parking Pershing on the side of the Porte Maillot in Paris. The trip takes about 1h15 but it is really dependant on the traffic especially on the A1. The connection in English are here:

You can go by car but unless you have been in the area before driving I would not tell you to do it. Basically you have to leave Paris on the A14 past Paris and into La Defénse area in Neuilly-sur-Seine , take the A86  direction Colombes/Cergy-Pontoise, and hook up with the A15 to go direction Épinay-sur-Seine/Cergy-Pontoise/Gennevilliers-Village/Argenteuil-Orgemont; take exit A115 direction  Calais/Amiens/Beauvais/Ermont/Franconville-Centre/A16; take slightly left and join the road N184 direction  A16/Calais/Amiens/Beauvais/Aéroport Charles de Gaulle continue on the N184, follow panels for the  A16/Amiens/Beauvais/L’Isle-Adam/Presles N184 go turning slightly right and the road becomes the A16 stay and get off at exit 15 direction Beauvais-Nord/Aéroport Beauvais-Tillé/Clermont. Follow the panels still a bit more until you reach the airport….

Car rentals are better explained here:

Taxi from Paris is very expensive but if you can get to the train station in Beauvais the ride is about 15€ daytime and 20€ nighttime. To Paris the station is at the Gare du Nord; the Gare de Beauvais train station here:

Local bus network Corolis let you go and see the city of Beauvais on line 6 especially nice. More here in French:

There you have it  , is a long list and it looks difficult but it’s actually easy. Really!!! Anyway if you have any questions let me know and gladly will help you. Cheers and enjoy the trip!!  I will be near Monaco this weekend ::)





October 3, 2017

Some news from France CLXXI

And continuing with this saga of all things wonderful in my belle France, today was a bit sunny and cloudy mix with nice mild temps of 19C no rain …. And I left a bit earlier from work.

In the arts France is sublime and we have plenty of choices , some of these I would like to mention here in my latest news posts on France ,and Paris in particular.

Let’s start with something unique and rare, the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme, the biggest French museum dedicated to Jewish history from the Middle Ages to our days, and opened in 1998 in the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan ,the building with architecture from the 17C. Inside, you will find more than 12K works of art retracing the Jewish communities in France. admission is 9€ and the expo 8€; it is located at 71 rue du Temple, 3eme arrondissement.  More here:

You have to go to one of my favorite museums in Paris, the Musée Marmottan-Monet at 2 rue Louis-Boilly 16eme arrondissement.  Claude Monet had cataract problems by the end of his life but never missed a great work of art even if not his.  He usually exchange work with Renoir, Manet or Rodin. And of course, befriended many others such as Delacroix, Corot, Boudin,Jongkind, Caillebotte, Cézanne, Morisot, and Picasso.  All to see now in the expo Monet Collectionneur until January 14 2018. More here:

And as it is one of my favorite areas of Paris, you can wandered around before or after and go see the Les Serres d’Auteuil, great botanical garden French style with architecture of the 1900’s and 5500 plant species as well as trees. It is at 3 Avenue de la Porte d’Auteuil ,more info here:

And why not mention my love , Versailles! The hosts that have come here and visited and al. Now 10 million visitors per year!!! yes crowded at times but its all worth it and to beat the crowds ask me ::) There is a new exhibition showing the paintings, travel guides, tapestries, court attire, and weaponry and more of the times.  This is in partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of NYC where the same will be in April 2018 for those lucky NewYorkers and visitors there. The exhibition is call, Les Visiteurs de Versailles 1682-1789, and will be here from October 24 and until February 25, 2018. more here:,-combining-centre-of-power-and-public-space

And the unique Musée Maillol at 59-61 rue de Grenelle, 7eme arrondissement has the exhibition Pop Art Icons That Matter until January 21,2018. 100 masterpieces from the Whitney museum of American Art in NYC showing in Paris for the first time ever!  Some works will be from Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, and Roy Lichtenstein. More here:

And the Seine knows music indeed. Come to see the La Seine Musicale at 1 cours de l’île Seguin, Boulogne-Billancourt dept 92 Hauts de Seine. In the old Renault factory now something looking like a yacht with high tech sails and the newest concert hall in Paris area. More info here:

And by the nice Musée Jacquemart-André you have the nice exhibition of Le Jardin Secret des Hansen. Until January 15 2018. Museum is located at 158 blvd Haussmann 8eme arrondissement. From the kingdom of Denmark comes the collection of Ordrupgaard created very quickly between 1916 and 1918; included the cream of the Impressionists movement painters such as Monet, Renoir, Pissaro, Berthe Morisot, Cézanne, Degas, Manet, Courbet, and Gauguin. Dazzling indeed. More info here:

And at the venerable Petit Palais of Paris at avenue Winston Churchill you have the exhibition L’Art du Pastel de Degas à Redon until April 8, 2018.  The pastels had their golden age in the 18C with painters like Rosalba Carriera and Maurice Quentin de La Tour. It experience a revival in the 19C and early 20C, and it is this later period that will be showcase in the Petit Palais.  Quick sketches and highly accomplished works by Renoir, Gauguin, Degas, andn Odilon Redon amongst others. More info here:

Something pedagogic is shown at the Musée de l’Homme by the Place Trocadéro in the 16eme arrondissement. A wonderful scenegraphy on racism and awareness of discrimination in our society, call Nous et les Autres (Us and Others).  Shown until January 8 2018; more here:

You have a wonderful event going on soon at Le Beffroi in Montrouge (dept 92) just south of Paris the Biennale d’Art Contemporain from October 12 to November 1 2017. Free admission every day from 12h to 19h.  A collaboration of young talent with 7 European cities. More info here:

Something around to see the best in the arts.

At Giverny, Fondation Claude Monet, 84 rue Claude Monet get there from gare St Lazare in Paris to the station in Vernon then navette bus to Giverny. This is where Monet lived from 1883 to 1926 and did many of his paintings including the Water Lilies, admission 5,50€ and then varies according to temp collection on display. More here:

Passing a bit out by Villiers-Le-Bâcle (dept 91 Essonne) you come to the Maison Atelier de Foujita. 7 route de Gif, you need a car from the porte d’Orléans A6 ,then the A10 direction Bordeaux exit Versailles ,direction Saclay on the D3 road  to house. Great fame between the wars in Montparnasse Léonard Foujita buys this house in 1960 and lived his last years of his life here.  The house is intact showcasing the architecture of Japan and France. Free admission. More here:

Move a bit in the Essonne dept 91 and come to Yerres to see the Maison Caillebotte at 8 rue de Concy. You can get here from the Gare de Lyon direction Melun stop Yerres. Lived by his family from 1860 to 1879 and just open to the public recently. A park of 11 hectares an inspiration for the artist that did 90 portraits here and on the shop you can see original paintings of Caillebotte. admission is 8€ more here:

Moving east you come to Barbizon dept 77 and see the Maison-Atelier de Jean-François Millet, the house he lived since his arrival in Barbizon in 1849 to 1875. You see his paintings , engravings ,and personal belongings of his time here. admission is 5€: more here:

And then we go north to Auvers-sur-Oise and see the Auberge Ravoux dite Maison Van Gogh; the lodging house that was the home of painter Van  Gogh and saw his last days here, died in 1890. He lived here only two months but the place mark the historical point in painting. Here he does more than 70 portraits, and the furniture especially in the kitchen is wonderful too. Admission is 6€ and more info here:

And keep an eye on the Petite Ceinture of old railroad line now slowly been renovated into an oasis of Paris tranquility and beauty. the line was last used in 1993 but a growing project to renovated is still going on until 2020; The SNCF gave to the city of Paris 22km of the 32km of the line . The next new section to be done are in the 12, 14, 17, and 20 arrondissements. More than 18 km will be open to walkers and runners. More here:

And there you have it. Plenty to come and enjoy the city of lights in my belle France. Cheers and you all have a wonderful week.



October 2, 2017

Some news from France CLXX

I am back on an early Fall October night, and cool humid light rain, and gray as usual. Temps were up to 19C today but then came down to 15C. Nice cruising there back to the normal routine until next week.

Let me tell you something about my belle France.

Let’s start with food and yes the Toscan kind at Pink Mamma, 20 bis rue de Douai 9eme arrondissement.  Done like a boat under a glass canopy in the 4th floor you are in Florence. Here you can have pizzas, ceviches, and octopus/squids but the real thing is a T Bone of 800 grams for about 48€! From the Big Mamma group more here: Pink Mamma

Inside the Palais de Tokyo at the Les Grand Verres, you have a place with a bar of 13 meters long and creation of big American burgers of Preston Miller; you can reserve a table with an alcove and a view of the Tour Eiffel.  Very healthy food here indeed too: More here: Les Grand Verres

If you are into Madeleines yes those wonderful little cakes then you must visit Jacques Mercier at Chez Mamy Thérése, 19 rue Saint Antoine, 4eme arrondissement.  This is heaven Madeleine and only madeleines of all sorts; as well as a bar of marshmellows! More here: Mamy Thérése

And area away from the hassle of touristic Paris but well worth the stay if for the area only but also, the wonderful hotel Tsuba, 45 rue des Acacias, 17eme arrondissement. 4 stars hotel  located between the place de l’Etoile and the parc  Monceau; with bar, restaurant, and spa; rooms decorated in 1930’s style! More here: Hôtel Tsuba

And I have already mentioned before the new opening of the Hôtel Crillon at the place de la Concorde, well rooms from 1200€ and menu at the restaurant  from 95-260€. All sitting behind its grand facade built in 1758 at the request of king Louis XV. You can dine of choice in the Les Ambassadeurs bar, Brasserie d’Aumont, and the Jardin d’Hiver. Just Paris is all about to the world ::)  more here: Hôtel Crillon

And a bit of good wine in Paris head for the Vintage & Cie cellars at 199 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré 8eme arrondissement; A financier like me just opened this store with over 1000 references where you can find all regions with wine tastings every Thursday evenings, and see the basement, it is decorated like an English club. More here: Vintage & Cie

For the night owls still going strong, head back to an old classic now reopen Le Baron, 6 avenue Marceau 8éme arrondissement . In the early 21C this was the classic club not far from the Champs-Elysées then it came bad times and it closed.  Now it has re open! A private freezer bar velours seats and smoked glass and a dance floor done like the sky with clouds, rock, hip-hop vintage or electro pop will suit you ! More here: Le Baron

Moving more subtle you can come to the Le Bistrot des Cinéastes, 7 avenue de Clichy, 17eme arrondissement. A great program of Art and trials and after the film, in salle 4 above a small stair you find a nice little bistrot with a vintage furniture. Tapas of the world , wines of authors, cocktails to inspire the world and a Calvados bar, reasonable price open until 1AM. More here: Le Bistrot des Cinéastes

How about that wonderful Chou or the Paris-Brest cake. You know it was created in 1910 by Louis Durand a baker/pastry maker from Maisons-Laffitte. As he celebrated the passing of the peloton of cyclist in the Paris-Brest cycling race by the Croix de Noailles near his shop. The crown cream filling looks like the wheels of a bicycle. The Maison Durand still exist at Maisons-Lafitte (one of my hangouts when living in Versailles) ,and now managed by one of his great grandson, Stéphane. A must and a nice racecourse indeed near by. More here: Maison Durand

Another dandy less frequented is the Pâtisserie du Panthéon, 200 rue Saint-Jacques 5eme arrondissement, of course you know who the Panthéon.  Art déco style boutique who does the Paris-Brest too if you don’t want to leave Paris this is it.  Paris-Brest with almonds and caramelized hazelnuts for 5€ portions! More here: Pâtisserie du Panthéon

The famous Galeries Lafayette store at Haussmann has tours of the store with a guide.  A world of watches until October 22nd will be on display with the biggest names in watches; also military style clothing from Army and Navy. Over 70K square meters of store a symbol of Parisien elegance with more than 3500 brands from all the best. See it here: Galeries Lafayette

The biggest Congress hall of Europe is opening November 2017 by the Porte de Versailles.  The Paris Convention Center. A chamber room hosting 5200 persons seated with 72K sq meters of exposition space !!! See it to believe at Viparis. More here: Paris Convention Center

How about cruising from France to UK, well it is many ways and nicer ways. I like it from Dieppe, used to go to this city a lot, now less from Brittany but it’s still magical. You can take the boats of DFDS and go from Dieppe to Newhaven. Also, from Calais and Dunkerque to Douvres Uk. Enjoy the ride it is wonderful to Newhaven! More here: DFDS ferries to UK

Back to sweets at the Le Café Michalak, 60 rue du Faubourg-Poissonniére, 10eme arrondissement. Here you get a very good crème brülée or Trinity cream. There is now a new Flan to kill for it indeed tasted. More here: Le Café Michalak

A new concept in work, my company has it too. I do not believe in it but a growing trend. CoWorking,sharing spaces for better working environment. The American We Work Lafayette started one space near the Opéra Garnier with 2400 places starting of 450€ per month. 33 rue Lafayette, 9eme arrondissement. More here: We Work Lafayette

Another nice coworking place and near my old working area of Paris is the Spaces Opéra Garnier, with 300 places and 60 offices with views of the Opéra Garnier, a winter garden, Parisian bistrot and yoya courses all for about 339€ per month. More here: Spaces Opéra Garnier

The city of Paris and IAU of île de France team up to get some interesting statistics for the young in the city. According to this study, there are 410K children under 18 yrs in Paris out of 2,2m inhabitants or 18,50% of the population. It has 298 elementary schools, and 2300 hectares of green spaces or about 5700 acres or 22% of the total city surface. And this one you should know, it has 313 museums  including the museum on grass or musée en Herbe.

Something for everyone, how the antique historian in all of us? Paris has many examples of the Romans were here. These includes the Institut National des Jeunes Sourds de Paris (125 rue Saint Jacques); Thermes de Cluny (extended on present day blvd Saint-Germain and blvd Saint Michel and see the walls in the museum) , arénes de Lutéce ( done in the rive gauche are by the building at 49 rue Monge where balls like petanque are play today), Aqueduct (found in the parc Montsouris at avenue de Reille), Puits (wells) gallo roman , parking , and the crypte archéologique. The story goes that Paris was calle Lutécia by the Romans, however the name recently has been found out to be from the Gallic word Lucotecia meaning marsh; where the origins on present day Nanterre in Hauts-de-Seine (92) has not been determined yet. You can go from the thermes de Cluny by the rue de la Sorbonne to the place de la Sorbonne and see the vestiges of it. The city contour the areas of the 4eme and 5eme arrondissement of today in the succession of streets such as rue Saint Jacques, rue de la Cité, and rue Saint Martin. At the end of this axis on the current blvd Saint Michel you see the  Roman Forum at the place du Panthéon and rue Soufflot today gone of course. However, there is a trace along the parking of 61 blvd Saint Michel. Last and most impressive by me is the Crypte Archéologique just by the parvis de Notre Dame. There is an entrance and a small museum showing the L’Or du Pourvoir with coins moneys from the period to Napoléon III times. Admission is 8€ more here: Crypte Archéologique

You now the neighborhood around the biggest flea market in the world Puces de Saint Ouen are undergoing transformation all around the fleas.  New restaurants, boutique hotels, cinema, and much more. See it and enjoy it here. For location of the fleas market and see all around it, see here: Puces de Saint Ouen

And all done for tonite, but there is more. There is always more in my Paris, my belle France. Cheers and enjoy life sometimes is too short.

September 17, 2017

Some news from France CLXVIIII

And on a cool humid gray Sunday I write to you again from France. The temps has gone down to 9C (about 48F)  this morning,  and clearly Fall season is here already. I will be going away from Sept 24th again so catching up on the latest in my belle France is a must ::)

We have this weekend the Heritage Days where many places usually or never opened to the public are done so. An opportunity to see some jewels which we have enjoyed over the years time permitting,not this year.

Some of the latest ones and to keep in mind for the next year’s Heritage Days are:

The open spaces such as the Théâtre de Verdure, Musée des Arts Forains, Théâtre du Merveilleux and the salons Vénitiens will be available this year. These are in the back of the Bercy  Village, 53 avenue des Terroirs de France, 12éme. More here :Musée des Arts Forains

The Caserne des Célestins (4éme)  that houses today the cavalry regiment of knights of the Republican Guards. Ready to show you how they do their living such as steel work, leather horse mounts makers, helmets and sabre pouches etc. All in a beautiful architecturally done building where you can see the big stable or grande écurie, built end of the 19C .  Located at Garde républicaine-Quartier des Célestins. 18, boulevard Henri-IV, (4éme). More in French here: Garde Republicaine

 The interesting museum or  musée départemental des sapeurs-pompiers at Osny , Val d’Oise dept 95, you will find material and objects links to the firefighters going back to their history. Located at  Musée départemental des Sapeurs-Pompiers du Val d’Oise. Rue William Thornley, Osny (95) ;more here in French: Firefighters’s museum at Osny

At least see the exterior or wait for the heritage days event to be at the Palais Cambon, 13 rue Cambon, (1éme) the treasury/auditors court or Cour des comptes. More here in French: Cour des comptes Paris

While the centenary of the famous sculptor Rodin is going on, you can take a cruiser in the Seine river from one museum in Paris to the other in Meudon . Retracing the way he did it himself from the quaint villa des Brillants in Meudon to the Hôtel de Biron at rue de Varenne Paris. There will be a story telling of his life while in the cruise and the entry to both museum will be free. The event “En bateau avec Rodin” with reservation and 7€ admission to the boat.  More here: Rodin’s museums

Take a look at a rare jewelry house, la Maison Bucherer, 12 blvd des Capucines (9éme) and Maison Omega, 35 blvd des Capucines (9éme). You will be able to see rare pieces of jewelry and very much glamour of Paris. Both sites hereMaison Bucherer Maison Omega

 On a city dear to me (used to work here) you find a wonderful collection of cars , a must for any car aficionado like me ! Auto Rétro Suresnes, 6th edition with over 200 cars! on the Terrace de Fécheray, 174 blvd Washington, Suresnes , Hauts-de-Seine dept 92. More here: Retro Auto Suresnes

Looking at the glass vessel of Frank Gehry to understand the architecture of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Bois de Boulogne (16éme). Wonderful arts display and usually now open on heritage days for free.  More here: Fondation Louis Vuitton

See the giants models of Playmobil telling the story of what it was in the medieval times at the Collége des Bernadins 20 rue de Poissy (5éme). More on the Collége here in French: Collége des Bernadins

 Come to see the smallest circus in the world  or le Plus Petit Cirque du monde ,with the Colokolo company and their amazing surprises at the Impasse de la Renardiére in Bagneux, Hauts-de-Seine dept 92. More here: The Smallest Circus in the World

It was built during the Belle Époque period by the end of the 19C, the seat of the house of Lancel, the leather accessories bag firm. Located at 48-50 Rue Ampére, (17éme) ; it was open for the first time this year to the public and should be the beginning of a tradition. More here: Lancel

It was finally finished in 2016 and now open to the public on Heritage Days already. Done in the style of the Cathédrale Russe Orthodoxe  or the Russian and Byzantine architecture of the Holy Trinity. This is the Orthodox Russian Cathedral (7éme) ;located at 1 Quai Branly  More here: Russian Orthodox Cathedral Paris

And why not coming into the French government house/White House, or the Palais de l’Elysée. Visit the gardens and honor courtyard ,and the main rooms including the salon Murat where the council of Ministers meetings are held ,the reception rooms and the office of the President . More here: Palais de l’Elysée

An interesting building and nice history is the one of the Ordre national des pharmaciens, the National Order of Pharmacists house in two mansions of neo gothic style and pastiche of the 18C at the 4 avenue Ruysdaêl, (8éme). More here in French: National Order of Pharmacists

You can see the deserted metro station of Porte des LIlas (19C)  The station is closed since 1939 but the scene of many movie shots. More here from the city of Paris in French: metro station porte de lilas

See the wonderfully interesting wind tunnel of Gustave Eiffel  at 67 rue Boileau . They were built by Eiffel in 1912 for the first trials in aerodynamics and now you know he did more than a tower lol! The wind tunnel could produce winds of up to 100 km/hr or about 62 mph. More here: Gustave Eiffel wind tunnel

The wonderful Palais du Roi de Rome in Rambouillet ,Yvelines dept 78. Built from 1807 upon the request of Napoléon Ier to be the residence of the sons of the emperor. However, it never was. Today , it is vastly change after the fire of 1830.  The pavillon du Verger, houses today the offices of the Cultural bureau and the municipality Heritage monument administration ; it is from 1718 and conserve the decorations of wood and medallions from the end of the reign of king Louis XVI; located at Place du Roi de Rome, 78120 Rambouillet. More here in English: Palace of the King of Rome

While just across Paris, in Hauts-de-Seine dept 92 , at Boulogne-Billancourt you see architectural works such as the building of Immeuble Molitor , 23 Rue de la Tourelle, 92100 Boulogne Billancourt , where he lived in the upper floors, and not far in Ranelagh inside Paris, the Maison La Roche 8/10, square du Docteur Blanche, (Entry by 55, rue du Docteur Blanche) ; both built by Le Courbusier. More here: Maison La Roche   Building Molitor

The architecturally nice Hôtel Thiers to see the historical library of the Institut de France with more than 156 thousands works of arts with rare engravings, and books on French history. It was destroyed during the uprising of the Commune in 1871 like many buildings in Paris some never again saw the light; this one rebuilt in 1873. It was the home of politician and historian Adolphe Thiers who bequested it to the Institut de France in 1905 by his sister-in-law Félice Dosne to have it transform into a library dedicated to the history of France and Research. It is located at 27 Place Saint Georges (9éme). More here in French: Hôtel Dosne-Thiers

 Back again to  Boulogne-Billancourt to tell you of the opening of a new museum dedicated to the work of Paul Landowski, sculptor in town and famous for doing the Christ Redemptor we all see in  Corcovado Rio de Janeiro Brazil.  Many times unknown to the general public even if did over 50 of such marvels of architecture in Paris. Some of these are the statue Sainte Geneviève on the pont de la Tournelle (5éme), statue Montaigne, rue des écoles (5éme), and the  Monument à la gloire des armées françaises, place du Trocadéro (16éme),  Fontaine de la Porte de Saint-Cloud (16éme). Paul Landowski ,also did the work of his life according to himself , the  Le Temple de l’Homme , that is preserve in part in his museum musée Landowski and other parts in the Petit Palais of Paris. You see his work at the new museum, Musée Landoswki , Espace Landowski, 28 avenue Morizet, Boulogne-Billancourt, tel +33 (0) 1 55 18 46 42 from Tuesdays to Sundays from 11h to 18h admission adult is 6,50€ Free all the first Sundays of the month. More in French here: Musée Paul Landoswki

And I close this post with two foodies events in Paris

FoodTemple at the Carreau du Temple, 4 Rue Eugéne Spuller (3éme) until 22-24 September. Banquet menus at 30€ upon reservation not including drinks. Ateliers foodies at 25€ with reservation, Free admission to the market. You have plenty to choose with the family or with friends from small dishes to big meals on the lawn done by well-known chefs.  On site a market, gourmet grocery, cooking lessons, and shops for big and the little ones. The opening will have a bal 5€ dancing with Colombia as the country of honor on Friday night starting at 20h. More here in French: FoodTemple

And the eclairs are back at Maison Fauchon going on until September 23rd on the 10th Edition the “L’Eclair Week”. They will make a coffret of 10 eclairs including the chocolat noir, strawberries, caramel au beurre salé and in honor of French pastries with the Paris-Brest, Saint-Honoré, and the original creations such as Rainbow, Bleu-blanc-rouge, Joconde, 130 ans, and Hokusai!!! Yummies all.  Eclair Week by Fauchon 2017, 30 place de la Madeleine, (8éme) ,my old walked around area of my Paris! Great combination. More info here in English: Eclair Week by Fauchon

Oh well Paris, France. Can I say more, all starts around it ,goes around it and ends around it, on my belle France. Cheers and have a great week; I am leaving on the 24th.



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