Posts tagged ‘Versailles’

September 25, 2020

El Rancho ,and my family!

So here is one from deep within the vaults of photos, and a nice story for us,which I hope you like it too. Having an international touch, we taste many foods from many countries and one of our favorites is the Tex Mex type. In France, they are still learning this cuisine but more and more coming around.

We first met it here at El Rancho restaurant chain in Versailles, and then there is history. I like to tell you about El Rancho and my family!

As said, we were surprise to find El Rancho right next to the rive gauche château of Versailles train station REC C. So of course, we went in and was a fund family affair, and memories of our previous lives in America.  We left Versailles for the Morbihan Breton and just a year later came back looking forward to eat here again, when we saw the restaurant all board up and closed! We thought that was the end of El Rancho, but no they are survivals. At the Versailles location there is now a KFC franchise restaurant which we have not tried.

versailles El Rancho old with martine noel xavier aug11

However , before that we visited two other restaurants of the chain one closed and one still open!

Located in the large Velizy 2 shopping center in Vélizy-Villacoublay ,was a perfect match for shopping and continuing the tex mex tradition of ours. the  El Rancho tex mex restaurant here we, also,  had some fun family times there and remember it well, just for the memories that will never go away, this post is dedicated to all families. The shopping center thus is still there and now has the new owner of most of the El Rancho under their new banner Old Wild West restaurant : https://fr.westfield.com/velizy2/restaurant/Old%20Wild%20West/65353

Velizy II El Rancho 26sep2009

And there was another one we went at Flins sur Seine, where on an open shopping center the El Rancho tex mex restaurant stand alone. This was the last one open,and bizarre it is still open at the ZAC Les Mériels road D14  right off the A13 autoroute de Normandie!!!

Overall, our experiences were the same in all three. First of all, the welcome, the smiling and really friendly service. Inside, there is a tex mex -Mexican atmosphere, it’s clean, colorful, not too noisy despite the many families present, and the 15 ° air conditioning will delight American tourists and some locals too ::). The menu offers tex mex -Mexican-inspired cuisine based on fatty plates or junk food, fried foods, guacamole and melted cheese, if you are on a diet, go away!. Well, anyway, the food arrives with impressive speed. El Rancho remains good value for money, surroundings, ambiance and hospitality. In short, a good plan that will also make children happy. The small lounge area on entering is nice for a drink at any time of the day. The Flins sur Seine restaurant is here: http://www.elrancho.fr/nos-restaurants/mexicain-flins/

Flins ins El Rancho resto pipo RF MF NF jul12

El Rancho is the first chain of Tex-Mex restaurants in France to offer Mexican specialties opening their first restaurant in 1992, in Melun (Seine et Marne dept 77), and has since rose to 28 restaurants in different regions. For its part, the El Rancho SA group, which still owns the El Rancho brand, which still covers two franchised restaurants and one of its own, has begun an overhaul of the concept.

The other properties most were taken over by the multi-brand Italian group Cigierre (Compagnia Generale Ristorazione S.p.A.) founded in 1995, and confirms its ambitions on the French market. With 307 establishments on the counter in Italy ,last I could count, under 5 brands :Old Wild West; typed steak house, burger and Tex-Mex, Wiener Haus ;German brasserie, Shi’s; for sushi, Pizzikotto ;for the pizzeria and American Graffiti ;for the Diner’s. Which already have experience with Wiener Haus in Rome Italy and very good too ::) Their webpage is here for info. https://www.cigierre.com/en/22812/Company

Therefore, this post is on El Rancho tex mex restaurants is for the memories of always, fun , happy family times in our belle France. The properties of course are in my old home of Yvelines dept 78, Ïle de France region. Now feel better to have the story in my blog. Hope you too have enjoy it and do try it!

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

September 24, 2020

Wines news of France VII !!

And as the big moment comes, let me tell you about some wine news of France again. The big moment is ongoing in several places, and even with the virus we go for it. This is the popular wine fairs or foire aux vins!!! Get ready,go!!

I have gotten in the bandwagon early and now follow religiously. Of course, if you read my blog I am a wine aficionado and diplomé of France and Spain. Let me tell you about this year event briefly ok.

Some of the nice merchants who does this better, me think ; my favorites.

Welcome to your Nicolas wine merchant in Vannes! At 7 place du Poids Public (my direct). The Nicolas cellar network was created in 1822 and today has 558 stores in eight countries. Nicolas promises this year a wine fair catalog 2020 renewed at 70%, with 61 references in promotion: 39 red wines, 18 white wines and 4 rosé wines. The brand is clearly focusing on accessible wines by offering half of its 2020 wine fair (foire aux vins) catalog for less than 10 euros after reduction. Nicolas relies on sound values by offering wines of prestigious appellations, particularly in Burgundy (Pernand Vergelesses 1er cru, Chablis …) and Bordeaux (Saint-Julien, Margaux …). Note the presence of the Château Rauzan Gassies and the Domaine Faiveley. There is more plurality in the less expensive wines, with wines from Alsace, the South-West and the Loire in particular.Last until October 13 2020. More info here: https://www.nicolas.com/fr/Notre-selection/Foire-aux-vins/c/1129/

Well hypermarket side, my fav since moving to Brittany in 2011 has been E Leclerc. The E Leclerc, hyper/super markets were the inventor of wine fairs (foire aux vins), and now they give priority to cuvées between 5-7€ , which are easy to drink. They have backlit the aisles with colors: orange-pink for the rosé, green for the whites and garnet for the reds. They have installed wine tasting macaroons in around 100 stores so far to guide consumers in their choices. All year round and during the autumn fair of course since wine is the star of the store at this time. The national selection comprises 200 wines and the regional one, 450. They highlight wines of immediate pleasure, with drinkability, very little woody, not too sunny, easy to drink, good value for money. This does not prevent   them from presenting many new products for lovers of discovery. Starts September 29 to October 10, 2020. More info on their webpage here:https://www.e-leclerc.com/catalogue/evenements/foire-aux-vins-2020

And as I really started all this since living in Versailles and working in Paris got me to some fancy places between all ,these stand out. Lavinia, my store by Place de la Madeleine.

The wine merchant Lavinia offers for the 2020 wine fairs (foire aux vins) a selection of 150 cuvées from 10 French wine regions. Be careful, however, only 70 wines are available in all Lavinia points of sale. Lavinia relies heavily on organic, biodynamic and / or “natural” wines, which make up 55% of the catalog! The prices are correct, since more than half of their catalog contains cuvées for less than 20 euros. Most cuvées are offered between -10% and -20% of their initial price, but the prices are broken on some references. Until September 29 2020. More info here: https://www.lavinia.fr/fr/pages/foire-aux-vins

And another in my fav area for walks in Paris, the 16éme arrondissement and  La Grande Épicerie du Bon Marché, that of Passy and the website, has selected 210 references, each more tempting than the last for La Rentrée des vins. It emphasizes affordability and the taste of everyday wines. For twenty-one years, they have been organizing tastings to promote areas in which they believe. Their aim is to get the customer to understand the choices. The event ends October 15 2020 . More info on their webpage here: https://www.lagrandeepicerie.com/fr/en-ce-moment/la-rentree-des-vins/

Some advice that many give including my own assessment in order to avoid traps during Wine Fairs (Foire aux Vins).

The first is temptation. Let yourself be influenced. The brand that offers its favorite has often its interests to sell the stocks of such property. I doubt counselors volunteer. On the other hand, credibility is more justified when it comes to wine guides, that I read and follow too ,such as Hachette, Bettane and Desseauve, or reviews such as the Revue du Vin de France to name a few.

The temptation to trust the prices ! Medals rarely provide a guarantee. The wines presented are far from being the most remarkable of the appellations, and often come from large productions. That of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is in my view the only credible one. Why? Because only tasting professionals are authorized to participate, the wines that come out often offer real interest in terms of character, and definition.

Be careful of too low prices. These wines are, as it were, from unknown appellations. These are the low prices, less than 5 euros. Distrust, these are rarely good deals. Often wines from merchants, or branded wines, they have stocks to sell.  But; also at too high prices.   Very great wines, such as Petrus, Yquem, la Turque, Margaux, Latour, Ausone, Rayas, and so many others certainly do not need to be found on the shelves of wine fairs. to propose them in order to enhance their offer. For fun, and for glory. Because, do not dream, you will certainly not do good business with these wines. Simply, they are selling for a high price, across the world.

To make sure you don’t miss them, don’t hesitate to go to the opening evenings of the wine fairs. And further, aim for the mid-range: this is where the possible “deals” exist. In Bordeaux, the Crus Bourgeois, as well as certain other less famous classified Grands Crus remain “almost” sure values, although often devoid of character. Or, too consensual, at a price level that remains quite high. Focus primarily on very young vintages. You will have more guarantees on the quality of conservation, than old vintages, for which we do not know how or for how long they were stored. Unless , you like to collect them which never did I like to drink them!!

And some ideas on recent vintages as a general guide always.

The 2011 vintage was complicated to manage for the winegrowers. A summer spring, a very average summer, difficult conditions that despite everything allowed, paradoxically to the ‘cold’ soils, to have good maturities, with the winegrowers who will have done the sorting work throughout the summer. The hot soils have had more difficulty; nevertheless here again, the serious, diligent winegrowers have managed to bring in fine juices. An atypical vintage, but charming…

The 2012 vintage will certainly offer a little more structure compared to 2011, but there again, a certain heterogeneity. In places, the Merlot has reached good maturity. The most careful winegrowers will stand out, sorting work was necessary. Not a vintage for great aging, but it will bring the advantage of being able to prove to be quite easy and readable in the years to come.

The 2013 vintage remains complicated, with maturities often difficult to achieve, making them approachable wines after a few years of aging, the frameworks are not always generous.

The 2014 vintage offers a certain heterogeneity, but some wines turn out to be pretty, denser than the previous vintage, we will have to look for the few nuggets.

The 2015 vintage is more generous, complete, and above all more homogeneous. This is undoubtedly possible a vintage to cellar, even if in some appellations the temptation will be great to drink them young, on their fruit. Very nice vintage ,the one that will undoubtedly be favored, as far as possible.

The 2016, very good promises to keep, but it is a little too early to say … but something tells me that it will be a vintage in line with the remarkable 2010!

The 2017 is a successful vintage overall, sometimes extremely brilliant among some of the most serious winegrowers. A beautiful triptych 2015 – 2016 and 2017, definitely!

The 2018 is very good vintage. Indeed, this year benefited from a wet spring and a very beautiful summer . The harvest were therefore, both quantitative and qualitative.

And the, 2019  an excellent vintage. This is the result of favorable weather conditions, a dry summer, rather cool nights and some rains in early September. Generally speaking, it left on time and arrived the same. Many have imagined that with the very sunny periods that we have experienced, this vintage would be closer to 2003 or 2009, warm, generous.

There you go folks, you are well arm with the basic but good advice from yours truly. This is fun, tasting is allow and do try them all! spitting for tasting not drinking, to hold the day!! Its fun, already did mine on another store, Carrefour. Will go to E Leclerc and Nicolas next!! En Vino Veritas!

Drink in moderation, but drink, its good for you I say it here ::) And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

September 18, 2020

And why not Les Mureaux!

If you have read my blog, you will realise the many spots in our world I have been whether for business or pleasure , already count 81 countries. Worked and lived in 5, and been to places not too many would like to go or dare to.

This is the same in my belle France. No its not always YSL and Mouton-Rothschild, and even in pretty Paris there are places not recommended to go such as Chapelle but I have been to these places too. One of them was in my beloved Yvelines dept 78 in the Ïle de France region in hot or chaud Les  Mureaux.

Even thus it has some interesting stories such as been the birthplace of French aviation and today houses the EADS complex (equivalent European of NASA).

It sits right on the expressway A13 exit 7 to 9 and on the A15 exit Les Mureaux. It has a train station that goes directly to St Lazare in Paris and a bus terminal with buses to Versailles for example.

It has a normal nice Church of St Pierre et St Paul which succeeds the one built under Henri IV. In 1890, Father Duval decided to build a new church larger than the previous one and preceded by a square. Construction ended in 1896 with the bell tower.

The Church St Pierre et St Paul in Les Mureaux: https://lesmureaux.info/item/eglise-saint-pierre-saint-paul/

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What struck me the most here is the wonderful park and castle right in this working class city.

The current Château de Becheville, which dates from the middle of the 19C, was built in the style of the Second Empire. The roof is slate. The symmetrical facade has a brick facing. Stones adorn the chains and the windows. In the rooms with high ceilings, the windows with seated dogs and oils-de-boeuf, the tapestries and the mirrors still bear witness to the Empire style. The wall paneling is inspired by Pompeii with Roman head in a medallion, motifs of flowers and animals such as dove,and butterflies, frieze of flowers surrounding the room. There is also a hunting room and a music room. The castle has an oil on canvas entitled L’Automne or Le Repos après la chasse, (the Fall or the rest after the hunt) which was restored at the end of the 20C. This is an old copy of a work by François Boucher dating from 1734 and now missing the original. In the same room, there is another painting representing a rider watering his horses from a fountain. An alignment of small coat racks reminds us that the castle was once transformed into a school. A wooded park, which initially covered 22 hectares, faces the castle. A cooler was used to store provisions. Frequented by the writer Stendhal in 1811, remodeled in the 19C, it now houses the Gabriel-Fauré Conservatory.

The Castle and park of Becheville info is here: https://lesmureaux.info/item/parc-et-chateau-de-becheville/

The city of Les Mureaux on the park here: https://www.lesmureaux.fr/Parc-de-B%c3%a8cheville/15041/

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Walking around Les Mureaux a bit you see the main shopping commercial street of Rue Paul Doumer; this is full of shops and restos going all the way to the train station.

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The other is the Rue Maurice Berteaux that comes from the above all the way into the more residential areas connecting with the road D14 that takes you to the A13.

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Hope you enjoy this off the beaten path tour of the real France from yours truly. Les Mureaux may not have much now but it was an important city of France in the days of early aviation. From the Aero Club Roger Janin here is more of the aerodrome in French: http://www.ac-rogerjanin.com/index.php/leclub/l-aerodrome

And the city of Les Mureaux on the history of aviation and aeronatics here: https://www.lesmureaux.fr/Les-Mureaux,-ville-d-air-et-d-espace/15033/

Hope you can have a moment to stop here on your way from Paris to Normandy and see the aviation history in Les Mureaux. Enjoy it

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

September 6, 2020

Some news from France, CCCXV

And here I am again on my regular most continuous post ever! anywhere! Some news from France , started out as my idea of posting something different about my belle France in short messages to tell of what is going on here. It all started back in 2011 and has grown to now post CCCXV which is my Roman numeral style for No 315!!! post, and I thank you all past current and future readers!

And let me tell you today has been cloudy and just came back to seeing my son win in football /soccer 4X5 away game vs Merlevenez! So happy Sunday. Temps are in 18C or about 64F. And here is some news from France!

First, the many disastrous decisions by Paris and others on handling public transport that already has caused as much as 3% of its population in Paris to leave. 

Have you decided to come to Paris by TGV, Thalys, Eurostar? But what madness! And what’s more, are you traveling with luggage? You really like complications. So here you are on the platform of the Gare du Nord, with the absurd idea that you could find a taxi there. Unfortunately, the cars are at a standstill and the line is endless. Could it be that the taxis are broken down? Nay! They are there, but they cannot get out of the station. The circulation plan is so that the outlet pipe is narrower than the inlet pipe. Any phlebologist would tell you that this imbalance is a problem. Should we therefore place a stunt on the rue 8-Mai-1945 to make traffic more fluid? Or review the access? Unfortunately, when it comes to fluid mechanics, we are not very good at the City of Paris. It even seems that the more clots there are, the happier we are. We even border on behavioral disorder, as the pleasure of increasing congestion is obvious. Yes indeed thanks to the mayor but few realise it yet…

In Montpellier, public transport becomes free from this weekend aha!. A great campaign promise from the mayor and president of the agglomeration, it materializes this Saturday with its first phase of deployment, free access being limited to Saturdays and Sundays initially. It will then be extended to “seniors” and “young people” before, by the end of the mandate, to cover all days of the week , for the inhabitants of the metropolis only. Thus, the seventh city in France in terms of number of inhabitants becomes the first metropolis to implement free access, after 35 other smaller inter-municipal authorities such as Dunkirk, Calais, Libourne, Niort, Aubagne and Châteauroux. When free access is total, Montpellier Métropole Méditerranée will have to find 24 million euros!, while the transport company generates 39 million euros in commercial revenue. Aha yep no alternative you local suffer!!

At the Quai de Valmy 10éme arrondissement, as of June 25, the City of Paris banned certain portions of the Canal Saint-Martin from motorized vehicles  except residents, emergency vehicles and taxis. Oe oe oe Paris is going backwards and people are leaving but the mayor was re elected therefore, you suffer!!

One year after its launch, Véligo, the electric bicycle offered for long-term rental by Ile-de-France Mobilités, has already attracted nearly 13,000 residents of the Paris region. One year after its launch, 10,000 Véligo electric bicycles are rented and 5,000 more will be put into service. There you go push and pull and exercise lol!!! More info Véligo: https://www.veligo-location.fr/

And the now famous trottinettes or scooters must now comply with a decree amending the Highway Code. Several rules have been created to regulate the use of this means of transport, which is both practical and sustainable. In particular, a number of bans have emerged. From now on, it is no longer possible to circulate by electric scooter on the sidewalks. This measure applies to the entire French territory. Those under the age of 12 must wear a helmet (ah and the other no? motocycles do!) . For more safety, it will also be forbidden to circulate in two on a scooter. It will indeed have to circulate on the cycle paths or on the roadway, under penalty of being fined 135 euros. Finally, even if these EDPMs machines are a good way to move faster and more easily in urban space, their speed will also be regulated. A maximum speed of 25 km / h (about 15 MPH!) is provided for by the text. Yeah looking more like an Asian city than Paris lol!! If you know what I mean ok.

And in my beloved Yvelines they are thinking of eliminating the tolls on the route to Normandy A13! The highway/motorway management company could set up gantries that would replace the barriers. Enough to improve traffic flow and reduce pollution. The A13 toll, which sees 57,000 users pass per day, could disappear in favor of a gantry system. This is innovating could work after all they are making more money than it cost to built and maintained plus the speed tickets lol!

The City of Paris files an appeal against the extension of the Gare du Nord!!! Well go on foot lol! The grand Anne (Ana) Hidalgo had indicated her opposition to the plan to expand the Gare du Nord as approved by the prefect this summer. The City has just filed an appeal against the building permit. In the Gare du Nord 2024 project, access to the platforms will be via walkways. And again going backwards Paris au revoir!!

And if the traffic restrictions are not enough, here come the train folks! Last Friday, the CGT-Cheminots – the first union of the SNCF – filed a strike notice for the day of September 17 2020. The disturbances related to this strike should concern regional and national train traffic. The demands concern the fight against precariousness and poverty, the increase in wages, the development of public services and the definitive abandonment of the pension reform. Faced with the Covid-19 epidemic, the CGT-Cheminots is also demanding a reduction in working hours without loss of pay. Despite the 4.7 billion euros allocated to SNCF as part of the recovery plan, will SNCF maintain its day of strike? Oh yeah the cry babies priviledge folks wants more when the system is bankrupt only supported by the happy French taxpayer!

And more news to soothe the congestions if it works the T4 tramway finally serves Montfermeil hospital. The terminus of the T4 extension was inaugurated on Saturday, marking the end of the work on this extension, which has been awaited for twenty years!!!! So it goes ease of traffic!

On a lighter news, dealing with transports. In nearby Saint-Nazaire; the largest ocean liner in the world makes its first outing! The 362 meters long ship is not expected to reach Shanghai, its future home port, before 2022. The Wonder of the Seas has changed holds with the help of the tugs because it does not yet have an engine.

And the wonderful air show which I have been at Cerny (Essonne dept 91) is now officially postponed to 2021, the organizers accuse the covid19 for a big hit in revenues not receive otherwise. Sad, this is a wonderful event of old planes. More on this wonderful festival: http://www.letempsdeshelices.fr/

Aaah Paris… Paris the beautiful, Paris the romantic, Paris the luminous, Paris the… Paris, the snob yeah! According to a study carried out by Crédit agricole Île-de-France for Capital magazine, the three cities most coveted by buyers in the  Ile-de-France region are Boulogne-Billancourt, Asnières-sur-Seine and Saint-Maur-des-Fossés. Oh and not just one magazine….

The Louvre is also an art school!  open to everyone.  From 15 years old, for junior classes, up to retirees, for free listeners, the Louvre school has been teaching art and culture since 1882. Its classes, which resume on last Friday, are open to all.  Completely integrated into the Louvre from the start, the school moved and expanded 22 years ago in the west wing of the palace. More on the Art School at the Louvre here: http://www.ecoledulouvre.fr/en

The 10éme, 11éme, 19éme and 20éme arrondissements share its cobblestones. Initially a village, Belleville became part of Paris in 1860. Bohemian, friendly and cosmopolitan through the different periods of migration it has experienced, this district full of character begs to be visited, and loved. It is the up and coming Paris quarters to be chic and be seen. Go and enjoy it , get out of the old center!! A bit more from the Paris tourist office here: https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73170/Quartier-de-Belleville

From September 9 to October 15, 2020 the Back to School season continues in stores in the two cellars of the Grande Épicerie de Paris, at 38 rue de Sèvres 7éme, and at 80 rue de Passy 16éme. Lovers of exceptional cuvées will have access to the entire Back-to-School wine catalog offered at low prices. Vaulted cellar for the Grande Épicerie de Paris Passy, a circular cellar at the Grande Épicerie de Paris rue de Sèvres, the places where the brand’s nectars are kept are veritable showcases. The Back to School is the event on Thursday October 1, with its tasting workshop scheduled from 19h to 20h30 at the La Table restaurant at the Grande Épicerie, Rive Gauche. Six handpicked wines will be scrutinized. A moment of friendly initiation that will allow you to benefit from a free bottle for a batch of five cuvées purchased. Registration at   https://www.eventbrite.fr/e/billets-les-off-cours-dnologie-x-la-rentree-des-vins-de-la-grande-epicerie-111295090612

Return of wines from the Grande Épicerie de Paris, and in stores from September 9 to October 15. More info here: https://www.lagrandeepicerie.com/fr/lge-home-page/lge-home-page.html

Still time for vacation ?

With crystal clear water at 23 degrees, fine sand, vertiginous cliffs and lush Mediterranean vegetation, the Calanque de Sormiou is one of the pearls of the Phocaean city (Marseille) . Nothing could be more disappointing, after an hour of perilous hike in the scrubland, than not being able to put your towel on this little stretch of beach ! More of this beauty spot here: http://www.calanques13.com/en/calanque-sormiou.html

Just an hour from Paris by TGV, the capital of Hauts-de-France Lille  is a destination of choice for an arty weekend. In 2020, it was the first French city to receive the title of world capital of design, after Taïpei (2016) and Mexico (2018). Throughout the year, 20 places in the metropolis have been fashionable by organizing exhibitions, conferences and activities related to the event. Beyond the center, two museums in the region have renewed their collections. Until September 20, the Piscine de Roubaix Swimming Pool will be honoring artist Marcel Gromaire, a figure of realistic and humanist art from the North, as well as Taiwanese designer Sophie Hong. For its part, the LaM, the contemporary art museum in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, is dedicating a retrospective to William Kentridge (until December 13), a South African artist known for his black and white charcoal drawings.

Piscine de Roubaix: https://www.roubaix-lapiscine.com/

LaM Villeneuve d’Ascq : http://www.musee-lam.fr/fr

Le Havre has dragged its reputation as a concrete and austere city since its reconstruction. It must be said that in September 1944,(WWII) three-quarters of the Norman city was destroyed in an Allied bombardment. Auguste Perret, the architect in charge of restoring it to its splendour, then faces a gaping hole of 150 hectares which he fills with housing designed to be sustainable and make the modern post-war world accessible to all. Difficult to miss the port activity and the maritime history of Le Havre. At the marina, you embark on board the Gulf Stream 2 for a crossing of the estuary (around 45 minutes) towards the flowered coast. The opportunity to stroll for half a day in Trouville-sur-Mer before returning to the other bank of the Seine, with a breathtaking view of the Pont de Normandie. More on the ride here; https://www.gulfstream2-trouville.com/traversee-trouville-le-havre/

Crossed by the Loire, the city of the Dukes of Brittany, Nantes, has always been a point of meetings and exchanges. In the 18C, with the rise of the triangular trade, it was the subject of prestigious constructions: opera house, Place Royale … A cultural and artistic heritage that it has preserved over the years. Nerve center, the Passage Sainte-Croix is one of the many cultural centers in Nantes. Until September 27, the exhibition Main d’oeuvre questions the social and political role of the artist through a selection of videos in which hands make and unmake, shape, sculpt and deform. While David de Tscharner hammers a clay ball revealing faces, landscapes and animals, Beijing’s Song Dong symbolizes the fragile and ephemeral character of Chinese urban constructions by crumpling images of Shanghai projected onto paper. An original way to (re) discover contemporary art! More on the Passage Sainte Croix: https://www.passagesaintecroix.fr/

At Val-d’Oise dept 95 with its music festival, Royaumont is resisting. Heavily affected by the health crisis, Royaumont Abbey in Asnières-sur-Oise has bent over backwards to maintain its annual classical music festival, which begins this Sunday. More info here: https://www.royaumont.com/fr/actualite/festival-2020-le-programme

In my always nostalgic Meaux. Seine et Marne dept 77. At the Museum of the Great War, (WWI) carrier pigeons, stars of historical reconstructions. This weekend, parades as well as many re-enactments or demonstrations are planned around the Great War Museum, on the occasion of the 106th anniversary of the Battle of the Marne. A bit late but worthy of mention it anyway: More info here: https://www.museedelagrandeguerre.eu/fr/histoire-vivante.html

This weekend ,also, is held in Compiègne La ruralité en fête, the new name given to the festival of hunting and nature. Disrupted by the health crisis, organizers hope to attract 15,000 visitors, half as many as usual.  Again a bit late but worth mentioned is the hunters’s festival at Compiégne in French here: https://www.fdc60.fr/la-ruralite-en-fete-dans-les-hauts-de-france-les-5-et-6-septembre/

The splendid Château de la Bourdaisière, east of Tours, celebrates tomatoes every year. The weekend of September 12 and 13 will be very busy. The castle is also a hotel, and it also houses a contemporary garden of dahlias, the Dahliacolor, in full bloom in September. Festival of tomatoes and flavors, September 12 and 13. Entrance: € 7.50. More info here: https://www.labourdaisiere.com/en/

And last for this post but not least is the Festival du Cinéma Américain de Deauville. As every year at the beginning of September, Deauville welcomes a piece of America on its beaches and in its hotels, but especially in its cinemas. Thus, apart from the official competition composed as usual of 15 films, many titles will be added to the selection, which will include 100 in all, divided into 13 categories. This year exceptionally, a dozen films that should have been seen at Cannes in May, but also a well-deserved tribute to the sacred monster Kirk Douglas with a rich program of 12 films to which his name appears in the cast will come to complete the selection.  The 46th American Film Festival from September 4 to 13 at Deauville, Calvados 14 Normandy. More info here: https://www.festival-deauville.com/en/

And there you go folks, enjoy France as we do, an amazing country of contrasts, arts , architecture, history, and gastronomy to boot! And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!

July 27, 2020

Some news from France, CCCXIII

Well I am on a roll, and need to tell you more of the news of France, thanks for reading it over the years. It seems a long time since I started this series on December 9 2010! This is the 313th edition , and I get a kick out of making it than even the travel posts. There is so much to see and do in my belle France.

This is an interesting survey due to the current world situation. The French 28% on leave 22% indecided and 50% on vacation. A bit less than last year they said. 86% will have vacations in France ,with the most by the littoral/coast 43% ,countryside 27% mountain 22%, undecided 8% , in town 6% , and itinerant 4%. There are 72% that will avoid places known to have convid19 therefore, the most chosesn regions will be Nouvelle Aquitaine / Occitanie, then  PACA / Auvegne Rhône Alps, and closing the podium my Bretagne. The preferred places to stay will be 40% with relatives or second home, 39% in hotels or camping, 20% rentals by individual owners, and 1% undecided. The means of transport will be most by car or 3 out of 4 , of course! , 10% by train, 5% by plane, and 4% carpooling. The average budget will be about 1500€ per couple and two children.
59% think of doing more outdoor activity than usual with natural spaces, parks and gardens and heritage sites as the podium. Source: survey of ADN tourisme June 2020, and survey of Opinion Way /Norauto.

News news! the city of Paris is trying to make a deal with Airbnb on the illegal rental companies. The city/town hall wants those interested to put their apartment back on the traditional rental market, at a low rent. The City of Paris asks illegal lessors to offer a classic lease of at least 3 years, with a rent 20% below the market price. And they think owners can afford this?

And on the continue greenhouse Paris mode. At the City/Town Hall, trees will be planted on both sides of the parvis or forecourt. The prospect and the maintenance of a space on the square for ceremonies or events will be respected . Behind the Opéra,  rue Gluck and parvis between the Opéra and Place Diaghilev , greening will be done in such a way as to respect the historic view of the monument. Trees will be planted without obcuring the views.  And concerning the place Henry Frenay, on the north parvis of the Gare de Lyon, a small urban forest will ensure the refreshment of the City. Last but not least, the banks of the Seine river will be adorned with grass on one of the two lanes, thus establishing an arrangement for relaxation and picnics. The other lane must remain paved for emergency vehicle traffic. I guess we will need to take a boat lol!

And the activities around the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris continues. There are huge potraits captured in a blue and white sky, these workers who clean the north tower of Notre-Dame are rope access technicians, specialized in work at height and difficult accesses. And the subjects of one of the impressive photos of the new exhibition dedicated to Notre Dame Cathedral. Since this past Wednesday, 32 photographs have been displayed on the fences surrounding the largest Parisian construction site. Entitled “The Builders of Today”, this free access installation pays tribute to the trades who work to secure Notre-Dame before its restoration can really begin. Like rope access technicians, carpenters, scaffolders, crane operators, glass masters, stone masons and masons are the heroes of this new series of photos which extends in the rue du Cloître-Notre-Dame the one installed since December over the first months of ” renaissance ”of the cathedral. « Les bâtisseurs d’aujourd’hui : les corps de métiers au cœur du chantier de sécurisation de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris » or The builders of today: the trades at the heart of the construction site of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, exhibition rue du Cloître-Notre-Dame 4éme. Free access.

In the evenings from Tuesday to Saturday until August 29, Les Invalides invites you to experience a breathtaking historical epic. The opportunity to discover the history of Paris, of the monument, and to come out with stars in your eyes. On the program: 3000 years of history , covered in 50 minutes. From Lutèce to de Gaulle via Clovis, Louis XIV or even Napoleon: the great periods of French history are told in front of an audience of captivated spectators, eyes wide with wonder. In the main courtyard of the Hôtel des Invalides, 129, rue de Grenelle 7éme. Tuesday to Saturday, from 22h30 in July and  22h in August. Price: between 5 and 24 euros. More information in French on  La Nuit aux Invalides

The Le Lavoir Moderne Parisien (LMP) or Modern Parisian Lavoir, a small theater built in 1850 in the popular district of Goutte d’Or 18éme, exactly at 35 rue Léon dreamed of joining the municipal fold: it is now done! This old washhouse described in Zola’s notebooks, which has become a theater for young creation. More info on the LMP here: Lavoir Moderne Parisien

In the heart of summer, the Parc de Saint-Cloud park, renowned for its fountain, its gardens and its magnificent view of Paris, is the ideal place for a family stroll, running or a bicycle excursion. In the huge gardens, you will notice the cut yews or the mosaics of flowers. This is an often overlook spot just near Paris that must be visited more. Domaine de Saint Cloud ;1 avenue de la grille d’honneur, St-Cloud.(Hauts de Seine dept 92).

And yes folks craft beer making in Versailles: it works! Check it out at the La Brasserie du Roi.(or the Kings brewery)  They bottled their first output two weeks earlier! More in French here: La Brasserie du Roi Versailles

Free river shuttles to cross the Seine river operate during the summer at Aubergenville, Juziers and Moisson.  A nice way to see the Seine river outside Paris on my beloved Yvelines dept 78. More info in French here: SMSO bacs or boats across the Seine

And more from my beloved Yvelines dept 78, a mini-cruise in Mantes-la-Jolie to travel back in time. Mantes la Jolie is a town located halfway between Paris and the province (countryside as all outside of Paris is known here ::)). An hour and a half ride on a small boat allows you to discover the third city of Yvelines in a different way, going from the Middle Ages to the modern era. More info in French on Croisières en Seine here: Croisieres en Seine on Mantes la Jolie

A few kilometers south of Bordeaux, between Latresne and Sauveterre-de-Guyenne, an old railway line has been changed into a cycle path, named Roger-Lapébie in homage to the Girondin cyclist. This 47 kilometers greenway is a bit narrow ,about 2 meters , but has an excellent surface which makes the crossing perfectly painless. Things to see along the way are the Abbey of La Sauve-Majeure and the Church of Saint-Pierre, listed as World Heritage by Unesco! You go thru beautiful countryside of undergrowth, wine-growing hillsides, small tunnels, stations converted into bars, restaurants or rest areas ,etc.  In the town of Créon, a bicycle relay point offers very useful services (inflation station, library with maps and travel guides). You can even start from there by renting the vehicle of your choice, from VTC to tandem via electric-assisted bicycle. The Créon bike station in French here: Station Vélo Créon

The Gironde dept 33 tourist office in French on the bike ride Roger LapébieGironde tourist office on bike path Rogher Lapébie

Wrought iron gate, desk, painted wooden chairs and parasols… wonderful indeed! The mismatched furniture in a flea market is scattered on the grass, and the customer is invited to choose his own table, in the shade of the acacias during the day, or under lanterns in the evening. Opened six years ago, the La Guinguette du Phare in Lestiac-sur-Garonne, in the  Gironde dept  33, near Cadillac, has perfectly achieved its objective; to become a popular gathering space facing the river, by promoting discussion and meeting. People come mainly to eat in the chic canteen-style cuisine, at affordable prices, favors seasonal products from local agriculture. But a program (exhibitions, debates, shows, balls dances under a marquee, etc.) also makes the place vibrate artistically, which is a hit all summer long. We recommend that you book a few days in advance by phone. Webpage in French here: La Guinguette du Phare

Been a car aficionado ,needed to put this wonderful anecdote of a historical car that grandparents on wife’s side told me several times! The English voted for the Mini Moke, the Americans the Dune Buggy, the French voted with both hands for the Mehari. In the colorful radius of beach cars, this curious automobile open to all winds, which continues to resonate with its rattling noise around the pontoons of seaside resorts and village markets, has marked its territory. In driving this spartan Citroën, to be driven in sandals and Bermuda shorts, which we saw multiplied in the 1960s and 1970s, we are not leaving , luckily! on vacation,  we live them inside. The Citroën Méhari is not the founding crucible of the beach car. Before it, there was the little-known Baby Brousse, created in 1963 in Abidjan by French manufacturers on the basis of a 2 CV. An astonishing and ingenious creation that looked much more like a dromedary than the Mehari, whose name nevertheless designates this animal among the Tuareg. In 1964, the Austin Mini was the inspiration for the Mini Moke, a small all-rounder that emerged from an off-road vehicle project abandoned by the British military. These pioneers will pave the way for the Méhari that Citroën unveils in May 1968, the day before the general strike. In other words, in total indifference. Yeah nice little car indeed! I have seen them!!! Have you?

In the largest appellation of red wines in the Loire Valley, around fifteen estates cultivate grapes on these small hills, whose sandy soil and vegetation evoke the Mediterranean. Renowned for its medieval fortress, the city of Chinon has nevertheless given its name to the largest appellation of red wines in the Loire Valley. That is 2,300 hectares of Cabernet Franc for the red and barely 100 hectares of Chenin for the white. All around, in twenty-six towns, on both sides of the Vienne, the river which flows further into the Loire. It is also hiding in Chinon itself, on its outskirts. These mounds, which grew in Indre-et-Loire, come from the last geological folds of the powerful mountains of Auvergne. They peak at about thirty meters on average but escape freezing. They are suitable for the inhabitants of elegant houses and for the vineyard. The Puy Besnard, at 88 meters, is the highest. And on tope of wonderful natural scenes you have one of the best red wines of the entire Loire and even France, me think. The winemakers of Chinon in English: Wines of Chinon in the Loire Valley

In Reims, the second life of the Caserne Chanzy barracks. I have not stayed here yet but glad this wonderful building is save and kept for the traditions. Located at the foot of the famous Champagne region cathedral, it has been transformed into a hotel which does not forget to pay tribute to the firemen soldiers who once occupied it. The Chanzy barracks was the first fire station in the city of kings. Built in 1926 in an Art Deco style, it alone symbolizes the energy expended by the town at the time to put the city back on its feet after its almost total destruction during the Great War or WWI. The brigades of firefighters followed there until 1993, when a new barracks was built near the highways for practical reasons. Some 5,500 m2 are thus found abandoned on the forecourt of Notre-Dame Cathedral of Reims, where most of the kings of France were crowned. A local family decides to buy the building and imagine turning it into a hotel. The US group Marriot wins tender, and work began in 2017 and ended in the summer of 2019. The renovation of the old barracks caused a stir, the inhabitants rushed there to see what it was  as all the people of Reims know at least one firefighter who lived within these walls! The result is applauded for its respect for the heritage and the spirit of the barracks, on the facade we find the “Sapeurs-Pompiers” bas-relief, the load-bearing walls and the overall structure are preserved and two additional floors created in order to show the height. From the fourth floor, where the most luxurious rooms are, from 300 to 500 euros per night , the view of the cathedral and the city is breathtaking. The Domaine de Pommery estate also, which stretches out into the distance, the Saint-Rémi Basilica (where Clovis was baptized, in 498) and the courthouse below. But the interior of the hotel is no less striking: every element has been designed in homage to the past of the place. The Marriot La Caserne Chanzy Hotel in English here: Marriot La Caserne Chanzy Hotel Reims

The Ïle de Chatou is a little corner of paradise, located in the west of Paris. It derives its fame from its nickname: “the island of the Impressionists“, a wonderful haven of peace and nature surrounded by the banks of the Seine river. It turns out to be an ideal stopover after a cruise on the Seine. 900 meters long, it runs alongside both the right bank and the left bank. But its fame is due, in large part, to Madame Fournaise’s restaurant. This renowned restaurant welcomed boaters and Impressionists in the 19C, just that! Renoir painted Le Déjeuner des Rameurs or Les Canotiers à Chatou in this restaurant and Maupassant wrote there some short stories about Boating. The atmosphere is therefore there. It is also an ideal site to relax, breathe the air of nature and enrich its culture. To make the most of it, let yourself be tempted by a cruise, public or private, to discover the banks of the Seine, places of residence for many artists. During your cruise, you will continue to discover other emblematic places of Impressionism. The Bains Froids de la Grenouillère, a large ball café floating on the Seine and moored on the Ïle de Croissy, initiated the famous Bains Populaires. You will also discover the banks of the Seine at Bougival, Croissy and many others. Great area with several posts in my blog. The cruise info on the ïle de France tourist office in French is here: Visit Paris region on Chatou

And last but not least a wonderful creation to spent your time in my eternal Paris and with a good chow! Located in the rue de l’Ourcq 19éme at the La Ferme du Rail (the rail farm) . La Ferme du Rail is a social and architectural project carried out in February 2019. Inside, an accommodation and social reintegration center, a student social residence, a production greenhouse and a restaurant. Outside, here and there, a permaculture vegetable garden in the ground, the roof vegetable garden, green areas in the ground, green walls, a henhouse, etc. In short, everything you can imagine on a farm. All this to tell you that from this parcel of land bordering the Petite Ceinture. Then, at the end of this past June, Le Passage à Niveau, its brand new restaurant , be aware,  if you want to go for dinner, remember to book to be sure to have a place.  Le Passage à Niveau (level crossing) La Ferme du Rail. 2, bis du de l’Ourq 19éme Paris of course!

The La Ferme du Rail project webpage in French here: La Ferme du Rail project

The Le Passage à Niveau restaurant Facebook page in French here: Facebook page of Le Passage à Niveau restaurant

And with this I say farewell on the 313th Some News from France! I thank you very much for reading and liking theses posts.

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

July 22, 2020

Some news from France, CCCXII

So here I am back with some news from France, your regular news bulletin of my belle France. There is a lot going on even under the covid19 spell. Let me give you the latest. Hope you enjoy it and thanks for reading it.

A repeat from my Cathedral St Peter and St Paul of Nantes. I have notice many views on this post and for reason. Just this morning July 18 2020 ,there was a fire at the Cathedral for now malicious intention is the way to go, with three different fires. Luckily , the fireman came in quickly and the fire was put out. Nevertheless the beautiful organs are gone completely burned as well as a portrait of the 17C. The Fondation du Patrimoine or heritage foundation has started a collection of funds to rebuild the organs. Webpage here:  Heritage foundation on Cathedral of Nantes

The first Council of Paris of the new mandate of Anne Hidalgo may not be a simple formality for the mayor and her majority. Three reports from the Ile-de-France Regional Chamber of Accounts (CRC) will thus be on the menu. Three reports; they will be published Monday at the latest , which point to management concerns in three emblematic sectors of the capital: the arrondissements or districts, the Porte de Versailles exhibition center but also the Eiffel Tower. it especially points to a price increase of 47%! and at the same time a drop in the number of visitors to the Eiffel Tower. “This increase was supposed to allow the construction of the reception center but it has still not seen the light of day,” explains the wise men of the CRC. So where the money is going Mme Mayor!!! search search and see where the poor Parisians money goes maybe for new bike lanes lol!

The rodeos on scooters under laughing gas sow panic on the Champs-Elysées. Rear wheels, dangerous slaloms between passers-by, haggard glances… The races of young people on electric scooters, intoxicated by nitrous oxide, have invaded the sidewalks and roadways of the most beautiful avenue in the world. Of course, no problems ,they have less cars !!! Paris is not doing good folks; it is changing and not for the better.

And if nothing is without saying , Paris is suffering the repercussions of the health crisis; between the absence of tourists and the total shutdown of the city for more than two months, the capital is on its knees. Faced with its colossal debt, the City of Paris is considering an increase in taxes for Parisians!!!. To offset the 565 million debt, including 200 million resulting directly from the economic recovery plan, the City of Paris calls on the generosity of the State and counts on an increase in taxes … for Parisians! OMG campaign promises. Faced with the absence of tourists (tourist taxes), the stopping of real estate transactions, impoundments (free parking during confinement) and the closure of municipal facilities such as swimming pools, nurseries or canteens, revenues taxes have collapsed; not without saying folks not coming for the hassle of getting in due to lanes closings. It is in this context of economic crisis that a budget plan which, will allow the city to recover must be voted on Friday July 24 at the Paris Council. A situation that denotes with the declarations of Anne Hidalgo who had promised in October 2019 that no tax increase would take place in Paris. Final answer this Friday, July 24, 2020 to the Paris Council! Well things will not be going well. Especially ,when already about 15% of Parisians are leaving for areas like Bordeaux, Nantes, and my Morbihan!!

At Roissy,(Val d’Oise 95) CDG airport for Paris ; the terminal 4 project has a negative impact. Controversial since its inception, this airport expansion project seems more than ever under fire from critics. Latest, the environmental authority which calls for a broad review of the project. The project for the new T4 terminal at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport is expected to accommodate up to 40 million additional passengers per year by 2037. Well , and when will they have the money when we reach the 40m on the old structures lol!

And to add sadness, Tati Barbès, at Bd Barbés by December 2020, it will be well and truly over. The emblematic 18éme arrondissement store will close its doors at the end of the year. The 34 employees who remain should be reclassified in Ile-de-France region in the stores of the owner Gifi. So sad, even my dear late wife Martine grandmother F used to shop in them, an institution in France, another bites the dust.

And for good news for a change. The crypt is the heart of the creation of Paris with the Ile de la Cité. So an exhibition was particularly close to the hearts by telling the story of Notre-Dame during the 19C from Victor Hugo to Viollet-le-Duc. Located just below, the crypt obviously had to be closed. It will reopen on September 9 2020 on the occasion of the presentation of a permanent exhibition dedicated to Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, designer of the now-defunct spire erected in the 19C. See it will be awesome!

The Dubois-Corneau de Brunoy museum, a treasure trove of local history in the Essonne dept 91. The Brunoy museum benefits from the large personal collection of Robert Dubois-Corneau, historian who died in 1951. The first room of the museum traces the history of the Château de Brunoy and its “great waters”, owned in turn by the Marquis de Brunoy then by the Count of Provence, before being dismantled during the French revolution as usual. A room is thus dedicated to the tragedian François-Joseph Talma, friend of Napoleon I, who had chosen Brunoy as his second home. The painter Maurice Eliot is also in the spotlight. Some of his works, as well as those of other artists who have reproduced the landscapes of the Yerres valley, can be seen there. Paintings by Numance Bouel, Amédée Varin and Alice Dubois, sister of Robert Dubois-Corneau, are part of the permanent collections. Finally, the last two rooms of the museum are dedicated to the two contemporary animal sculptors Maurice Prost and Pierre Dandelot. The musée Dubois-Corneau, 16, rue du Réveillon, Brunoy. Open all summer, except public holidays, from Wednesday to Sunday from 14h to 18h. Free entry!. More on the city of Brunoy in French here: City of Brunoy on the museum Dubois Corneau

Closed for the first time since 1876 because of the Covid virus, the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres in Hauts-de-Seine dept 92, reopens the doors of its porcelain production workshop. And the museum, free, welcomes visitors. National Museum of Ceramics. With engraved in capital letters, the inscription is displayed on the pediment of an imposing building of classical inspiration, 130 meters long. Failing to have visited it, motorists taking the N118, in Sèvres, necessarily saw it yes!!!. Because if the places welcome a museum dedicated to the art of ceramics, they also house the National Manufacture of Sèvres since 1876. A place of production still alive and well where craftsmen perpetuate as much as they improve in knowledge of centuries. With the turning, twenty-six trades exist in the Manufacture, from production to decoration, including chemicals and baking. A multitude of traditional crafts which make possible the reproduction of pieces from yesteryear, but also the invention of new objects from the heritage, the hundred-year-old brick ovens which allow porcelain to be fired up to 1380 degrees in 33 hours and put up to 3 weeks to cool. National Ceramic Museum, 2, place de la Manufacture in Sèvres. Open every day except Tuesday from 10h to 12h30 . and from 13h30 to 17h. Free entry. Information: 01.46.29.22.05. And more on official site in English: Manufacture and museum of Sévres

Visiting the Château de la Roche-Guyon (which is a must) is a bit like traveling through time. Located in this village to the west of the Vexin natural park, in the Val-d’Oise,dept 95 an hour and a half from Paris, built in the Middle Ages contains many legends. Leaning against the chalk cliff carved with caves during the Middle Ages, a keep was first built there in the 12C and will serve as a model for the Vermund tower described by Victor Hugo in Han d’Island … but also as a place set for the erotic film Virgins and Vampires (1971). The castle was built in the following century. The whole has undergone many modifications over the ages, especially in the 18C. Possibilities that compensate for the few parts inaccessible to the public like the dovecote because of the impossible social distancing and the keep currently under construction. All is not lost for the latter, it is still possible to approach it by following the hiking trails. A place is immortalized and popularized in the 1960s by “The Devilish Trap”, the ninth album from the comic strip Blake and Mortimer by Edgar P. Jacobs. Even today, the castle gives pride of place to this work. Bubble lovers can see a reproduction of the chronoscaphe, Professor Mortimer’s time machine, located near the casemates, these cells dug under the occupation to house nazi ammunition. The thematic tour on WWII is definitely worth doing. It is a part of the history of the castle that was not discussed at all. A visit launched last year to learn more about France‘s busiest castle. This is the case with that of the small underground theater of the 18C. Château Roche Guyon, 1, rue de l’Audience ;La Roche-Guyon. Free communal car park. Guided tour on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 15h. Individual supplement applies. Contact tel +33 (0) 1.34.79.74.42. More from the city of Roche-Guyon on the castle in French here: City of La Roche Guyon on its castle museum

There will be an air of the Tour de France this Saturday July 25th in Mélisey. However, this small village in Haute-Saône, which had already seen the 2019 Grande Boucle pass just 17 km away, will have to wait until September 19 to admire the runners roaming its streets. In the meantime, it will be Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour, who will first take part in the race between Lure and the Planche des Belles-Filles. Mélisey, because this section, a time trial, will be the penultimate stage of the 2020 Tour. And could well decide the man who will parade in a yellow jersey on the Champs-Élysées the next day. And, for Thibaut Pinot, this event will be special. The 30-year-old French cyclist knows this route by heart. He was born in Mélisey and still lives there. His confinement took place in the company of his family, but also of his donkeys and goats. The runner is also a close friend of the mayor of the village since it is simply his father, Régis. The only candidate in the last municipal elections, he has been managing the affairs of the municipality since 2008. It is the local idol to succeed in his Tour so that Mélisey becomes the ultimate attraction of this Grande Boucle 2020. To see is to see France!

And some notes on great regions of wines of France, and arts, simply the best!

Surrounded by a wall 3.2 km long, the prestigious Burgundy appellation of Clos de Vougeot with 50 hectares classified grand cru offers wines with varied profiles. When you take the beautiful departmental D974 road that leads from Dijon to Beaune, Côte-d´Or dept 21, a vineyard emerges on the right which slopes gently down a hill towards the road. You can’t miss it, even though it only stretches over a km and there are so many vines in this hilly landscape, from which, when the weather changes, you can distinguish Mont Blanc in the distance. This is one of the most prestigious sites in the world, Clos de Vougeot, a grand cru planted in the village of Vougeot, which takes its name from the Vouge, the river that crosses it. Let’s start with the owners. The Benedictines, who demarcated the site in the 12C, then owned it entirely. So much so that today no less than 82 owners share the land of the Clos, 67 of whom make wine under their name ;and the others entrust their grapes to others. Official Clos de Vougeot in English: Clos de Vougeot

At the foot of the mountain painted by Cézanne, the vines now occupy most of the space, adding to an already exceptional chromatic palette. From the top of the Sainte-Victoire mountain, the Pic des Mouches, more precisely, its highest point at 1,011 meters, the view is breathtaking. It has to be earned a nice hour of climbing starting from the Col des Portes. The orientation table is precious. Towards the north, the gaze is towards Lubéron, the Lure mountain, foothills of the Alpes de Haute-Provence, and, in the distance, the grated summit of Mont Ventoux. To the south, the wine-growing plain, the villages of Rousset, Puyloubier (Bouches-du-Rhône), Pourrières (Var) … And then, like a limestone echo of Sainte-Victoire, the majestic Sainte-Baume massif and its forest rich in beech, maple and lime trees. A jewel that Cézanne , born and died in Aix-en-Provence, never ceased to paint, but whose notoriety galloped around the world. Or more than 80 tables. In 1958, after Picasso told his dealer, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, that he “bought Cézanne’s Sainte-Victoire” and his friend asked him “which”, the painter replied “the original”. Picasso had just acquired the castle of Vauvenargues (Bouches-du-Rhône), on the northern slope of the mountain, where he spent the last fifteen years of his life. No doubt, as an enlightened amateur, he tasted the wines of the region.

After two years of work, the Palais Galliera reopens its doors. And the patron of these repairs is none other than the prestigious Maison Chanel. To mark this event, a retrospective devoted to a figure of fashion is organized: an exhibition on Coco Chanel. Entitled Gabrielle Chanel, fashion manifesto, the exhibition is in place from October 1, 2020 to March 14, 2021. The palace has decided to highlight the greatest creations of the seamstress, from the jersey model to the famous 1950s suits in through her iconic dresses. The retrospective is devoted to Coco Chanel, not just the designer’s clothes, so the museum also exhibits a selection of jewelry, accessories and fragrances unique to Chanel’s vision on fashion. Gabrielle Chanel, fashion manifesto. Palais Galliera. 10, avenue Pierre 1er de Serbia ,16éme arrondissement. More info here: Palais Galliera Paris

And something from an almost Agatha Christie story…. A plot of 2,032 m2 in the heart of the 7éme arrondissement, a building facing the street, an interior courtyard, a house at the back, an enormous garden itself surrounded by other gardens; and 35M €!… No doubt, this is certainly the last property of this importance still available on the Parisian real estate market. Located a stone’s throw from Les Invalides and Bon Marché, it was once the house next to Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé’s apartment. A true raw gem in the city, left completely abandoned for almost thirty years and which kept behind its shutters the mystery of the body of a man who has just been discovered. that of a mummified corpse plunged under planks and rubble in one of the cellars of the building. The criminal brigade, immediately called to the scene, was able to start a preliminary investigation, ordered by the Paris prosecutor’s office, in order to lift the veil on the identity of the man found and the circumstances of his death. The identity of the man, a certain Jean-Pierre Renaud, has made it possible to trace his death back to about thirty years. The traces of fractures and stab wounds found on the corpse support the hypothesis of intentional homicide. A little expensive to pay for a haunted house! Paris of course.

And there is all folks, for now. Hope you enjoy the series and again thanks for reading it. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

July 11, 2020

Some news from France, CCCXI

And on a nice sunny day in my beautiful Morbihan Breton I will bring you another episode of my Some news from France, with the latest chosen by yours truly of the most remarkable coming up in my belle France. Hope you enjoy and plan ahead.

Unsurprisingly as told by the media, Ariel Weil was elected first mayor of the all-new district this Saturday in Paris , merging the arrondissement or districts of the 1éme, 2éme, 3éme and 4éme. So Paris Center now exists! The new administrative entity has nearly 100,000 inhabitants (who keep their postal address) and covers almost 550 hectares. The city/town hall of the new district Centre is that of the 3éme. The city/town hall of the 2éme will become the house of social services in the new district. That of the 4éme is intended to host the Climate Academy and that of the 1éme could accommodate the homeless reception systems and the teams responsible for preparing the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. More in French from the city of Paris: City of Paris on Paris Centre

The company Charge has installed the first four charging stations for self-service electric scooters or trottinette. Self-service service that allows you to borrow and redeposit anywhere or almost a self-service electric scooter. In any case, the first fixed stations for these machines made their appearance this week in Paris Centre. Charge, a Franco-American start-up, has just installed its first four charging stations, which can accommodate twelve scooters each, in the 4éme arrondissement of Paris, with the support of the City. These stations, equipped with a battery that can last three to four days without being recharged, are easily installed on public space, without the need for civil works.

Here we go again. For the 6th consecutive year, as of this Saturday, the RER A begins the continuation of the renewal of its tracks and ballast. A campaign to change the rails, the large stones on which they rest and the switches. Since 2015, 17 km of tracks have already been treated out of the 24 km of the project. This year, 3 km will be renewed again. Similarly, 17 points have already been changed, four will be changed in 2020 and 28 in total will be changed at the end of the campaign. From this Saturday until August 7, RER A will be cut every weekend and every evening from 21h in the east, between Auber and Vincennes. Then all week from August 8 to 14, 2020.

The image has crossed the centuries. A row of lime trees bordering the étangs de Corot or Corot ponds, along a bucolic alley. Camille Corot painted it in the 19C . The inhabitants of Ville-d’Avray have always wandered there. But now, time has got the better of the solidity of the dike on which the hardwoods sit. Work is underway to consolidate it. And in the fall, these hundred-year-old trees, plus seven others below, must disappear. Sadly another view of France that will be gone.

The Disneyland-Paris park will once again welcome the public on July 15 with compulsory online booking. The two theme parks, Disney village and Disneyland Paris resort, will reopen on July 15 with a route adapted to health rules with the wearing of a mandatory mask and space limited. In terms of catering, the park has also revised its offer. Buffet establishments will serve meals while the 50 restaurants will all offer take-out meals. Some terraces, such as that of Casey’s Corner, now spread their umbrellas over tens of meters spacing!

Notre-Dame Cathédrale de Paris has already reopened its doors to the general public … virtually!. Near the Opéra Garnier, you have to go through the “Flyview” door to live the experience and enter a hall with the air of an airport. For its reopening, from Saturday, the company specializing in virtual reality, presents this new film dedicated to Notre-Dame, so far only available on the Internet. See the youtube video preview here:

As part of the « C’est mon patrimoine » or it’s my heritage operation, young and old have been able to (re) discover the Château de Fontainebleau by practicing a Renaissance dance. It’s a funny masked ball. At the Château de Fontainebleau, a group of visitors learn a few dance steps, very fashionable during the Renaissance. Nice indeed

And Champs-sur-Marne invite yourselves to the Garden Party in the castle grounds Usually scheduled for early October, the Open Gardens operation takes place this year during the school holidays, from July 4 to August 30 inclusive. The Château de Champs takes part. Current property of the Center des monuments nationaux, the Champs-sur-Marne estate and its castle are characteristic of 18C pleasure houses. From 1935, the castle became an official residence of the Presidency of the Republic. From 1959, foreign heads of state stayed there, at the invitation of General de Gaulle. Its 85 hectares of gardens inspired by Le Nôtre are labelled « Jardin remarquable » or remarkable garden. Nice indeed!

In Paris, the musée Picasso museum reopens its doors in the third week of July 2020. The opportunity to find the exhibitions “Picasso et la bande dessinée” or Picasso and the comic strip and “ Picasso poète” or Picasso poet which are extended to the delight of lovers of the Spanish painter.

After four months of forced closure, the musée Rodin museum reopened on July 7 at 10h. its director, Catherine Chevillot “Before the health crisis, all our lights were green. We were hoping to make a profit of 1.4 million this year, it will be a loss of 3 million, ”she says. Usually, the museum receives around 550,000 visitors a year. Among them, 75% of foreigners cross the doors of the Mansion of the 7éme arrondissement of Paris. The institution on rue de Varenne therefore launched several calls for online donations in order to continue its activities, but also launched an exceptional sale: before the crisis, around forty bronzes were sold each year, either to collectors or to institutions. Since the crisis, around 130 works, then considered original, have been sold, with a wider distribution channel: art galleries. With nearly 6,800 sculptures, 800 drawings, 10,000 old photographs and 8,000 objects, the Rodin museum has an exceptional collection that allows it, for the moment, to hold. Indeed, 30% of its budget comes from its status as a beneficiary; it simply means that the institution is responsible for managing the work of the sculptor and has the right to cast it. So the museum can sell original editions of the artist’s bronzes. Normally, they are sold according to a quota set in 1919 by Rodin in person and a maximum of 12 copies can be made for each statue. The maximum is already reached for this year, so we must hope that the difficulties do not last too long … In the meantime, do not hesitate to take a tour in this superb museum! The Rodin museum is in trouble a pity it needs to be supported more it’s a classic of Paris.

To pay tribute to the nursing staff, the Opéra Bastille displayed no less than 500 portraits on its building. A fresco as impressive as it is moving. Are displayed on the facade of the monument, from July 10 to 29, 2020, no less than 500 large black and white portraits of caregivers. A tribute in collaboration with the artist JR and Inside Out Project and on the initiative of ProtègeTonSoignant, a citizen collective, To achieve this gigantic fresco, three photographers, David Hugonot Petit, Adrien Lachappelle and Nathalie Naffzger, went to the four corners of France and therefore immortalized the faces of these doctors, emergency doctors, maintenance workers, caregivers, vigilantes…Well done!

To spend the Summer away from tourists and away from the crowds, I suggest you visit Versailles off the beaten track. Embark on a 12 km walk from the Versailles-Chantiers train station to discover the Cité des Rois (Versailles city of kings) “nature side”, and more exactly along the water, between the former Étangs Gobert located opposite the train station (or end of ave de Sceaux), the Pièce d’eau des Suisses and the Bièvre . The opportunity to discover the charming Saint-Louis district and its cathedral, the potager du roi garden, the banks of the Bièvre and its various ponds. A marvellous walk I am telling you, and easy from Paris Montparnasse train station!

The landscapes of the Seine river have long attracted princes, who established their places of stay there. In the 19C, this mythical place even inspired impressionist painters. This escapade will immerse you in the Seine of the princes by making you skirt the Château de Madame du Barry at Louveciennes . You will be able to discover there the Machine of Marly, a pump and a gigantic pipe which make it possible to send the water of the Seine in the canals of the Palace of Versailles. The l’île de la Loge at Bougival which inspired Sisley and Renoir, but also the painter Berthe Morisot. Finally, you will follow the Marly aqueduct and then picnic in the Domaine national de Marly. From Paris Saint-Lazare train station to the Marly-le-Roi train station thanks to the L line.Nice even by train, and up my alley!

Wonderful Rouen, from its majestic cathedral, accomplice of Claude Monet’s work to the terraces of the quays of the Seine where its inhabitants are now crowded, the walks are wonderful, the architecture and history monumental, a must. Bruised during WWII, Rouen has nevertheless managed to preserve its exceptional historical heritage, from the spire of its incomparable cathedral, immortalized multiple times by Claude Monet, to its 2,000 half-timbered houses still standing, it is classified among the most beautiful cities and counties of art and history. Notre-Dame Cathedral of Rouen is surely one of the most famous cathedrals in the world. By the richness of its architecture and its slender arrow towards the sky which culminates at 151 meters, but especially by the thirty paintings which Claude Monet devoted to it. For two years, between 1892 and 1893, from his workshop located opposite the cathedral, on the site of the current tourist office, the famous impressionist painter will realize 28 views of the portal, painting up to 14 paintings at the same time, passing from one table to another to play on the variations of light according to the hours of the day. A must to visit!

And you go quickly to the brown inks, blood and paintings: the Condé Museum in Chantilly celebrates Raphaël and his disciples. On the 500th anniversary of his death, this exhibition pays tribute to one of the most famous artists of the Italian Renaissance. The Italian artist Raffaello Sanzio, better known by the name of Raphael (born April 6, 1483 in Urbino and died on April 6, 1520 in Rome). Five hundred years later, the Condé Museum in Chantilly had to celebrate through fifty drawings and three paintings who is among the most talented painters and designers of the Italian Renaissance. Wonderful place indeed the musée Condé at Chantilly!

Mount Fuji in majesty at the musée Guimet museum in Paris. For its reopening after the confinement period, the Asian art museum Guimet drew from its very rich collection of 11,000 prints to present an exhibition centered on Mount Fuji. The highest point of Honshu, visible from many places on the main island of the Japanese archipelago, this mountain has always been a source of inspiration for writers, poets, and also artists. The museum presents some seventy prints on which this perfect volcanic cone stands, covered at its summit with eternal snow, a major subject in the most famous series of engravings of the Edo period. Katsushika Hokusai thus represented it in different seasons in his series of prints “The 36 views of Mount Fuji” or that retracing the various stages of the Tokaido route. We find a selection in this exhibition, alongside works by his contemporaries Yashima Gakutei or Utagawa Hiroshige. Photographs, old or recent, as well as decorative objects complete this presentation. Visitors can take advantage of their visit to discover the new terrace, on the third floor of the establishment, which offers a panoramic view of the Trocadéro and the Eiffel Tower. « Fuji, pays de neige » or Fuji, land of snow at the musée des arts asiatiques Guimet , 6, place d´Iéna, 16éme. Open every day except Tuesday from 10h to 18h , exhibition on until October 12 2020. More info here: Musée Guimet Paris

When Pompeii rises from the ashes at the Grand Palais. The immersive exhibition offers a true digital experience through the site and its ruins. It also allows you to refine your knowledge of the city and its inhabitants. the archaeological site of Pompeii located in Campania, in the south of Italy is the subject of a spectacular staging as part of the exhibition offered by the Grand Palais in Paris, until September 27 2020. Particularly the reconstruction of the impressive eruption of Vesuvius (which buried the ancient city on August 24, or as suggested by recent discoveries, in October of the year 79).The public can also discover around sixty objects from the excavations and murals of the villas, a complete and living testimony to the way of life of society and the daily life of the beginnings of the Roman Empire. Here is a visit in images of the ancient city of Pompeii, between emotions and representations of the famous Pompeiian frescoes.

Appointment should be made all summer until August 30 on the banks of the Canal de l’Ourcq canal near the Bassin de la Villette to take a dip from 11h to 21h. swimming is 100% free . Swimming at Villette Quai de Loire 19éme. Take a splash safe waters and with lifeguards.

And last but not least finish with news on wines of my belle France.

From July 9 to August 27, 2020. Jeudis du Vin or wine Thursdays at the Fortress of Chinon: families do not always have time to go and discover the wine estates of the AOC Chinon! So, the winegrowers had the good idea to invest the royal fortress of the city, every Thursday of the summer, to make discover the appellation and taste their wines! Great I will be there! More in English here: Fortress of Chinon on wine Thursdays

And the rise of the Occitanie on the pink planet. In ten years, the region has gone from 10% of its production devoted to this color to 16%. And it has even surpassed Provence! in terms of volumes produced. The grape varieties differ from those of Provence, the dresses of rosés are generally more sustained. Grenache and Cinsault are more common than Syrah and Mourvèdre from Provence. Yes indeed nice region coming up with the joneses in wine as well. More on the Occitanie region wines in French here: Vignobles of Occitanie wines

And there you go a nice tour of my belle France on the latest news chosen by yours truly. Hope you enjoy it and thanks for reading! And remember, happy travels ,good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

July 9, 2020

Wines news of France IIII !!

Well here I am again on one of my hobbies wines! And getting the habit of it, this might be the beginning of a new series already on its 4th version without counting the many others not numbered over my blog. Hope you enjoy the posts, with moderation but en vino veritas!!

A fun and above all free activity for young holidaymakers in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. The Cité du Vin de Bordeaux has decided to offer to people under 18 free until August 31.

In compliance with the sanitary rules provided for by the coronavirus – including the wearing of a mask from 11 years old , the establishment has announced the possibility for juniors accompanying their parents, upon request at reception, to come and discover its permanent route as well as the Belvedere.

With 3,000 m², the Permanent Route includes nearly ten hours of content from twenty different interactive themes relating to culture and heritage around the theme of the vine in the region and its many vineyards, accompanied by a digital guide to discover the different stories. The terroir table, a tactile table with 50 winemakers from ten regions of the world trusting in their work and anecdotes, the “e-vine” area to learn how professionals select grape varieties, prune vines, take care of their grapes and their harvests or “around the world of vineyards” with the representation of many landscapes are part of the different spaces making up the route. Everything is in place to put yourself in the shoes of a winemaker or a wine merchant. Finally, head to the 8th floor of the establishment to go to the Belvedere which, 35 meters high, offers a 360-degree view of the city and its surroundings and sip organic reason juice. For health reasons, adults are invited to book their tickets online.

More info at La Cité du Vin – 134 Quai de Bacalan 33300 Bordeaux . Open every day from 10h to 19h. More info here: La Cité du Vin Bordeaux

Worth mentioning, the surges of solidarity towards the nursing staff multiplied during confinement and continue beyond. Thus, the Maison Ruinart announced last Friday that it was joining the united and unifying operation “A table, les soignants !” or at the table, the carers!, Launched by chef Arnaud Donckele, chef of the triple-star restaurant La Vague d’Or, at the Hôtel Cheval Blanc Saint-Tropez, supported in particular by LVMH, Cheval Blanc, and the Michelin Guide. Created out of generosity and as a sign of recognition by restaurateurs, this national initiative consists of an invitation to an establishment for each caregiver, accompanied by the person of their choice. During the summer season, the champagne house founded in 1729 offers professionals in the medical world, twenty tables for two , after registering the dedicated platform for two professionals per week to taste the brunch made by Valérie Radou, chef en residence, at Maison Ruinart in Reims. As a sign of recognition, Ruinart has also decided to make a case of bottles of Ruinart’s cuvée R available to partner establishments of the house and participants in the operation to offer a cup to the caregivers present on the premises. More info here: A Table les Soignants info site

The French are crazy about gin. The proof again with Thomas and Charlotte Jourdan, founders of the young brand Malouin’s. They are found in Brittany. In their 4×4 with camouflage interior, they take us to the ramparts of Saint-Malo. Facing a turquoise sea we go, wicker basket in the bend of the elbow, picnic of crustaceans and a loaf of fresh bread. Following star chef Roellinger’s recipe, Thomas pours a centiliter of his gin into an oyster, accompanied by a round of pepper mill and a few drops of lemon. They use juniper, of course, coriander and their flagship ingredient, seaweed, kombu, kelp and sea spaghetti, which is collect by hand on the beach at Rochebonne. Add to that yuzu and orange for balance, and that’s it. A heady iodized scent that makes it a strong alcohol and pure seafood! In 2018, after seven years together at the head of the Bistrot de Louise et Manon and a whole life anchored in Neuilly-sur-Seine (92), near Paris, the duo, as a couple in the city as on the scene, decided to sell the establishment and change of life, the frantic pace becoming difficult to reconcile with two children to raise Among them, the upcoming release of their apple gin, based on apple alcohol, or the opening of the first distillery in Saint-Malo intra- muros. And then, finally, they think about growing their own junipers, and making Malouin’s gin a real product of local crafts. Malouins gin Breton more info here: Malouins Gin St Malo

In the Basque Country, the 39 winegrowers on 50 hectares of the Irouleguy appellation have suffered from the health crisis. Indeed as many but I am drinking Irouleguy right now, so help is on its way! “50% of our activity is based on cafes and restaurants. It therefore found itself nullified for two months due to covid19. We also had a very noticeable drop in mass distribution because people went to entry-level products. Even there, we lost 70% of market share”. From now on, the Irouleguy winery, which produces 500,000 bottles per year and represents 60% of the AOC, focuses on the return of French and even foreign tourists. “The Nordic populations, from Belgium and even higher, are big fans of our wines,” says the director general. Christophe Mazaud, directeur général de la cave coopérative Irouleguy at Saint-Etienne-de-Baïgorry (Pyrénées-Atlantiques). More on the cellars in English here : Cave Irouleguy

Another region hurting even if less is Burgundy. Burgundy wines expect a “decent” decline in sales in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the end of April, sales posted a decline of only 2% in volume, and 8% in value. At the end of May, they should have fallen by 12% in exports but by 25 to 30% in France. More than half (56%) of Burgundy wines are exported, the first market being the United States (20% of total exports). Exports came close to a billion euros in 2019. Over the whole year, the drop in sales in value should be between 10% and “15-20%”. Burgundy, with 3,659 estates, represents 4% of the French vineyard but almost 9% of the turnover of French AOCs and 20% of their exports. explains Monday June 29 the president of the Interprofessional Office of Burgundy wines (BIVB), Louis-Fabrice Latour. More info in English here: Burgundy Wines

The first to announce their Fall Wine fairs! At supermarkets Système U, Hyper U and magasin U stores take place from September 29 to October 10, 2020. Système U , which includes Hyper U, Super U, and Magasin U stores offers a 2020 wine fair made up of 752 references, including 60 organic, biodynamic or HVE (High Environmental Value) wines. The offer is thus much narrower than last year (around 1,000 references) the range of wines available remains considerable and can cover 14 French wine regions, with a rich diversity of appellations. Bordeaux wines are in the majority among this 2020 wine fair catalog of U stores. The average price of a bottle on the brand’s catalog is 10.98€, which positions System U in a wine fair that tends to towards the middle range. The heart of the selection is displayed at prices between 5 and 10 euros.

Despite health constraints, the 1st edition of the Festival Vallée du Rhône en musique or the Rhône Valley Music Festival will be organized from July 31 to August 19, 2020. Under the artistic direction of Grégory Girard, cellist, and under the patronage of Frédéric Lodéon, it will be punctuated by eight concerts by songs or classical music in different sites or wine-growing areas: at the Château du Barroux (84, Mont ventoux), at the Domaine de la Palud (Orange), at the Château de la Croix Chabrières (Bollène), or at the Château de Suze-la-Rousse , where the festival will end on August 19. More info here: Vallée du Rhône en musique

To wrap up this post some overall information: The French vineyard produces 3,240 different wines for 1,313 different names in 80 departments and 16 major vineyards. The 16 French vineyards, with 3245 labeled wines (2959 AOC-AOP, 286 IGP), and the 25,000 French wine-growing towns!. La vie est belle; en vino veritas!

Some webpages that I have used over the years and never a faute are:

Hachette vins here : https://www.hachette-vins.com/a-propos/

The online Vinatis when not able to go direct you can have it in French, German, Italian and I have it in English; the prices are for delivery in France: https://www.vinatis.co.uk/

And my all time favorite, cannot even remember when I started shopping here for wines, liquors, porto etc and present in many towns in France lucky to have it here in Vannes and Lorient nearby. Nicolas wine stores more info in English, also in French and deliveries ok in Europe. https://www.nicolas.com/en/

Even thus my first priority is to visit on site the vineyards and come back for more. Only in need time do I ordered online and sometimes stop by the store like the Nicolas. Hope It helps

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

July 3, 2020

Some news from France, CCCX!

And there is time to tell you what is going on in my dear belle France according to Paris1972-Versailles2003.com me ! We have cloudy skies and mild temps in 18C or about 66F and we did gardening !!! Now for the news from France 310! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

How about that city call Paris!

And here we are afte the latest municipal elections in France and especially in my eternal Paris. The Spaniard/French Ana (Anne) Hidalgo was officially re-elected this past Friday by the Paris Council. She was a labor inspector and also deputy director of the National Institute of Labor, Employment and Vocational Training (INTEFP). Anne Hidalgo then represented the cabinet of Martine Aubry, (now mayor of Lille and signed my French citizenship certificate!!) Minister of Labor of Lionel Jospin, within the National Agency for Professional Training of Adults (AFPA), the first portrait in Le Monde newspaper of this 41-year-old socialist, novice in politics then ,who succeeded in an unexpected breakthrough in the 15éme arrondissement of Paris, stronghold of the former Prime Minister Édouard Balladur, and who was about to join the team of Bertrand Delanoë, new elected to the City/Town Hall of Paris. This for a bit of historical background. Now elected to a second term there is the process, naming the advisers of Paris also proceeded to the election of the new Parisian executive. It is made up of 37 deputies, 18 women and 19 men. At the head of this executive, Emmanuel Grégoire (environmentalist). Already the first deputy, he filled for a new mandate and was entrusted with the portfolio of town planning, architecture, Grand Paris and relations with the boroughs.

The environmentalist David Belliard joins the executive. EELV candidate for mayor, rallied to Anne Hidalgo between the two towers, he inherits the role of assistant in charge of the transformation of public space, transport, mobility, street code and roads. Therefore , more changes to Paris coming already claimed by many opposition the end of Paris as we know it. Audrey Pulvar who takes the portfolio of sustainable food, agriculture and short circuits. Jean-Luc Romero-Michel, a figure in the fight against AIDS and elected in the 12éme arrondissement, also joins the municipal team and will be in charge of human rights, integration and the fight against discrimination. The communist Jacques Baudrier takes on his side the portfolio of public construction, monitoring of construction sites, coordination of works, a key mission while Anne Hidalgo was targeted for having multiplied construction sites in the capital. Among the new assistants also, we can quote Anouch Toranian, candidate in the 15éme, she was at 28 years the youngest of the head of the list of Anne Hidalgo. For her part, she will be in charge of community life, citizen participation and public debate. The many members of the previous municipal team remain in this new executive. We can cite Ian Brossat who stays in the accommodation. Olivia Polski keeps the trade and craft portfolio, as does Christophe Girard for culture and Patrice Bloche for education. Some elected deputies already change positions: Nicolas Nordman previously in charge of people with disabilities inherits the post of assistant in charge of prevention and security, he will be in charge for the establishment of the municipal police. Colombe Brossel goes from security to cleanliness, a position previously occupied by Paul Simondon who takes care of the finances and the budget. In this game of musical chairs, Pénélope Komitès sees herself in charge of innovation and attractiveness, leaving her post of assistant to green spaces to Christophe Najdovski, previously in transport.

The team according to BFMTV are

Emmanuel Grégoire, First deputy, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of town planning, architecture, Grand Paris and relations with the boroughs . Hélène Bidard, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of gender equality and youth. Pierre Aidenbaum, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of the Seine. Celia Blauel, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Paris 2030 foresight and resilience. Jacques Baudrier, assistant to the Mayor of Paris in charge of public construction, monitoring of construction sites, coordinating works on public space and the ecological transition of buildings. Anne-Claire Boux, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of city policy.   David Belliard, deputy to the Mayor of Paris in charge of the transformation of public space, transport, mobility, street code and roads. Colombe Brossel, assistant to the Mayor of Paris in charge of the cleanliness of public space, sorting and reduction of waste, recycling and reuse.   Patrick Bloche, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of education, early childhood, families and new learning, in charge of the Paris Council. Sandrine Charnoz, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of mixed economy companies and local public companies. Ian Brossat, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of housing, emergency accommodation and refugee protection. Léa Filoche, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of solidarity, the fight against inequality and against exclusion. Jacques Galvani, deputy to the Mayor of Paris in charge of universal accessibility and people with disabilities.  Afaf Gabelotaud, Assistant to the Mayor of Paris in charge of businesses, employment and economic development. Christophe Girard, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of culture. Pénélope Komites, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of innovation and attractiveness. Antoine Guillou, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of human resources, social dialogue and the quality of public service.   Marie-Christine Lemardeley, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of higher education, research and student life.   Fréderic Hocquard, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of tourism and nightlife. Véronique Levieux, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of seniors and solidarity between generations. Dan Lert, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of ecological transition, climate plan, water and energy. Laurence Patrice, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of memory and the combatant world.   Florentin Letissier, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of the social and solidarity economy, the circular economy and the contribution to the zero waste strategy. Olivia Polski, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of commerce, crafts, liberal professions and art and fashion trades. Christophe Najdovski, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of the greening of public space, green spaces, biodiversity and animal condition. Audrey Pulvar, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of sustainable food, agriculture and short supply chains. Arnaud NGatcha, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of international relations and the French-speaking world. Carine Rolland, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of the quarter-hour city.   Nicolas Nordman, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of prevention, security and municipal police. Anne Souyris, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of public health and relations with the APHP, environmental health and the fight against pollution, risk reduction and the fight against obesity. Pierre Rabadan, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of sport, the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Karen Taieb, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of heritage, Paris history and relations with religions. Jean-Luc Romero-Michel, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of human rights, integration and the fight against discrimination. Anouch Toranian, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of community life, citizen participation and public debate. Hermano Sanchez-Ruivo, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Europe. Dominique Versini, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of children’s rights and child protection. And Paul Simondon, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of finance, budget and green finance.

A team made up of mostly Socialists or center left and environmentalists coalition, already mention dangerous. For the record, Paris now has 2 187 526 inhabitants with an unemployment rate of 6,6% Local taxes are 1 150;65€ per inhabitant and there is 20% of green space in the city!

Located in the 14éme arrondissement, the Place de la Catalogne is emblematic of the district. Since June 24, it has had a two-way cycle path. However, in the neighborhood, some consider the tracks dangerous. They find that it does not change anything in terms of safety, whether for bikes or cars. In addition, some traders believe that the place is distorted by these facilities. The rivalries between cyclists, pedestrians and motorists do not help at all. And the beat goes on, as said cannot made changes without alternative solutions before implementing re routings and changes.

One good news finally!  Up to thirty months in prison for the pickpockets plaguing the Louvre and Versailles. The six men were suspected of having robbed 110 tourists who came to visit the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles between October 2017 and July 2018. Bravo !!

And if the mayor of Paris is on the changing mood, the President of the French Republic is already planning his reelection by asking Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to step down after winning the later the mayor’s office of Le Havre. The new prime minister will be announce today at 17h30 Paris time for a men of the center right (I guess for balance in winning!).   Senior civil servant, local elected official and former adviser to Nicolas Sarkozy: Jean Castex, appointed Prime Minister on Friday July 3 to replace Edouard Philippe, had become a personality of choice for the majority since his mission of strategic advice on deconfinement. This 55-year-old man, who has never been a minister, cumulates, in the eyes of the president, the advantages to carry the second phase of the quinquennium: enarque, but in contact with the territories; still labeled Les Républicains (center right party), but reputed to be a man of dialogue and a perfect connoisseur of the mysteries of power since his visit to the Elysee as deputy secretary general, at the end of Nicolas Sarkozy’s mandate. Jean Castex, who has kept a slight accent of his native Gers (he was born on June 25, 1965 in Vic-Fezensac), has been mayor Les Républicains of Prades since 2008, when he snatched the town from the left. He was re-elected in this small town in the Pyrénées-Orientales at 75% in the first round, on last March 15.”Politically, I am on the right and I assume it perfectly,” he said in the early 2000s. This father of four supports the candidacy of François Fillon for the presidency of the UMP at the 2012 autumn congress. Time will tell but this is just a strategy to stay in power after all the major failures of the current administration. And bien sûr he quits the Les Républicains party so to be more team player with M Macron lol!!! They area ll on the same boat and not roaming as we are. The rentrée or re-entry in September will be tough.

And for more lighter news of my belle France, we have

The Théâtre de la Ville or city theater has been able to reopen. In the evening of June 22, it offered “la Veillée”, two nights “Planches” until the early hours of poetry, theater and music at Espace Cardin, near US embassy (see post) all for free. Then a week of shows, free again. And since this week, it’s a month of shows for all audiences combining gravity and humor, sometimes dreamlike, which starts on its two sites, Espace Cardin and the Abbesses theater. Again, free of charge, at least for those under 14 and the nursing staff. It will be 10 euros for the others.

Closed for three and a half months, Beaubourg (as we call it) reopened this Wednesday with the Christo exhibition. Please note that online reservations are compulsory for exhibitions, the modern art museum and the library. The first visitors made their entrance to the Centre Pompidou (as it is known) 4éme arrondissement this Wednesday morning at 11h. Beaubourg reopens with a very nice tribute to the artist Christo, who died last May 31. Entitled “ Christo and Jeanne-Claude Paris!” This ghost exhibition which was to open on last March 18, closed on the opening day. Dedicated to Paris and the packaging of Pont-Neuf in 1985, this event heralds the packaging of the Arc de Triomphe in the fall of 2021.

New rules came into effect last Wednesday, July 1st as part of the implementation of the rent framework in Paris. Clearly: a lessor does not have the right to rent an apartment in the capital above the maximum ceiling without justifying it … otherwise the tenant can force him to stick to it. These new ceilings relate to leases signed from July 1, 2020. For leases signed between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020, the old ceilings apply (slightly below the new ones). Leases signed before this date are not affected by the rental framework. Be careful what you rent!

The île de loisirs de Cergy-Pontoise or leisure island reopens its beach this Saturday.(tomorrow). Access will be limited and the slides will not be accessible to avoid contact points. More info in French here: ïle de Loisirs Cergy Pontoise

It’s the return of cinema screenings under the stars. If those planned this weekend in the courtyard of the castle, in Vincennes, are complete, there are others, scheduled in Saint-Maur, Nogent sur Marne ,it is on the Terrasses de la Marne that the outdoor cinema screen, not in the park of the Maisons des Artistes. and Champigny sur Marne which should already be noted in his diary. Drive in cinemas that is, the Summer is here!

The Château de Rosa Bonheur castle in Thomery will have theater and concerts in Rosa Bonheur gardens. Marivaux’s “L’Equête” inaugurates an open-air festival to be held all summer in the park of the residence of this 19C painter. More info here in French: Château Rosa Bonheur

At Beauvais airport, the return of Ryanair and the concern of local residents. The Irish company returned to the Beauvais tarmac this past Wednesday, July 1st with 35 to 40% of its usual traffic. Local residents who oppose noise pollution fear a rise in noise power !!! Well cannot have it all lol!

The French are refocusing on essential goods, wine toast, the market plummets, minus 6% for all wine sales, up to minus 60% on champagne. In the fields, orders no longer go, wine tourism is at a standstill. However, rosé is doing well. It totals a plus 7.5% increase in sales during the two months of confinement! Well we did online purchases a couple times and the merchants appreciated.   Some of the unique opportunity were the Bordeaux Rollan de By, (visited), 2019 . Generous, this rosé breaks the codes of its region with a tall Italian-style bottle, in a feminine adornment. That said, this wine is for everyone, thanks to its roundness and delicacy, especially due to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. And Champagne Pannier, brut (visited). It is its touching delicacy that makes you want these bubbles of rosé. And then also its lightness, in the healthy sense of the term. In short, a champagne that feels good with a salad, vegetables or fruit.

Travel along the Touques, the river made in Normandy. Upstream of Pont-l’Evêque, from green hills to cheese dairies and apple orchards to castles, this coastal river and its valley conceal all the Norman treasures. The source is Champ-Haut, in the Orne. The mouth is Deauville, in Calvados, its crowd and its boards. In just over 100 km, La Touques connects two worlds that have only Normandy in common. Let’s voluntarily skip the last part of the river, between Pont-l’Evêque and La Manche, to discover the part of the valley that gives pride of place to castles and local products. The cider route, between the Dives and the Touques, attests to this. Gorgeous terrain and great foodies , enjoy it.

Perched at a height of 60 meters, a magnificent view of all of Paris, this is what the new rooftop promises, born of the collaboration between Passage Enchanté and Sodexo Prestige Venues and Events, high promises. A cocoon of greenery close to the Gare de Lyon, which invites you to enjoy the marvelous Parisian sunsets. From July 3, Laho opens its doors. An elegant green space on the 18th floor of a business center, accessible by a private elevator. Once at the top, the panoramic view of Paris is dazzling. A magical moment, where the sky changes from blue to purple, and where the sun is reflected on the monuments of the capital. Paris of course! 5-9 Rue Van Gogh, 12éme more info here: Laho roofstop

The “50 Top Pizza” classification, in Europe published by the experts of the Identità Golose committee, gives pride of place to Neapolitan pizza whose very thick dough has been making foodies around the world salivate for many years . And that’s Kalò di Ciro Salvo who comes first, a London restaurant located in Westminster and whose Neapolitan pizza signed by the pizza maker Ciro Salvo are recognized worldwide. Behind him, the first Parisian restaurant, Bijou, Abbesses pizzeria at high prices but with an absolutely delicious menu,10 Rue Dancourt 18éme, followed by 6 other Parisian addresses: Ober Mamma in 4th position , 107 Bd Richard Lenoir 11éme;   Louie Louie in 18th, 78 Rue de Charonne 11éme; Manhattan Terrazza in 19th,108 Avenue de Villiers 17éme Tripletta in 33th, 88 Bd de Belleville 20éme ,Popolare in 34th,111 Rue Réamur, 2éme; and Guillaume Grasso in 49th 45 Rue Brancion 15éme. Perfect for traveling without leaving Paris!

And one and last but not least for the memories of old Paris.

The old “Refoulons” line, 3 km long between Enghien-les-Bains train station and the former Montmorency train station, which is now gone, was in service from 1866 until July 4, 1954. It was very popular at the beginning of the 20C. It was with this line that the future Mistinguett took the train for the first time. If the cities still keep some vestiges of its activity, in particular the hall of the Enghien train station built in 1879 and which today houses the bus station, it remains especially in the memory of many inhabitants to whom it made life easier. On July 4, 1956, an official decree definitively ended the existence of the Refoulons.

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

 

July 3, 2020

Count of Chambord!

The story is hardly mention in France today unless you go to history circles like me. However, it is a huge personality in the history of France that was not to be but left an ever lasting royal influence. I have touch base before in my blog , but let me tell you a bit more on the men better known as the Count of Chambord, yes in that castle! (see posts) Bear with me as history is always long even if i try to condense as much as possible.

Henri d’Artois, grandson of France, Duke of Bordeaux, is a prince of the royal family of France, head of the Capetian house of Bourbon, better known by his title of courtesy of Count of Chambord, born September 29, 1820 at the Palais des Tuileries palace (now gone but see post) in Paris, and died on August 24, 1883 at Frohsdorf Castle (now part of hotel group) in Lanzenkirchen,  Austria. Grandson of King Charles X, chief and last representative of the elder and French branch of the House of Bourbon, he was a pretender to the Crown of France from 1844 to his death in 1883 under the name of Henri V.

Chambord

Henri d’Artois bore the title of Duke of Bordeaux, which king Louis XVIII gave him in homage to the first city which joined the Bourbons in 1814. Designated as king in 1830, at the age of nine, in the act of abdication of his grandfather, Charles X, and renunciation of his uncle, the dauphin ,and pretender Louis XIX, will not exercise this function because of the rise of the Duke of Orleans on the throne (not with title of king of France but a minor king of the French). He then went into exile with all his family in England. From 1830 to his death in 1883, he bore the title of courtesy of Count de Chambord , from the name of the castle (see post) which had been offered to him by a national subscription. His supporters considered him to be King Henri V and the continuation of the Bourbons. He is the last legitimate male online descendant of king Louis XV and Marie Leszczyńska. His childless death in 1883 marks the extinction of the Artois branch of the Capetian house of Bourbon and the start of a quarrel ,still on going between the Bourbon houses of Spain and Orleans of France to find out which one has the more legitimacy to the Crown of France. Bearing in mind France do not like kings born elsewhere but queens yes….

Henri, duke of Bordeaux, was the grand-nephew of the king of France Louis XVIII. At birth, he was third in succession after his grandfather, the Count of Artois – future Charles X (widower of Princess Marie-Thérèse of Savoie) and his uncle Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême . He is the posthumous son of Charles-Ferdinand d’Artois, Duke of Berry, younger son of the Count of Artois, and his wife Marie-Caroline des Deux-Siciles. The Duke of Berry was assassinated, in 1820, by Bonapartist Louis-Pierre Louvel who wanted to destroy the line of the Bourbons. Already the mother of a daughter, the Duchess of Berry, pregnant at the time of the tragedy, gave birth seven and a half months later to a son, the long-awaited heir to the throne!. As soon as he was born, between three and four in the morning of September 29, by his first chaplain Marc Marie de Bombelles bishop of Amiens, under the name of Henri, Charles, Ferdinand, Marie, Dieu-Donné d’Artois, Duke de Bordeaux , Henri was baptized on May 1, 1821 at Notre-Dame Cathedral de Paris; his godfather and godmother were his uncle and aunt, the duke and duchess of Angoulême. On October 11, 1820, a national subscription made it possible to give to the prince the Château de Chambord. He was first placed, like his older sister Louise, under the responsibility of the Duchess of Gontaut. In 1828, his grandfather, who became king in 1824 under the name of Charles X, entrusted his education to the Baron of Damas.

Chambord

On July 25, 1830, Charles X promulgated ordinances which brought about the 1830 revolution, also known as the Trois Glorieuses or three glorious days. On July 30, 1830, a group of Parisian politicians launched the candidacy for the throne of Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orleans (not by heritage). On August 2, 1830, Charles X abdicated in favor of his grandson Henri d’Artois. The order of succession, however, gave the throne to the king’s eldest son, the Dauphin Louis-Antoine de France, who was called to reign under the name of Louis XIX. But the latter is forced to countersign his father’s abdication. Thus, the Crown would pass to the young Henri, duke of Bordeaux, who would become Henri V.   Louis-Philippe d’Orléans did not stand for regent and he was content to register the abdication of Charles X and the renunciation of his son, without proclaiming Henri V. On August 7,1830   the Chamber of Deputies and then the Chamber of Peers (again politicians not heritage) called the Duke of Orleans to the throne, who was sworn in August 9, under the name of Louis-Philippe Ier as king of the French (not king of France). However, from August 2, some legitimists begin to designate the young Henry, nine years old, under the name of Henry V. The royal family went into exile in England on August 16, 1830 as a consequence of this political purge.

The fallen Royal family moved to Holyrood Castle, Scotland. In October 1832, the family of Charles X left the United Kingdom to settle at the royal palace in Prague, in Bohemia. The first act that the Duke of Bordeaux accomplishes on the occasion of his majority is that of a solemn protest against the usurpation of Louis-Philippe. In October 1836, the old Royal family must leave Prague for Goritz, where Charles X dies on November 6. His son, the Dauphin, who bears the title of courtesy of Count de Marnes, becomes Louis XIX, in the eyes of Carlist legitimists or by heritage. In October 1843, he went to London, where he received legitimists from France at Belgrave Square, including Chateaubriand. The death of the Dauphin Louis XIX, which occurred on June 3, 1844, led his supporters to rally to the Count of Chambord, who became the eldest of the house of France and is now recognized under the name of king Henri V by all legitimists, who remain in opposition under the July monarchy, the Second Republic and the Second Empire.

In 1844, the Count of Chambord and his aunt, the Dauphine, settled in the castle of Frohsdorf, located near Vienna. On November 15, 1846, Prince Henri married Marie-Thérèse de Modène, with whom he was to form a united couple. The Duchess, born Princess Marie-Beatrice of Savoy, was the heir of the Stuarts to reign over Great Britain, but excluded from the succession because of the Anti-Catholic Establishment Act of 1701. In February 1848, the revolution of February broke out; Louis-Philippe abdicated on the 24th; the third Republic (keep counting) is proclaimed. The Count of Chambord sees the fall of Orleans as a just punishment, but refrains from any public manifestation of joy. Prince Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte was elected president of the Republic in December 1848. However, in May 1849, the elections carried a monarchist majority in the National Assembly. The prince-president soon came into conflict with it. By the coup d’état of December 2, 1851, he retained power and, in October 1852, hinted at the next restoration of the Empire (therefore a dictatorship) under Napoléon III (just like under Napoleon I).

The Count of Chambord in 1851, inherited the castle of Frohsdorf, from his aunt the dauphine. He settled there definitively and kept memories of royalty there: portraits of the royal family; white flags given to Charles X in August 1830; gifts offered by legitimists. He had two schools built on the Frohsdorf estate for the children of the staff of the chateau and the parish.

Some of the ideas of the Count of Chambord looks very modern and democratic. He wishes that the king be accessible without distinction of social rank and make compete all the talents, all the high characters, all the intellectual forces of all the French. The grandson of Charles X intends that this declaration of principle finds its concretization in the Constitution of the kingdom by the affirmation of the equality of rights between all the French citizens and the equal access of all to the offices and public responsibilities as well as to social advantages The role of the parliament is a role of control which does not go so far as to overthrow the government: it consists in the annual vote of the taxes and the budget and in the participation in the drafting of the laws. Count of Chambord fears that ministerial responsibility before the chambers is a source of chronic instability. He is also in favor of bicameralism. On the other hand, the king would have the right to dissolve the chamber without limit. Regarding universal suffrage, the Count of Chambord is favorable. The question of suffrage seems to him inseparable from that of decentralization insofar as he advocates the creation of territorial communities whose representatives would come from universal suffrage. The Count of Chambord holds religious freedom as inviolable and sacred, he intends to guarantee it but does not hear that the bishops meddle in temporal affairs, which would be no less contrary to the dignity and interests of religion itself than to the good of the state.   According to him, public authorities must keep their distance from education which must remain free. He does not see in what name the State would prohibit religious congregations from fulfilling their educational mission. He wishes to orient France’s foreign policy in the direction of a fight against the Islamists, both within the framework of the French strategy in the south and in the East. From his trip in the Ottoman Empire, he retained the idea that the Muslim world must be pushed back as far as possible. French exception, he is an heir to the throne with a real program, slowly drawn up: his work will deeply inspire the monarchists who will revive social Catholicism in France, such as by Albert de Mun and, above all, by René de la Tour du Pin.

In August 1870, when the France of Napoleon III experienced serious defeats in the war against Prussia, Henri d’Artois left Frohsdorf with the intention of enlisting; on September 1, 1870, he appealed to repel the invasion, save at all costs the honor of France and the integrity of its territory. In February 1871; the new Assembly had 240 republican deputies against 400 monarchists, divided between legitimists and Orleanists. On May 8, 1871, the Count of Chambord published a letter in response to one of his supporters, Carayon-Latour, in which he condemned political intrigue, placed events in the context of French history, affirmed his faith in eternal France and calls for rallying. The letter accelerates the process of union of the royalists and the princes of Orleans enjoin the Count of Paris to step aside before the grandson of Charles X! However, the legitimist pretender,Count of Chambord refuses to give up the white flag (this is the reason France did not continue with a King). For him, this is a question of principle, which concerns the very idea that he has of the monarchy. In a letter of May 24, 1871, Prince Henri affirms that he does not want to abandon the flag of his fathers which for him means respect for religion, protection of all that is just, of all that is good, of all that is right, united with all that demands of our time, while the tricolor flag represents the flag of the revolution in all its aspects and that in addition it fills the arsenals of the foreigner victories. If he compromised with the heritage of the revolution, he would be powerless to do good. On June 8, 1871, the Assembly abolished the laws banishing the Bourbons from France. In July 1871, Count of Chambord/ Henri d’Artois returned for a few days to his France which he had to leave in 1830.

He receives on July 5 a delegation of royalist deputies bringing together the heirs of three of the largest houses of the monarchy who try to convince him to adopt the tricolor flag; and he responded: I can not forget that monarchical law is the heritage of the nation, nor decline the duties he imposes on me. I will fulfill these duties, believe my word as an honest man and a king.I am ready to do anything to raise my country from its ruins and to regain its rank in the world; the only sacrifice I cannot make for her is that of my honor. I will not allow the banner of Henri IV, François I and Jeanne d’Arc to be torn from my hands.I received it as a sacred deposit from the old king my ancestor, dying in exile; for me it has always been inseparable from the memory of the absent country; it floated on my cradle, I want it to shade my grave. (Brave but it ended the monarchy as no support to go back to old ways). Even if still very much monarchist support! In May 1873, the President of the Republic, Adolphe Thiers, declared that monarchy is impossible and that the Republic is preferable. The royalist majority of the Assembly then puts him in the minority, causing his resignation on May 24, 1873. He was immediately replaced by Marshal Mac Mahon, favorable to the restoration of royalty. The death in January of Napoleon III whose only son and dynastic heir was exiled with his mother to Great Britain , the departure of the Republican Thiers in May, the evacuation of German troops in September created a climate conducive to restoration. At the end of October 1873, one begins to prepare the return of the king to France. On the night of November 20, the Assembly, which ignores that Prince Henri is in France, (and not told by Mac Mahon to keep the power for himself) votes the presidential mandate of seven years, thus extending the powers of Mac Mahon.

Chambord

Learning of the vote for the seven-year term, the Count of Chambord returns to Frohsdorf so as not to be a subject of unrest. He did not lose hope, but the news which came to him from France only indicated to him that the decline and then the disappearance of the royalist majority, faced with the successive victories of the Republicans. The Third Republic was established in January 1875 by the Wallon amendment, and the constitutional laws of February and then of July organized its functioning. In 1879, with the resignation of President Mac Mahon, all powers belong to the Republicans. In June 1883, Henri d’Artois suffered from a disease of the digestive tract, of which he died in exile in Frohsdorf on August 24, 1883, the eve of Saint-Louis. The funeral of Henri V takes place on September 3 in the Cathedral of Gorizia (became Italian since 1918), and he is buried near his sister Louise and Charles X, the Dauphin and the Dauphine, outside the city, at the convent of Kostanjevica (in Slovenia), located since 1947 two hundred meters behind the Italian-Slovenian border. There have been efforts to repatriate but it needs the demand by France which still not done it…….

According to some legitimists, the crown was to go to the Bourbons of Spain, who were descended from a grandson of Louis XIV; the latter, mounted on the throne of Spain in 1700, under the name of Felipe V,(who built a little Versailles where he was born at La Granja de Idelfonso near Segovia see post); had indeed renounced his rights on the throne of France, for him and all his descendants, during the Treaties of Utrecht in 1713,(coerse to avoid a war he could not win), but all waiver would be void according to the principle of unavailability of the Crown (heritage by Salian laws). On the death of the prince, a minority of legitimists, supported by his widow, the Countess of Chambord, recognized as the king by right Juan de Bourbon, Count of Montizón (brother-in-law of the Countess of Chambord), descendant of the grandson of Louis XIV, now the elder of the Capetians, and former Carlist contender for the crown of Spain. The current monarchy in Spain follows this line. The current legitimist king of France Alfonso was born in Madrid and would be Louis XX.

The Château de Chambord, which belongs now to France, includes a museum where several rooms evoke the Count of Chambord; they notably contain souvenirs and furniture from Frohsdorf; There are also four cars and a coach that the Count of Damas, representative in France of Prince Henri, had acquired from the Binder house, in the early 1870s, for the entry into Paris of “Henri V”, in case he was called to the throne. At the end of the 19C, French legitimists erected a monument to Sainte-Anne-d’Auray to Henri d’Artois; a stone pedestal, decorated with statues of Joan of Arc, Bayard, Saint Geneviève and du Guesclin, carries the statue of the pretender while praying, in coronation costume. (very near my home, see post).

Chambord

Chambord

The graphic arts cabinet of the musée Carnavalet museum and its cabinet Numismatics keep several hundred prints and medals of legitimist propaganda to the glory of the Duke of Bordeaux and then Count of Chambord, from his birth to his death. More here: Musée Carnavalet Paris collections

The musée des Arts décoratifs et du Design de Bordeaux or museum of decorative arts and design of Bordeaux has one of the most important legitimist collections in France. A living room dedicated to the Duke of Bordeaux evokes his life, from his birth to his death. More here: Musée des Arts Décoratifs et du Design of Bordeaux

You can see his story there in the Château de Chambord on the remarkable personages page in English here: Château de Chambord on Henri

The official webpage of the Count of ChambordComte de Chambord

The official webpage of the royal reunification of France, futur king Louis XX in French: Futur royal family of France Louis XX

The official webpage of the futur Louis XX personal page: Royal family of France under Louis XX

And there you go, now you have a wonderful piece of French history seldom mention in government control media. The one to be Henri V and the possible but unlikely future Louis XX. Hope you enjoy the post on the Count of Chambord, Henri d’Artois, Duke of Bordeaux.

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

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