Posts tagged ‘Versailles’

May 16, 2022

A special post on Paris ,Versailles, and Fontainebleau !!!

A few years back, I was in a huge popular travel forum and decide to invite the folks over to see the big 3 of my belle France. As the site was on its way down and eventually closed out to another major travel forum, the participation was small. However, I have great memories of sharing travel tips with folks all over the world , and some have become close friends still after many years. I like to update this post with new personal pictures to give credit to them and me. Hope you enjoy the pictoral and theme as I.

Oh yes the big 3 well, they are Paris, Versailles, and Fontainebleau. Here I go folks, my treat.

I did wrote quite a bit of travel tips and advice on a couple of big travel forums besides my blog, and tried to do doing something special in June 2015. For those reading my blog and passing by Paris in June 24,25,26, 2015 next I am hosting a tour of several places in Paris (where I worked), Versailles (Where I lived), and Fontainebleau (my first place visited in France and my wife’s region). The visit was to be as everyone pays its own and visit as much as they wish to visit on each day ,two days or all three days. I will have a place to meet on each day and we will go from there as a group. The basic visits were explained as such:

June 24th 2015, Fontainebleau

We met at the castle main horseshoe entrance by 9AM as I will be driving  by car;  you can come a bit late if delays on public transport it will be fine. We will be able to see for the first time the apartment of the Pope.  The Musée Napoléon 1er , prince apartments, portraits of pageantry, sumptuous weapons, luxury works of art but also a reconstituted tent evoking the life of the Emperor in the countryside.  Also,  small apartments, the Chinese Museum, the jeu de paume, the Gallery of furniture… and is a very precious decorative arts museum. I did got a couple into the Salle de la Belle Cheminée which off to the public but I have done conferences there. This is Belle-Cheminée du Primatice  building by the cour de la Fontaine. And of course, the 3 gardens styles.

Fontainebleau cour de la fontaine behind PF nov08

June 25th 2015 ,Paris

We met by the statue of Gustave Eiffel on the Nord Pylon . Going to the underground of the Tour Eiffel, (price will be around 20 euros per person) and to get it I need 10 persons min.) We did not have enough people so each paid its own, and did visit the Chapelle Expiatoire where the remains of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were first place and now a restful place and private of the Bourbon family. Go into some of the historical monuments in the Parisian deluxe Hotels done by Charles Garnier (opéra etc fame). We have the Chapelle Expiatoire open ok for Thursday June 25th so depending on when the tour Eiffel can fit us we will do this first or second.  We will do this as time permitting.

Paris palais de chaillot park eiffel tower back PF Apr09

June 26th , Versailles

We met in front at the Place d’Armes outside castle. We saw the whole of the castle (private apartments of the kings),the Royal Chapel ,and Opéra theater, then out into the Trianons, and Hameau of M-A, with a passport pass 18€, this includes in addition, the Great water shows,musical gardens that will be playing in June and temporary exhibitions. I  walked them to my jogging trails and family picnics beyond the Grand Canal, into the farm at St Cyr l’école that fed the palace in its heydays and still operated by descendants since 1741.  I had some surprises but needed min of 10 persons which was not to be instead we walked past many of the off the beaten path monuments of Versailles.

Versailles castle from gardens to back of castle jun09

The idea was to get a minimum of 10 persons which I thought was doable, but the morale was low in the forum and got only 5. Anyway it stayed as a memorable tour and personal presentation. I will put my pictures here.  And we did finally met in person! Hopefully,one day this can be done with the folks visiting from the blog….You let me know.

The official Fontainebleau tourist office

The official Paris tourist office

The official Versailles tourist office

There you go folks, a memorable day and a great contact in travel forums, hopefully imitated from my blog one day; it’s up to you. If we do, you pay for the monuments my tour is free. The big 3 is awesome , the best of my belle France! Many nice times spent in Fontainebleau, Paris, and Versailles! Hope you enjoy the post and something to think about

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

May 15, 2022

One more time visiting Meaux !!!

As nostalgia sets in on this month of May, I like to update this older post bringing back many memories of my life in my belle France, We were arriving at the end of 2018 , I am glad is over, not a good year for me, as you know, still vivid memories of my dear late wife Martine. I drove this week to her mom’s house,(since passed away too), the grandmother Yvette of my boys and the rest of aunts and cousins in Seine et Marne dept 77. It was a memorable trip of many nice good memories of family visits that will be with me forever.

This one of course is my driving  love the roads and my car is my second home. So therefore, this was my round trip of December 2018, a personal one! On the way there I took the old fashion road , the one from Paris took first to meet my wife; now coming from the Morbihan dept 56 it was the N165 to the N166 to past Rennes and then the A84 to the exit at Fougéres to get on the N12 all the way to Versailles by the N186 , did a brief tour of my beloved city in my old neighborhood , had a walk with my dog Rex, and then kept going on the D985 by Villa d’Avray all the way thru my old job hunt at Suresnes crossing the Pont de Suresnes into the allée de longchamp in the Bois de Boulogne, to the boulevard Périphérique BP into the Porte Maillot and follow the BP all the way to the Porte de Pantin to take the old reliable and slow N3. The road taken to visit my then girlfriend and first time taken it since then !! Just for my boys to see it !



The N3 or nationale 3 is going thru every town next to Paris and every red light you can imagine but it is the old road I took to meet my later wife in 1990! We used to come by the Porte de Pantin, parked by the Church St Germain in Pantin, free parking and take there the metro into Paris at the Eglise de Pantin line 5! taking us to Gare de l’Est train station and sometimes taking the train back to Meaux in Seine et Marne her native town.  This was the old days, now I would not recommend novice or tourists to take this road or traject.



This N3 takes you right into Meaux and and then the town sightseeing to rearch my inlaws in the tiny village of Chambry right by the Battle of the Marne WWI area and the wonderful Museum of the Great War next to the territory of the USA in the Monument Américain.  I reach the town by the country side on a great wheat field !!! (see posts).



The trip with the stops for my father who is on diabetes medication at 83 (still at 87) and my dog Rex (now 4 yrs old) pit stops plus our eating and sightseeing a trip that normaly took 6 hrs this time we did 10 hrs of car driving all by yours truly and I love it!!! Glad always to see the family !

The way back was easier the modern way. I left Chambry thru Meaux on the A140 to connect with the A4 past Disneyland Paris (which is in Seine et Marne dept  77). I went straight into the BP=boulevard périphérique of Paris , easy (dont read all those scary cats transport books) , I continue into the A86 towards Versailles and this will bring you right into the N12 back to Fougéres, and then the A84 to Rennes and then N166 to Vannes and the N165 to our new home easy 6h30 hrs even stopping for lunch and walks of Rex!


The autoroutes de France or highways with toll price info

The ecology gov of France site on the 20 autoroutes each on pdf file (see SANEF)

My best trafic info site infotrafic

The Sytadin for trafic around Paris and region Ïle de France

The Meaux country tourist office on things to see

There you go folks, some road pictures for my memory bank , for the memories to linger ,and already looking forward to do again to Meaux and surroundings, this time by more normal roads like the return trip above, Again ,thanks for reading me over the years since November 26 ,2010 !!!

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

May 5, 2022

Church of Notre Dame of Versailles!!! , part II

I like to add to this wonderful monument in my blog, It was my church while living in Versailles, you have read enough! I found pictures not in my blog and they should, especially on the Collegiate Church Notre Dame of Versailles ! This is it, if you are coming to see monuments away from the palace/museum , and you should, this is a must, the : history of FranceEurope, the World started here!!!

The Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame  is officially at 2 rue Baillet Reviron ,but the main facade entrance is on Rue de la Paroisse corner with Rue Sainte-Geneviéve in the Notre-Dame district (mine!) and its facade facing the rue Hoche, formerly rue Dauphine,  leading to Place Hoche and eventually the Place d’Armes and the palace/museum of Versailles!!


As part of Versailles urban plan, the establishment of a church between Place Hoche and the Clagny pond was to contribute to the urbanization of the Notre-Dame district. Built from 1684 to 1686 on the plans of Jules Hardouin Mansart, Notre-Dame is the church of the royal parish, served by the Lazarist Fathers, in charge of nearly 20,000 souls on the eve of the French revolution, i.e. half of the population of Versailles at the time. In 1790, after the vote of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, it became the constitutional cathedral of the new diocese of Seine-et-Oise (former dept now most of Yvelines 78) , without the religious life of the parishioners being profoundly modified: the same church wardens, the same processions and the same offices. Removed from worship in 1793, it was then erected as a Temple of Reason, then Temple of the Supreme Being, where civic festivals were celebrated, including the decadal festivals (festivals of compulsory rest every ten days), suppressed in the revolutionary year VII, (meaning 1797-1798). The Notre-Dame Church was returned to Catholic worship on April 6, 1800.

Versailles ch coll notre dame chapel 2 mar13

The Notre Dame Church is voluntarily not very high because the castle must dominate everything in the city. The Choir, the stained glass window of the Coronation of the Virgin In accordance with the wish of Louis XIII of 1638, the church being dedicated to Notre Dame, the axial main chapel is not dedicated to her, but to the Sacred Heart, The Notre-Dame Church has registered all the baptismal, marriage and death certificates of the royal family. notably the baptisms of seven kings of France, Louis XV, Louis XVI, Louis XVII, Louis XVIII, Charles X, Louis XIX and Louis-Philippe I, as well as that of Philippe V of Spain (current line in Spain today by Felipe VI) , the marriages of Louis XVI and Marie- Antoinette, Louis XVIII and Marie-Josephine of Savoy, and Charles X and Marie-Thérèse of Savoy, and the tombs of Louis XIV and Louis XV.

Versailles ch coll notre dame mort pour la france chapel mar13 - Copie

On Monday, May 4, 1789 is an important day for the Church of Notre-Dame de Versailles. It is from there that the procession of the Blessed Sacrament leaves in the direction of the Saint-Louis church with all the deputies for the high mass consecrating the opening of the States General. The French revolution stripped the church of its paintings, goldsmithery and liturgical ornaments. The building becomes Temple of Reason. From this period only the great organ, the pulpit and elements from the altarpiece of the high altar remain. From 1858 to 1872, a rotunda chapel dedicated to the Sacred Heart was added to the apse of the church. Between 1854 and 1887, historiated stained glass windows, with strong coloring, take place in all the chapels.


During the 19C, the Notre Dame Church was gradually refurnished and restored. Thus, in 1818, the cenotaph of the Comte de Vergennes, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Louis XVI, was installed there, he who signed the Treaty of Versailles giving independence to the United States in 1783. From 1858 to 1873, a new axial chapel is built. The choir is also completely refurbished. This circular axial chapel takes up the theme of the Marian chapels of the classical period, the most famous of which is that of the Saint-Roch Church (296 rue Saint Honoré) in Paris, built in 1709 by Jules Hardouin-Mansart.

Versailles ch coll notre dame back mar13

By car, you have closest parking at the Notre Dame market or Place du Marché Notre Dame, however, the in out is very narrow if coming with a bigger car, so suggest use the parking Saint Cloud or 33 Avenue de Saint Cloud, only about a couple blocks from the church.  However, the easiest way when coming from Paris on the RER C Château-Rive-Gauche station is to walk to the palace as probably you will see that first, Then, with time from the palace go out past the equestrian statue of Louis XIV and turn left into avenue Rockefeller , continue past ave Saint Cloud ,continue into Place Hoche go around the square and the statue of Gen Hoche, and continue straight on Rue Hoche, until reaching Rue de la Paroisse, the church is facing you ! You can see it from the time you head on Ave Rockefeller really ! Hope it helps.


The official parish Church Notre Dame :

The Versailles tourist office on the Church

The City of Versailles on its heritage, see bottom royal parish Church Notre Dame

There you go folks, a must when visiting Versailles as the history here very much relates to what you see at the Château de Versailles! After all, it was the royal church of the palace for many years! I was lucky to lived by here and see the Collegiate Church Notre Dame in all its splendor on Mass of notoriety attach to all its history. The decorations are very nice as well.  Hope you enjoy the post as I!

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

May 2, 2022

Some news from France, CCCLIV

And its time as time flies to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12 years now!! And for those non Roman CCCLIV is no 354::) And I thank you. The weather is now more steady as summer wants to take over already in my belle France !! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

We have many wonderful monuments, properties of all sorts, beautiful to say the least in my belle France. Some of these are known as Villas and they are all over. Let me bring you some worthy of a visit in itself in our PACA region.

The villa and the Ephrussi de Rothschild gardens in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat where the town is known for its exceptional villas; the place is also nicknamed “the peninsula of billionaires”. A sentimental favorite as have written a bit in my blog where my dear late wife Martine worked in Paris for the architect firm that renovated and I still have the brochure of its work ! The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is a must if you are staying on the Riviera. It is located half an hour from Nice and Monaco. The residence was the fruit of the desires of a powerful woman: Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild, art collector and patron, renowned for her elegance and beauty. In 1905, her father Alphonse left her a great inheritance. Béatrice uses the money to acquire 7 hectares of land in Cap Ferrat , The Baroness furnishes her home with taste. Each piece is dedicated to an era. Béatrice draws from her collection: paintings, porcelain, vases, chests of drawers, sumptuous carpets… She is a modern woman: electricity, telephone and central heating are installed. At the same time, formal gardens are being laid out despite the daunting challenge of growing plants on a rocky slope. Béatrice began to stay at the villa in 1912. She spent all her winters there and organized parties there. But the baroness suffers from tuberculosis. In 1933, she bequeathed her villa and the 5,000 works she owned to the Academy of Fine Arts. She died the following year in Switzerland. The Villa is completed by an exotic garden after WWII, following the donation of cactus by neighbors, the Marnier-Lapostolle. The house is, for its part, renovated and repainted in pink. Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild ,Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, To get to the villa by car, from Nice and Monaco, take the road RD 6098. By bus,
Lignes d’Azur: take line 15 and stop at “Passable – Rothschild”, or take line 100 and stop at “Pont Saint Jean”. Walk 15 minutes to the villa. Webpage :

The villa “tattooed” by Jean Cocteau: Santo Sospir in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Its name comes from an old marine appellation of Cap Ferrat: “Cap du Saint-Soupir”. In 1950, the artist was invited to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat by Francine Weisweiller. Bored, he asks the owner of the mansion if he can decorate it. He draws in charcoal and continues with colored powders, playing with matter. The artist likes to vary genres and eras: he depicts Greek heroes and everyday figures like fishermen. He also painted southern foods: fougasse, sea urchin and fish. Little by little, all the walls are covered by these tempera frescoes: it is a real “tattooed” villa that Francine rediscovers. Indeed, Jean Cocteau follows the advice of Matisse: “When we decorate a wall, we decorate the others”. And it’s not over in 1952, the designer takes his pastels to restore cheerfulness to the ceilings of the house. He says, “When I worked at Santo Sospir, I became a wall myself and those walls spoke for me.” The entrance to the villa is decorated with two mosaics evoking Medea and Orpheus, a nod to Cocteau’s film. As for the dining room, it houses the Judith and Holofernes tapestry, designed by the artist. This one appreciates his work: he returns many times to stay in Santo Sospir. He’s not the only one: Francine Weisweiller invites Marlène Dietrich, Picasso, Calder… but also Romy Schneider, Alain Delon and Charles Aznavour. The Villa Santo Sospir is at 14, avenue Jean Cocteau in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, To get to the villa by car from Nice and Monaco, take the road RD 6098. By bus, Lignes d’Azur, take line 15 and stop at “Villa Alexandra”, then walk 26 minutes.Webpage :

The Villa Kérylos proudly raises its silhouette on the tip of Baie des Fourmis, in Beaulieu-sur-Mer. It is the realization of the dream of Théodore Reinach, a multitalented politician passionate about Greek antiquity. The villa is thus emblematic of the noble houses that could be found on the island of Delos, in Greece. Precious materials are used for the construction: Carrara marble, exotic woods, mosaics… Nothing is left to chance. The villa is named “Kérylos”, meaning “sea swallow” in Greek, a bird that portends happiness. In 1966 the descendants died and the villa then becomes the property of the Centre des Monuments Nationaux de France or the Center of National Monuments of France. The Villa Kérylos is located at Impasse Gustave Eiffel in Beaulieu-sur-Mer , To get to the villa by car ,from Nice or Monaco, take the road RD 6098. By bus on Lignes d’Azur, take line 15 to “Villa Kérylos”, or line 100 and stop at “Eglise”. Webpage :

The Villa Eilenroc in Antibes , the “jewel of the Côte d’Azur”, In 1860, under the Second Empire (Napoléon III) , the former governor of the Dutch Indies Hugh-Hope Loudon asked Charles Garnier (opéra garnier de Paris ,etc) to draw up the plans for his new property. In 1867, the construction of the residence was completed. It is neo-classical in style, a wave movement at the time. Loudon honors his wife, Cornélie, by giving his villa the anagram of her name: “Eilenroc”. In 1873, 11 hectares of gardens were laid out in place of the scrubland by James Wyllie, a Scotsman who bought the villa. On March 30, 1927, Louis-Dudley Beaumont acquired the property at auction. He hired a landscape architect, Jacques Greber, to create a vegetable garden and a garden of aromatic plants. As for the villa, it is decorated with 18C furniture. The residence was bequeathed to the city of Antibes in 1982. This donation came with conditions: setting up a foundation, hosting artistic events and opening the park to the public. The building is renovated and equipped with a rich rose garden with more than one hundred varieties. In 2000, olive trees were planted in the gardens in honor of the birth of fifty children in the town of Antibes. In 2011, it was the turn of a “garden of scents” to appear. The Villa Eilenroc is at 460, avenue Mrs Beaumont in Antibes, To get to the villa by car, from Nice: take the A8 and the near buses,that I know of, Webpage :

The Villa E-1027 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, At the beginning of the 20C, the world of architecture was in turmoil. Many talents emerge, inaugurating the modern era: Gropius, Van Doesburg, Rietveld. The Irishwoman Eileen Gray, admirer of Le Corbusier, does not want to stay on the side of the stage. In 1926, she decided to build a house in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin with the architect Jean Badovici. Since the villa faces the sea, she builds it on stilts, gives it a flat roof, tarpaulin blinds, and the shape of an ocean liner. A buoy adorns the facade of the residence, while a “Transat” armchair welcomes guests on the ground floor. The construction, completed in 1929, is eminently modern: its structure is in reinforced concrete, the spaces are modular and a kitchen is fitted out. Eileen Gray designs the storage furniture and the decorations. She installs benches and a table in the gardens, renovates the terraces of lemon trees. It does not lack humor: inscriptions dot the walls of the property: “Enter slowly”, “No laughing”, “No entry”. Eileen Gray skillfully mixes her initials and those of her companion Jean Badovici to give a name to her home. Thus, the “E” refers to “Eileen”, its diminutive, the 2, second letter of the alphabet, to the “B” of “Badovici” and the 7 to the “G” of “Gray”. The couple works there and receives their relatives. In 1956, Jean Badovici died. The villa was bought by the Conservatoire du littoral in 1999 and renovated in 2007. The period furniture, damaged in the meantime by the successive owners of the villa, was recreated or restored. The Villa E-1027 is located at Avenue Le Corbusier – Sentier Massolin in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, To get to the villa by car from Nice, take the road A8, then the D2564. By bus, Lignes d’Azur, take line 100 Nice-Menton; stop at “Quatre chemins”, then walk 20 minutes. Webpage :

And as for other news, here they are folks!!

And we get the ritual again, Holiday in France , May 1 or international labor day ; time for folks to do their strikes and manifestations in France, For safety, some of the metro stations will be close, These are :Champs-Élysées-Clémenceau, Nation, Oberkampf…In Paris, around 20,000 demonstrators are expected, according to BFMTV. The procession will set off at 14h30 from Place de la République, heading for Place de la Nation. From 10h closures are: Champs-Élysées-Clémenceau (M1 and M13). From noon: Nation (M1, M2, M6, RER A); Temple (M3); Oberkampf (M5, M9); Saint-Ambroise (M9); Voltaire (M9); Charonne (M9); Rue des Boulets (M9); Richard Lenoir (M5); Breguet-Sabin (M5); Daughters of Calvary (M8); Parmentier (M3); and Rue Saint Maur (M3). M is for Metro, number is the line closing,

Just in time to announce, tourism is back to France and Paris of course is tops, Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe… in Paris, museums and monuments are restocking with tourists, Spring is off to a good start for Paris’s emblematic cultural venues, which are back to their 2019 attendance figures, before the health crisis. This constant brouhaha in certain rooms of the Louvre. This trampling on the stairs that goes up to the “Victoire de Samothrace”, these bottlenecks as soon as we approach the star works. We almost jostle in front of the mummies on the parade of Egyptian rooms. Oh yes crowds are back too, heck we all want to see Paris ,sometimes I think at the same time lol !! Give it time and patience if in Paris.

And so much for the ecologists call, the mayor of Paris keeps chopping down trees !! No hundred-year-old tree will be felled. This Saturday afternoon, Emmanuel Grégoire, first deputy (PS) of the socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo, sought to extinguish the fire lit by opponents of the redevelopment project for the Eiffel Tower neighborhood, succeeded in lowering the figure from 42 to 22 trees !! Thanks to the effort of the association SOS Paris, In place of these trees, the “OnE” project, which aims to vegetate and pedestrianize the world famous perspective from the Trocadero to the Iron Lady, plans luggage storage for visitors and premises for employees, semi-underground buildings. But also 227 new trees planted The project as a whole should allow the creation of 1.6 ha of green spaces, Will see,,,

More restrictions in Paris in the name of ecolos, Launched six months ago, the consultation continues between the mayor of the 17éme arrondissement, and the residents to create a real neighborhood square in front of the borough city hall, The Place Richard-Baret will not be returned to car traffic. Geoffroy Boulard, the borough mayor (LR), confirmed this Thursday evening during a meeting held in this very busy square, Ok less folks in Paris already thousands leaving the city only for investors on limo lol !!

And what is needed, finally a victory, CDG Express authorized by the courts !! Opponents of this direct link between Paris and Roissy castigated for being “the train of the rich”, with a journey at 24 euros, the Charles-de-Gaulle Express had been stopped by the Administrative Court of Paris. The Administrative Court of Appeal has just overturned the judgment at first instance. The construction will be able to continue. CDGX, the Charles-de-Gaulle Express, which should connect in 2027, the Gare de l’Est in Paris to Roissy CDG airport. Better late than never and will give more choices to visitors and locals alike. Official webpage:

This time it really is the home stretch! After a decade of work , marred by a multitude of technical problems which led to a delay of four and a half years ,the extension of metro line 12 from its current terminus, Front-Populaire, to the station Mairie-d’Aubervilliers, two km further on, is finally ready. The two new stations are fitted out and equipped. And the safety and signaling systems, already tested on the new section of the line, are all operational. There is only one step left to complete: “physically” connect the old network and its extension. This operation was completed this past Wednesday, 27 April ,indicates the RATP. Webpage:

The investigating commissioner gave a favorable opinion on the construction of a new overflow downstream of the étangs de Corot, (Yvelines 78) ponds, managed by the Center for National Monuments and State property. This project to secure the dams, decried by heritage defenders, involves the expropriation of the land company Gecina. Lots of controversy as this is where the painter Corot spend most of his life and the place is historically renown and protected, Another ecolo disaster by the authorities, More from the town of Ville d’Avray:

The Stravinsky fountain under construction, the restorers between relief and concern. It adjoins the Pompidou Center (4éme), and has just undergone asbestos removal. The fountain is now undergoing a complete renovation. On the program in particular, waterproofing of the basin and restoration of the sculptures. The Stravinsky Fountain, Place Igor-Stravinsky in Paris its restoration work has finally begun. Finally, it was beginning to be a bit run down! The Paris tourist office on the fountain:

The excavations have led to exceptional discoveries at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, The excavations are over. A huge scaffolding of 600 tons and 100 meters high will be able to be erected at Notre-Dame, to rebuild the spire, three years after the fire of April 15, 2019. The friends of Notre Dame on its work:

This part of the Domaine de Maffliers (Val-d’Oise 95) reopened last March 10 2022, after two years of work. The building had suffered a spectacular fire when it had just been completely renovated. The work was almost finished ,and ready to open the Château de Maffliers renovated around a chic and cozy hotel concept, combining traditions, leisure and the pleasures of the table, A nice Accor Novotel webpage :

The Écouen castle museum organizes visits for people with disabilities, The Renaissance Museum notes the more regular arrival of specialized institutions and wishes to develop its offer in the field of disability in the coming months. Webpage :

The Foreign Legion opens its doors to celebrate its 60th anniversary at Fort de Nogent. It was in December 1962 that the Foreign Legion began to use Fort de Nogent, in Val-de-Marne (94). Every week, around 150 candidates come to this military site built in 1840 to take the selection tests. This weekend, the legionnaires welcome you to commemorate the Battle of Camerone and the anniversary of their presence at the fort. To enter Fort de Nogent, in the town of Fontenay-sous-Bois is to take a leap back more than 180 years. The Val de Marne dept 94 tourist office on Fort de Nogent :

Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines 78) and Great Britain say “Yes” ! An agreement was signed this past Thursday April 28 2022 ,between the city and the “Team GB”, which will prepare and then train on the municipal facilities at the occasion of the great Olympic meeting of Paris 2024. The British flag now flies on the pediment of the city/town hall of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a sign of the brand new union between the city and the Olympic team of Britain. Both signed a partnership agreement for the next Paris 2024 Olympic games. Saint-Germain will thus be the base camp of the British delegation for the duration of the competition, but also of the preparation. Georges-Lefèvre stadium at Camp des Loges. The 12-hectare complex, which the British representatives visited again on Thursday, will be the real headquarters. It has two field hockey pitches, five football pitches, one rugby pitch, tennis courts but also, soon, a performance and bodybuilding center and a brand new approved athletics track. Part of PSG’s professional football facilities could also be made available to them. The British team will finally be able to use the various gymnasiums of the town for its indoor disciplines, but also the swimming pool (Le Dôme) for synchronized swimming and… leisure. As such, the city’s three golf courses were also involved. They can enjoy life here without the hustle and bustle of Paris while being fifteen minutes away by RER A ! The city of SGL on visits :

And finished the photos of the motorcycles with the castle in the background. As of this Sunday, parking and stopping of two-wheelers in front of the Domaine de Chantilly estate (Oise 60) is prohibited. For this first weekend, awareness actions, in order to redirect to the free location provided for this purpose, will be put in place. But from the next, bikers who do not comply with the ban may be fined. Many motorcyclists have become accustomed to parking on the forecourt of the castle. They will now have to go to a car park which will be reserved for them a little further, Of course good action the front grille gate is not for parking for anything ! The Castle of Chantilly webpage :

Exhibition at the Château de Fontainebleau: the meaning of celebration in the time of the Valois ! During the Renaissance, entertainment was no joke. The party is in the 16C a total work of art, presents an exhibition dedicated to “the art of the party at the court of the Valois” A hundred documents and works (manuscripts, books, engravings, paintings, tapestries, works of art, parade weapons) have been brought together which illustrate the extraordinary inventiveness and debauchery of means deployed under the reigns of François I, Henri II , Catherine de Médicis , and Henry III for these festive events, The castle of Fontainebleau on the event :

This is the first time that an ephemeral thrift store from the TissEco association has set up shop in a suburban shopping center in Île-de-France region. Between the Jun’s, Jennyfer and Undiz shops, the “Fripe Avenue” window intrigues customers with bags full of purchases in the Aéroville shopping center in Roissy-en-France (Val-d’Oise 95). A thrift store in a suburban center is rather unexpected, admits Jérôme, the young manager of the brand, with a smile. In general, thrift stores are more in Paris. Great mall I visited and ate when working at CDG airport last November 2019, Aeroville webpage :

We missed the Pavillon Puebla pavilion. The best spot in the Buttes Chaumont finally reopened last Thursday April 21, 2022. After closing for renovations, the guinguette is getting a new life and a little makeover to welcome us as it should. With its two charming terraces, its two bars, its menu and its invigorating cocktails, this large house transformed into a place of relaxation and celebration remains an iconic haven of peace. In the heart of the Buttes Chaumont, the Puebla Pavilion is accessible via a pretty stone staircase. Pavillon Puebla, Avenue Darcel, 19éme of Paris, open from Wednesday to Sunday, webpage :

This Top Chef show is a launcher ! Thibaut from Top Chef opened his restaurant at the Musée Carnavalet museum and Thibaut Spiwack, already holder of a green star, will delight our taste buds all summer long in the museum’s sublime garden. The opportunity to enjoy its fresh and generous recipes in the sublime setting offered by the Jardins d’Olympe. A delicious culinary experience between nature, arts and history. On the menu of this ephemeral table, therefore, plates to share made up of products mainly from Île-de-France region, Les Jardins d’Olympe, Musée Carnavalet, 16, rue des Francs-Bourgeois 4éme, From May 6, 2022 for having dinner, Restaurant webpage :

There you go folks, another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are marching on to Summer and eating out in our veranda porch every day now , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

April 27, 2022

How to get by at Versailles!

So on a cool rainy day in my neck of the woods, time to take a look at my blog and do updates of older posts. I like to update this one on how to get by at Versailles! How to see Versailles with quicker entry and less crowds? I mean less crowds because to the world most visited castle , easy visit are history indeed. Let me tell you a bit more on the subject.

I have read many blogs, newspapers, magazines, etc of people telling about how difficult is to get to Versailles past its lines and a even more crowded place. Well, I admit do not have the magic formula but after living for about 9 years in the city, been friends of the palace/museum since 2004 ,and visited upteen times even taken folks there as touring, believe I can have my five cents worth on the subject. Therefore, here is my take on the subject.


First, you need to get here from whatever you are from, even folks living in Versailles! Many people go to the cram parking at Place d’Armes because it is in front of the castle and voilà they made it. However, for just a pleasant walk among historical buildings you can park at  Parking Sceaux ,avenue de Sceaux next to train station RER C Château-Rive-Gauche at end of parking ,you find the gardens jardin des Etangs Gobert. You come by car on the A13 direction Rouen and get off at exit/sortie 5 Versailles Centre, followed it all around until the train station.


The Parking de l’avenue de Sceaux on the city of Versailles parkings :

Perhaps you like to come by bus, many folks like this way of public transport than again most take the more hazarduos way of the train or RER C. You can come from Paris by bus no 171 of the RATP system runs between Pont de Sèvres and the Château de Versailles.  Metro line 9 to Pont de Sèvres , this is the longest and most frequented metro line of Paris. Also Paris RATP bus lines 169, 179 ,279, 291, 389, 426 ,and 467  reach the Pont de Sévres stop. 

This is the bus line 171 on the official RATP network

Once in the city, there are ways to get around to the main sight of the Château de Versailles domain; and I say main sight because as in my previous posts, Versailles has a lot more things to see. 

The nice thing we even did to get from the center of Versailles to the shopping at Parly II mall or even to get inside the domain of Versailles by the Porte Saint Antoine was to take bus no 19 . The Allée Saint-Antoine begins to the south in front of the Grand Canal , and ends about 1 350 meters to the north on Boulevard Saint-Antoine, where is the Arc de Triomphe of the Porte Saint-Antoine. The bus is taken from Avenue Saint Cloud almost to the corner of Avenue de l’Europe and you need to get off at Parly II or Arboretum and walk back down about 300 meters to the entrance at the Porte de Saint Antoine. Right next is the Hameau de Marie Antoinette and follow by the Petit Trianon and Grand Trianon,the gardens and a whole world of Versailles!


Type in itineraire les Mureaux to from Versailles to see the bus line 19 that can drop you off by the Porte Saint Antoine and into the Hameau/Trianons of Versailles:


If tired or for the thrill of something different, then inside Versailles, the best is the Phebus bus network It has buses from the train stations passing near the Palace of Versailles. From to train stations “Versailles Château Rive Gauche”, “Versailles Chantiers” and “Versailles Rive Droite” . Other than the bus itself you can buy of several tabacs in Versailles, the list is in the lien, The official Phebus network :

The Petit Train inside Domaine de Versailles property if you want a quick look and rest from walking this is the little train. From the North terrace of the chateau > Petit Trianon, Grand Trianon, Grand Canal (Little Venice) then back (possibility to get off at a stop and then go back to a train with the same ticket, except the last train of the day). Webpage :

To purchase tickets and try to avoid as much as possible the ticket purchase lines (security lines are unavoidable) you can do so at the counters with staff or automatic machines in the south wing of ministers (Aile des Ministres), the building on the left when you are in the courtyard of the castle.. There is only one entry for all individual visitors at entrance APavillon Dufour! Also, online of course, better! Palace/museum webpage:


It is possible to avoid the first line by buying in advance its ticket. Purchase at the tourist Office, 2bis avenue de Paris by the Le Louis hotel ; sale of the ticket Château + 1.80€ of commission, (check if fees have change) avoids the lines/queue to the ticket lines of the castle. Or online even better! webpage:

Another possible area my oldest son worked next to it is the Place des Manéges, located on the Avenue du Général de Gaulle between the City/Town Hall and the palace/museum.  The building of the Le Manéges (or merry go around)  was a former military building under Napoleon III. It was demolished in 1988 with the exception of its portal which remained on the Avenue du General-de-Gaulle. A commercial center with the Phebus bus ticket office, restos and shopping gallery as well as the La Maréchalerie Centre d’Art Contemporain under the Le Manéges are there now. There is a group reservation to avoid lines, right in the building which is across from the train RER C château-rive-gauche ; never use it but is GetYourGuide webpage :

Of course, there are many online, and on site, purchase ticket possibilities that are well recommended such as the FNAC stores, ticketmaster , and many hypermarket such as Carrefour, Leclerc, Auchan, etc on their in store cultural ticket sales. I said, always good to buy ahead if sure of your dates/times.

There are different entries to the Domaine of Versailles (the local name given to the castle, trianons, hameau,gardens whole complex) . Access to the park is free for pedestrians and bicycles. Vehicles must pay an entry fee (last was 5€) except for persons with reduced mobility (PMR) on proof. My favorite entry on foot or by car was/is at the Porte Saint Antoine . Access to the gardens, reserved for pedestrians, is free except for the days of Grandes Eaux and Jardins Musicaux ( Water show and musical) from April to October. Some of the entries on foot are Grille de la Reine (Queen’s gate),by the boulevard de la Reine. The Grille des Matelots,by the road of Saint-Cyr L’école D10. By the before mentioned Porte Saint-Antoine,on the side of the town of Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt ( just to your right is the Hameau of Marie Antoinette and thereafter the Petit and Grand Trianon as well as the Castle from the back of the Grand Canal, also, my favorite hangout the Angelina café next to the Petit Trianon! By the Grille de Neptune, by rue de la Paroisse/rue du Maurepas crossing rue des Reservoirs  near the basin of Neptune from which if you take the allée de Trianon you can ,also, go to the Grand and Petit Trianon, and the Hameau of Marie Antoinette.

One last word, best days to come. Huh! well do not come in any French Holidays or around them if bridges or ponts are available ( New Year Jan 1st, Easter Monday April 22, Labor Day ,May 1st, Victory day (WWII) May 8, Thursday of Ascension May 30, Monday of Pentecost June 10, National Day July 14, Assomption Day August 15, All Saints Day November 1st, Armistice Day (end WWI) November 11, and Christmas December 25) , Wednesdays as it is school children off day and Mom will take them out, weekends as the world comes to Versailles. The rest is up for grabs!!

An an anecdote for outside viewing only. This building houses the CRCV or the research Centre of the Château de Versailles, created in 2004. It is interested in research and training on the places and expressions of power in the 17C and 18C. However, as said just for passing by as it is not open to the general public. Located at the Grand Commun building to the left looking at the palace/museum, and go to 1 rue de l’Indépendance américaine. The CRCV webpage:


There yo go folks, another trip into my wonderful beautiful Versailles and its palace/museum. And yes, sometimes crowded but worth it, that is why you all come and!I agree !! Hope you enjoy it as I,

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

April 25, 2022

Some news from France, CCCLXIIII

And its time as time flies to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12 years now!! And I thank you. This is election time in my belle France so lots of news and blah blah on TV but life goes on for us world travelers!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The first figures for the participation rate in the second round of the presidential election in France, were announced today Sunday, April 24, 2022 at noon, by the Ministry of the Interior. 26.41% of voters voted at midday, with rates ranging from 15.37% to 34.46% depending on the department. The highest participation rate is currently reached in Gers with 34.46%, followed by Jura (34.38%) and Ain (33.92%). Conversely, voters did not come to the polls this morning in Seine-Saint-Denis, where the turnout was only 15.37%. This 2nd round turnout is almost two points lower than that of the second round of the 2017 presidential election. It then reached 28.23%. The Second round of the presidential election: the turnout stands at 63.23% at 17h (5 p.m.), According to Le Parisien , Today in France, and France Télévisions sponsored Ipsos / Sopra Steria poll , the final abstention rate in the second round of the presidential election would stand at 28% at 20h (8 p.m.) The abstention record for a second round dates from 1969 with 31.1%. It is the lowest in the last five presidential elections. In my former Yvelines 78 ,the participation at 17h was 57.70%, indicates the préfecture. This is down five points from the same time in 2017 (63.34%), a steeper drop than the national average (63.23% ). Abtention is a sign of no qualify contenders they are both bad, so either you take the best of the bad or don’t vote at all : I took the first option, At the Champ-de-Mars, the calm mix with anxiaty with the supporters of Emmanuel Macron et Marine Le Pen has planned to parade by bus in the event of victory. The bus or buses will converge on the Armenonville pavilion, in the Bois de Boulogne. Well Macron won with 58% first President re elected in the V Republic but Le Pen received the highest vote ever at 42%. So we still in democracy with two strong parties of Center (mix left and right cabinet) , and Extreme Right. The municipal congressionnel elections will be in June 12 and 19 2022.

The Place de Catalunya, right next to Montparnasse train station (14éme) says farewell to the “du Creuset-du-Temps” fountain which had been enthroned, flat but leaning, since 1985 right in the middle! The city destroyed cobblestone by cobblestone the work of art, signed by the Polish sculptor Shamaï Haber, to the great displeasure of the artist’s family. The work was at a standstill, the water had not flowed for almost ten years. the place of Catalonia, roundabout which serves in a star , the boulevard Pasteur, the avenue of the Commandant Mouchotte, and the rue Jean-Zay and rue du Château, was deprived of water, vast, useless and of a great sadness ; shame to the city new order ! . The roundabout, bordered on the west side by large buildings designed by Ricardo Bofill, “Stalinist” for some, “Greco-classical” for others, is beginning its transformation. restricted traffic areas, wide sidewalks, greening, installing planters, etc. In the process, the small segment of rue du Château, on the square side, will become pedestrian. Delivery is scheduled for the first half of 2024. Goodbye Paris! At least as long as the current mayor is there ! More of what is coming to Paris on the city webpage :

Go Thursday, and until further notice, every Thursday following, from 10h to noon, at the Pantheon (see post). On March 26, 1851, the front page of the daily National, like almost all press titles, echoed an extraordinary and public scientific experiment: that of the pendulum of Léon Foucault, a renowned physicist and astronomer. At the Panthéon of Paris to be seen and worth the detour even from the Jardin du Luxembourg !(see post) Enjoy it as I ! webpage :

The Galerie Glénat moves to Boulogne-Billancourt. Farewell Paris, hello Boulogne! Fans of the ninth art now have an appointment in the Hauts-de-Seine (92) to discover the works exhibited by the publisher. First author in the spotlight: François Ravard and his drawings and watercolors between escape and poetry. The Glénat gallery left this week its offices on rue de Picardie, opposite the Carreau du Temple in the 3éme arrondissement of Paris, which it has occupied since its creation ten years ago. Direction Boulogne-Billancourt and the ground floor of the glass building, headquarters of the editions… Glénat. Located near the recently renovated Albert-Kahn museum, the transparent building overlooking the Seine, designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, offers 150 m2 of airy and bright exhibitions. With always the same objective as underlined by its initiators: “to promote the current international graphic scene through exhibitions, inside and outside the walls”. But also tell the story of the comic strip and offer original pieces to collectors from all over the world. The Glénat gallery today represents 135 authors and has a fund of 3,600 works for sale. Galerie Glénat, 24, avenue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny in Boulogne-Billancourt. Metro line 10 Boulogne Pont de Saint-Cloud. Webpage :

At my sentimental Meaux, (77) You can find out how the Bossuet museum was hidden in the Château de Coupvray during the Nazis Occupation, At La ferme du château de Coupvray is organizing an exhibition until Saturday April 28 on the 450 works of art from the Bossuet museum which have been hidden from the Nazis. Paintings from the Italian Renaissance, post-impressionist paintings, 20C furniture.etc. at the exhibition “The Bossuet museum hides in the Château de Coupvray” the forty works presented have a priori nothing to do with each other . On loan from the Bossuet de Meaux museum, if they are gathered in the farm of the Château de Coupvray until Saturday April 28, it is because they were hidden in the monument during WWII. Between April 1943 and November 1945, it housed 450 paintings, statues and sculptures to preserve them from the Nazis. The Exhibition “The Bossuet museum hides at the Château de Coupvray” until Saturday April 30 at the farm of the Château de Coupvray, road D2 of Coupvray. Free admission, every day from 10h to noon and from 14h to 19h Free. The city of Coupvray on the castle :

At the Museum of the Great War (WWI) in Meaux, an unprecedented dive into the trenches, “real cities of fighters”, The museum is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the trenches until August 15 2022. Forget everything you know or think you know about the trenches of the 14-18 war. Pending the opening to the public in 2024 of a life-size open-air trench in the adjoining park, an exhibition is dedicated to them at the Museum of the Great War, in Meaux (Seine-et-Marne 77 ). First, although symbols of the First World War, they were not born with this conflict. “We rediscovered them during the 14-18 war but it was already used… in ancient Greece! The armies of Louis XIV dug trenches to seize the city of Arras (Pas-de-Calais). Then the trenches reappeared during the Crimean War, between 1853 and 1856. The 250 objects presented in this exhibition, coming for the most part from the immense collection of the Meldois museum (Celtic name for Meaux) ,rich with a collection of 70,000 objects to provide a better understanding of the reality of the trenches. Military manuals of the time explain how to dig his hole. Because initially, the trench is just a simple shelter dug by a soldier to protect himself from enemy fire. Then these holes are connected together. Then these trenches constituted real networks which extended over 750 km, from the Vosges to the North Sea. But the interlacings also developed over several kilometers behind the front. On average, they are 3 meters deep. But they can go down to 50 meters. It’s not easy to get around without getting lost. Panels with the names of the axes are affixed. Two examples of these panels, made of wood, are shown to the public. Each soldier goes to the front with a short spade that requires digging on his knees. Other objects, constituting the craftsmanship of the trenches, such as lamps made from grenades or pieces of shells by the soldiers to light up there, are also part of the exhibition. “Trench” until August 15 2022 at the Musée de la Grand Guerre or Museum of the Great War, rue Lazare-Ponticelli in Meaux. Open every day (except Tuesday) from 9h30 to 18h. Free every first Sunday of the month. A great museum, see post, and sentimental town if you read my blog, Webpage :

30 years of Disneyland Paris (actually Seine et Marne dept 77 see post),150 drones light up the sky in a truly magical show, A new six-minute light show projected on Sleeping Beauty’s castle. The anniversary number is lit up in the sky by 150 luminous drones. Impressive. We will be there in late September 2022 just saying lol!!! webpage :

The largest solar power plant in Île-de-France installed in the Disneyland Paris visitor car park,(we will see it) Of the 82,000 photovoltaic panels planned, the first phase of the Disneyland Paris solar power plant is now operational. In the form of shade structures covering the visitor parking spaces, it will eventually supply 17% of the energy needs of the amusement park, i.e. the equivalent of the annual consumption of 17,400 inhabitants. The construction, which started in the fall of 2020, will end next year,(2023) the largest solar power plant in Île-de-France and one of the largest in Europe. The signs will cover 11,200 parking spaces over 20 hectares. An area equivalent to 27 football fields. This is not the first eco-responsible initiative of Disneyland Paris. Since 2013, it has had its own wastewater treatment plant which treats wastewater from toilets, sinks or kitchens coming from the Disneyland Paris park, Walt Disney Studios and the Disneyland Hotel. Recycled water is used to clean walkways, water green spaces, and fill fountains and ornamental ponds. All of the Paris Nature Villages (2021 visited) are heated by a geothermal power plant installed on site. It covers a total of 18% of the heat needs of the amusement park. Finally since 2019, plastic straws and bags have been replaced by paper equivalents and bags made from 80% recycled plastic.

The filming of The Three Musketeers (one of my all time favorite) invades Moret-sur-Loing et Orvanne!(77) The film crews of this French blockbuster featuring Romain Duris, François Civil and Eva Green, among others, settled down this past Thursday near the bridge and the dungeon. The gaze of the Seine-et-Marnais will be sharper than that of other spectators when they dive into The Three Musketeers, adapted once again to the cinema from the novel by Alexandre Dumas. After the castle of Fontainebleau and the cathedral of Meaux, it is now the turn of Moret-sur-Loing to appear in the cast of this tricolor blockbuster in two episodes, signed Martin Bourboulon and filmed at the same time. They will hit the big screen on April 5 and December 13 , 2023 respectively. The medieval city has often had the honors of Jean-Paul Rappeneau who came to film Les Mariés de l’An II, Cyrano de Bergerac and J’accuse. It was this time the choice of Martin Bourboulon, to whom we owe Eiffel. The director has managed a cast that should attract French film lovers: François Civil as d’Artagnan, Vincent Cassel as Athos, Romain Duris as Aramis and Pio Marmaï as Porthos. already to install huge outdoor projectors to illuminate the interior of the dungeon. This 12C building serves as a setting for scenes in which we will find Eva Green as Milady. We look forward to see it, we have seeing it in Spanish, English ,and French, one film we taugh our boys one for all and all for one!! proudly we stand together. The city of Moret sur Loing et Orvanne on the circulation due to the movie :

In the Oise (60), a sublime chapel dormant in the attic of a school for more than 160 years, Only accessible by a hatch located under the roof of a neighboring building, this local heritage treasure located above a class from the Pierre-Sauvage elementary school in Compiègne, is only known to a few initiates. In a few weeks, the curious will be able to discover it… on video. To access it, you have to go through the neighboring building, reach the attic and go down through a cramped hatch, without forgetting, therefore, to have brought a ladder. It is only when a double white door is pushed that the sleeping chapel is revealed to lucky visitors ! How can it took 160 yrs to see this !! There is history here which I like, It was a former convent of the Minimes, then School of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, current Pierre Sauvage Elementary School , In part of the former convent of the Minimes, sold during the French revolution, the city installed the Brothers of Christian Doctrine in 1792. After leaving the premises, they returned there in 1818 and transformed certain parts of the buildings. The church having been sold in 1791, the brothers set up a chapel on the first floor, designed as a 17C Baroque oratory, with Italianate decorations. The chapel contains the coat of arms of the archpriest of Saint-James of Compiègne, It would be grand to see it !! A private site with more info :

Machu Picchu, two words where a dream gallops. The image of a citadel perched so high that it touches the sky and the gods, so well built that it is one with the mountain, so distant that it was forgotten for centuries until its rediscovered in 1911. Two words so strong that they immediately conjure up in our minds the ghost of the Inca and their golden but fallen empire. So fascinating that the designers of “Machu Picchu and the Treasures of Peru” could not help but ensure them a place of choice in the title of their exhibition which takes up residence in Paris at the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine, after a first stage in Boca Raton (Florida). Yes it would be very educational indeed to attend, The Paris tourist office on it ;

There you go folks, another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are marching on to Summers and eating out in our veranda porch every day now , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

April 19, 2022

The Floodings in the Paris region, île de France !!

This is an update on text and links of older posts from 2016 and 2018, which I have combine in one. It could be useful information and historical data for visitors and especially residents of France. Yes , we have many problems of floodings!! as infrastructure is older and the climate changes are more often nowdays. I have been lucky not gone thru any but seems towns and even my own city center flooded.  Let me tell you or update you on the flooding situations in May 2016 and January 2018 in the Ïle de France region of which Paris is a big part.

The real high was to be this afternoon in Paris but will not be until at least tomorrow before it starts to go down. This seems to be a recurrent phenomenon but the authorities seems to just take pictures and nothing concrete has yet to be propose on doing; while families lose everything in one river rising waters…2016.Situation has not change at all in 2022.

In the Seine river the water level reach 6 meters (about 19.8 feet) , and the calculations now is that it may go to 6,30-6.50  meters (highest was in 1910 at 8,62 meters) but higher than the last flooding in 1982 of 6,18meters. This was 2016. The lack of electricity last count are 9400 in Seine-et-Marne (77), 6500 in the Essonne (91), 800 in Val de-Marne (94), and 140 in the Yvelines (78) . 

The Louvre museum will stay closed until next Tuesday as well as the Orsay museum . The RATP has closed two stations already the Cluny-La Sorbonne, on line 10 and the Saint-Michel, on the  RER B ,and line 4.  If the water levels continue and reach 6,60 meters which could be but not expected, the following lines will be closed too: Dugommier, Bercy, Quai de la Gare, Chevaleret,  Nationale line  6, Michel Ange-Auteuil, Eglise d’Auteuil, Javel, Charles Michels ,and  Avenue Emile Zola on line 10, Mairie de Clichy, Gabriel Péri-Asnières Genevilliers, Asnières Genevilliers-Les Agnettes, Asnières Les Courtilles and the stations to the north on line 13,the line 14 completely, and  Charles de Gaulle-Etoile, Auber, Châtelet-les-Halles and Gare de Lyon  on the line RER A.

seine-paris-lp-matthieu-de-martignac 2016

The Grand Palais was closed from 14h30 today, and more closing are expected Saturday on the Bois de Boulogne, l’Ile de la Jatte, l’Ile Saint-Germain, and Rueil-Malmaison where the highs are expected Saturday morning.  The zouave  has water to the knees now but it is not in the same spot as in 1910 where it was up to the neck, if it was left at the same spot todays flooding would have reach the same level! The Palais de la Découverte was closed this afternoon May 2016.

paris orsay eiffel from Seine feb16

The line RER C was closed last night ,and the train line R is closed from Moret-sur-Loing and Montargis; also, ,the line RER D due to a landslide in St Fargeau has closed the section in the axis Corbeil-Melun until this weekend.  On the trains line N, due to a landslide in Meudon, the line is closed between Paris-Montparnasse and Versailles-Chantiers, expected to re open on Monday June 6 .The RER C between  gare d’Austerlitz, Javel,and the station Henri-Martin is closed. The airport line RER B is to avoid, this weekend as will have  1 train over 4  working between the  Gare-du-Nord to Paris and the airport  Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle, and normal from  Gare-du-Nord to the South of the region ïle-de-France.

The experts keeps repeating to us here that on each rise on the water levels of the Seine river is remarkable and remind us of the 1910 flooding!!! when Paris suffered greatly. Now these days of 2018; the Seine is at 5,48 meters yesterday morning (Thursday) but far from the glorious record of 8.62 meters of 1910! The estimates this time gave us the rising waters to be up to 6,20 meters and even estimated not more than 6 meters according to the Vigicrues experts…Jan 2018. 

The basin coming into the Seine have four reserve lakes to help regulate the flow of water into the river. One is located along the Seine near Troyes (Aube), the others along the tributaries of the Seine such as in Aube, Marne, and Yonne departments. In period of rising waters, these reserves are filled limiting the rise in water in the Paris region. The current rise in water won’t reach it’s peak until Saturday (tomorrow) but the reserves are already filled up to 86% and that of the Aube at 98%. So much for reserves!

Some of the explanation lies in that this year my belle France had the 2nd biggest two month rain period since figures were kept in 1900!!!  According to  Météo France (official weather channel ) the accumulated pluviometric readings show that after December 1st and in some régions, it has reach double its normal or like in Paris 183 mm of water or about 7,2 inches.   We have slowed down the metro line 7 for meteorological reasons wow dandy words here! and extreme vigilance over the banks of the rivers in the departments Marne, Seine-Saint-Denis, and Val-de-Marne. The big museum such as Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre have taken precautionary measures like moving up some pieces or closing the  inferior level of the Islamic arts section at least until Sunday. This is,also true for the musée de l’Orangerie. In the meantime in Paris the Seine river has stabalise at 5,85 meters with new rains coming up that will slow down the descend over several days!

Moving on away from Paris the experts of Vigicrues have declare a new level of rising waters in the Marne river  from 3,83 to 4,10 meters by tomorrow morning.  On the flooding of 2001 it only reach 3,95 meters! In the north of the department on the Marne river have risen as water flow coming from the Champagne area continues…In my dear Meaux, the river Marne reached today at 8h 4.29 meters!! with a slow but rising prediction. This is already the highest level reach in 2001.  And the experts of Vigicrues  are saying the water level can go up to  4,3-4,5 meters Friday evening, and for the coming days the tendance is to go higher!!!. Again ,this was in 2018.

And in my dear previous dept of the Yvelines no 78 on the wonderful isle of or île de Villennes-sur-Seine, (near Poissy) yesterday the water levels already reached the levels of June 2016 according to Vigicrues. So ,it seems these people only collect data but no prevention so far lol!!  In the Seine river in the Yvelines the Île de Vaux was cutoff from the world. The island or ïlot Blanc near the île des Migneaux near Poissy the stretch in the Seine between Chatou and Conflans was overflowing and fisherman along Conflans Sainte Honorine take cover for their boats.  By today they have taken 23,44 meters of water at Conflans higher than the last one in 2016 that was 23,16 meters . In normal times it is about 20,35 meters. At Les Mureaux also a growers of vegetables had lost 10 000 plants or 70% of its production ! 

villennes-sur-seine-78-lp-aurelie-foulon 2016

The official Vigicrues organism that tell us when water is going up unusually up (click left column Seine à Paris):

The newspaper Le Monde with floodings of 2016:

The newspaper Le Monde with floodings of 2018

ps. Pictures credit journalists from Le Parisien newspaper.

There you go folks, a nicely soothing reminders of been careful when planning your trip in addition to any other events in our dear world going on. Flooding is to be on the alert all over France, and especially on tourist areas like Paris.…Hope you enjoy the post and find it informative as I.

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


April 19, 2022

Some news from France, CCCLXIII

And its time again to tell you about my wonderful series ,thanks to you all, some news from France! Lots of things going on and better weather makes all better. We are sticking around for now and planning for our usual long vacation in aug/sep22 ,we are back again on planning after several years of low key with our loves gone unfortunately. Anyway, life goes on even is sadder, we will survive! read on!

Based in Bonneuil-en-Valois, in the Oise dept 60 of the Hauts de France region and the Croix-Huyart quarry was selected to supply hard limestone for the renovation of the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris ! (see posts on reconstruction). The extraction of the blocks has just begun. The Croix-Huyart quarry must provide nearly 640 cubic meters of this hard limestone rock, Great all the best from my belle France to build the most beautiful of cathedrals me think, This is the parent company :

France is the country that welcomes the most visitors in the world. In 2019, before the health crisis, 90 million international tourists came to discover it, according to very official figures from the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Recovery. It must be said that with its 34,970 towns, its 17,046 hotels and its 898,481 campsites and its inventories by INSEE, France has arguments to spare. We are moving on as figures after virus are beginning to go up and normal times are back, This figures are supported by the UN WTO as well.

In order to find out which town picks travellers’ curiosity the most, the holiday rental search engine conducted a survey on the Internet, cross-referencing the names of the 30 villages most typed in Google with the queries “What to do », « What to see » and « What to visit ». Results of the races, it is a village in the Occitanie region that beats all records. Located in the Lot, more precisely in the Dordogne Valley, this village built on the side of a cliff is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to a famous statue of the Black Madonna, it has been a major place of pilgrimage since the Middle Ages. Alternative stage of the Way of Compostela, it is established not far from the fascinating chasm of Padirac and the charming medieval city of Figeac , This explains, Rocamadour, the most popular French village on the Internet perched at an altitude of more than 200 meters never ceases to seduce , again and again, The destination is far ahead of Gordes , Giverny , and Veules-les-Roses, The rest are Les Baux-de-Provence, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Collonges-la-Rouge, Conques, Moustiers- Sainte-Marie and Roussillon,

On April 7, the Travel d’Or 2022 ceremony was held. An unmissable evening for travel professionals, the Travel d’Or rewarded the favorite brands of French Internet users. Air France wins the 2022 Travel d’Or for the best airline. Air France was facing other competitors (Quatar Airways, EasyJet and Emirates) including a French company also, FrenchBee, specializing in low-cost which provides long-haul flights from France. In addition to being the best airline according to the French, Air France tops the European ranking according to the World Airline Awards. It is also part of the top 10 of the best airlines in the world, of which the number 1 is Qatar Airways. Oh yes my AF golden boy all the way !!! AF webpage:

We have the next second round and final round of Presidential elections in France on April 24 Sunday, me vote ! A survey produced by Ipsos-Sopra Steria, shows the outgoing President credited with 56% of the vote and his opponent with 44%. Emmanuel Macron appears in any case to be the favorite, according to our daily Ipsos Sopra Steria poll for Le Parisien, Radio France and France Télévisions dated this past Monday April 18 2022, even if things can still change. Of course, the contender is not any better so the French will take the least bad of the two ; oh the other is Marine Le Pen, Abstention will be big too,

After Printemps last November, it is the turn of Fnac, which should leave the shopping center Italy 2 by “mid-August” says a few experts, Fnac was in the Italy 2 shopping center, place d’Italie (13éme), for 21 years, will, against all odds, lower the curtain, This is sad, but the French still do not get used to malls,,,,,webpage :

The Marmottan-Monet museum tells the story of our emotions, We have not always shown our tears, our joy, our laughter or our despair on the paintings. The Marmottan-Monet Museum, in Paris, explores this fascinating “Theater of emotions”. An exciting journey from original coldness to psychoanalysis and the fantasies of Dalí, and the massacres of the 20C. It opens with a 1525 painting of “Saint Magdalene in Tears,” but no tears can be seen on her face. She is holding a handkerchief over her left eye. “The Theater of Emotions”, at the Marmottan-Monet museum, in Paris (16éme), until August 21,2022 from 10h to 18h. from Tuesday to Sunday, 21h. Webpage :

“Pioneers”, Roaring Twenties, Women’s Years at the Musée du Luxembourg, highlights 45 artists who revolutionized the 1920s. As if 1920 had been so close to the feminism of 2020…These “Pioneers” who bring a different perspective to the nude, fashion or the representation of motherhood, come out of oblivion for many. As long as they don’t go back there again. “Pioneers, Artists in the Paris of the Roaring Twenties“, at the Luxembourg Museum, Paris (5éme), until July 10, 2022 , from 10h30 to 19h every day, until 22h on Mondays, webpage :

Maillol, the Apostle of Happiness, at the Musée d’Orsay, captures the great sculptor in the plurality and profusion of his approaches, from painting to ceramics and embroidery. The first major retrospective since the centenary of his birth in 1961. You know the sensual sculptures of Aristide Maillol, scattered in the gardens between the Louvre and the Tuileries. The one who passes for the great French sculptor with, or after, Rodin knew and loved to do so many other things: paintings, embroidery, tapestries, ceramics, fountains, vases, and the monumental sculptures that made his glory like “Mediterranean”. , a name symbol for him of perfect femininity. We love this Maillol who seeks happiness in all its forms, starting with his paintings of well-dressed, wise and mysterious young women. He also sculpted in wood, as a disciple of Gauguin, and his wife Clotilde, an exclusive model at the start, did not see her rivals favorably. They lived their whole life together, and his Aristide left behind a work that we are happy to rediscover in its profusion, for the first time since the centenary of his birth in 1961. “Aristide Maillol, the quest for harmony”, at the Musée d’Orsay, in Paris (7éme), until August 21,2022 from 9h30 to 18h, 21h45 on Thursdays, closed on Mondays, webpage :

In the forest of Rambouillet, the vast restoration of the priory of Moulineaux will begin this summer, The renovation of this unique vestige of the 12C, a treasure trapped by vegetation in Poigny-la-Forêt (Yvelines 78), will finally begin, The Foundation of Heritage of France on the project :

Les Mureaux (Yvelines 78) Maybe a nautical museum, restaurant… the new life of the lock dam subject to consultation, Property of the State and managed by Voies navigables de France, the site, disused since the 1960s, should be resuscitated. On the artificial island (7 hectares), the few houses, including that of the lockmaster at the western end, are surrounded by vegetation and secured by chain-link fences. The Mureaux site is a rarity in Île-de-France. On the Seine, five other lock dams had been built at the same time: Méricourt, Port-Villez, Notre-Dame-de-la-Garenne (Eure), Aufreville and Saint-Aubin (Seine-Maritime). City of Les Mureaux webpage :

Since April 9, 2022, the park dedicated to the universe of Asterix and Obelix has reopened one of its mythical attractions to the public. New course, faster, brand new seats… the experience is worth the detour! the new version of the Tonnerre de Zeus, one of the flagship attractions of Parc Astérix, in Plailly (Oise 60), is finally ready. Faster, new corners, brand new seats for more comfort, a tunnel in the dark with special effects, a progressive braking system… the last two seats of the train, often coveted to answer the legend of being those which bring the most sensations , have been modified. Now they have their backs to the other seats.This is an awesome park took my boys here several times when younger ; worth the detour, webpage :

A contemporary art exhibition in the maze of the Bordeaux submarine base, It is under the title of a ballad by Bertrand Belin, Hypernuit, that the Bordeaux submarine base opens its new exhibition. Covering 3,000 of the 43,000 square meters that make up this immense space, which has remained frozen since WWII, the event brings together the collections of two emblematic Bordeaux museums, the Museum of Contemporary Art (CAPC) and the Regional Fund for Contemporary Art. (FRAC) New Aquitaine. Webpage :

The appointment is given. From May 12 to 15, 2022, the Taste of Paris festival will take over the ephemeral Grand Palais to offer you the signature dishes of the greatest Parisian chefs, but also (and above all) the products of producers and artisans from all over Europe! A real boon for all cooking enthusiasts. And like last year, among the stands, we find our little darling: that of the campaign Europe defends its terroirs, dedicated to AOP / IGP products from the South-West. Webpage :

Anyone who has ever picnicked in the area of ​​Les Invalides ! has already come across them. The happy bunch of bunnies from the Invalides (the 2nd largest family of rabbits in Paris after that of the Bois de Boulogne), will be able to continue frolicking in the area. The prefecture has been fighting for years to have them banned by categorizing them as “harmful”, and therefore to have the right to kill them, and the City of Paris has just sided with the animal protection associations. It is finally done, since on April 12, the prefecture decided to repeal its decree. Finally allowing rabbits to roam free! Great news love to see them by the canons lol !! City of Paris going outs on the rabbits:

The Netflix event series resumes filming! In June, Emily in Paris begins filming its third season. Open your eyes wide in the streets of Paris, you may see Lily Collins in her incredible outfits. If last year, nearly 1000 Parisian extras were recruited for season 2, it is quite possible that this will be the case again for this new part. Netflix webpage :

A little over 800 abbeys are now listed in France. This non-exhaustive tour of France of monastic architectural marvels is an invitation to discover a world “outside the world”, all the more shrouded in secrets as it is largely unknown to us. My favorites are

In Royaumont, the convent buildings and what remains of the abbey church give a small idea of ​​the abbey founded by the future Saint Louis in 1228.

Fontevraud , the order created here by Robert d’Arbrissel was one of the most powerful in France in the 17C. And the most original surely, since, if it brought together men and women, the rule wanted it to be directed by an abbess, Fontevraud became a royal necropolis: Richard the Lionheart rests there!

Mont-Saint-Michel must be seen from the immensities of its bay. The wonder of the west begs to be first contemplated from afar, set on the horizon on the sandbanks or on the short grass of the salt marshes. But it is under the vaults of the abbey as in the cloister overlooking the bay, that Mont-Saint-Michel remains for all the wonder of wonders.

Cluny (Citeaux and Clairvaux) ,At the end of the 11C, less than two hundred years after its foundation, Cluny Abbey commanded 450 monasteries and 1,500 priories, totaling 10,000 Benedictine monks spread throughout the West. The only remains left standing are a few that allow you to visualize, on the ground, what was the largest church in Christendom. A few figures illustrate its gigantism. 187 meters long for a width of 65 meters and a height under vaults reaching 33 meters, it was known to accommodate up to 30,000 faithful.

Legend has it that Moissac Abbey was created by Clovis in 506, after his victory over the Goths. But history affirms that it is about Dagobert and his sons, between 630 and 655, One can stay hours admiring the tympanum of the great portal of the abbey of Saint-Pierre, captivated by the power of this evocation of the Apocalypse according to Saint John the Evangelist.

If there is one abbey where the presence of the Cistercian spirit is strongly felt, it is that of Sénanque, near Gordes, and for two reasons. The first is that a community of monks live and work there hard. The second is that this monastery with its particularly remarkable medieval architecture is open to visitors. As we discover it today, the old part of Sénanque is indeed identical to what it was in the 12C. It is between the end of June and mid-July that you have to come to Sénanque, when the lavandin is in bloom.

Symbols of civil authority, these watchtowers dominate the landscape of the cities of the Nord (North). Sometimes attached to town halls, their medieval, Gothic or Renaissance architecture houses chimes whose melodies punctuate urban time. Among the twenty-three belfries of the North classified as World Heritage of Humanity by Unesco, here are the five to see absolutely me think,

Béthune, It is the flagship monument of the city. Built in the 14-15C, it stands alone 33 meters high in the middle of Grand’Place, after having escaped two tragedies. In 1664, a fire destroyed the cloth hall which was at its base. In 1918, it was damaged by bombs. Restored identically in 1921, renovated again in 2021, it shines in the evening. At the top, accessible by a staircase of 133 steps, the carillon of 35 bells is one of the most beautiful in the North of France,

Douai, this monument completed at the beginning of the 15C rises to 54 meters. It is crowned with turrets, pinnacles and skylights, surmounted by the great lion of Flanders. From bottom to top, we discover the guard room and its huge fireplace, the bell ringer room and the bell room, where the 62 bells of the most important carillon in France are gathered ;196 steps higher, the view opens on the city.

Arras, if it is not the highest in the North, the belfry of the capital of Artois (elected favorite monument of the French in 2015) reconstructed identically after the Great War or WWI, rises to 75 meters . It overlooks the Place des Héros (market on Wednesdays and Saturdays) and the Renaissance wing of the town hall. The originality is due to its Gothic architecture and the splendid panorama open on the Flemish Baroque buildings of the city, from the observation platform. The belfry also houses a carillon of 37 bells, which comes to life every quarter of an hour.

Calais , adjoining the town hall, it rises majestically in its red brick adornment, offering an unparalleled view of the city and the port. In its Flemish Renaissance style, with pinnacles and terminal spire, it houses an electronic carillon at the top which plays Gentille Annette, by Boieldieu, every hour. Its visit is inseparable from that of the town hall, one of the most aesthetic in France. Inside, the wedding hall will recall a historical event: it was here that Yvonne Vendroux and Charles de Gaulle were married in 1921.

Armentières , Massive and square in its dark brickwork, the belfry fits into the building of the town hall, which it dominates by 67 meters, with its bell tower covered with slates. After climbing 96 steps, it offers a 360° view of the city’s districts, churches and parks, but also, on a clear day, of the towers of Lille, the Loos slag heap, the valley of the Lys, the Monts de Flandre and even the Belgian countryside.

There you go folks, another round of great news from my belle France, me think… Hope you enjoy the post and do visit these wonderful places. Hope to see you around here some day ,would be fun lol!!

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

April 3, 2022

Some news from France, CCCLXII

Well can’t be too far from my belle France and my lovely posts of some news from France! The times have come back to cold and 1 cm of snow in my neck of the woods! And it will be for the next couple of days. And this is Spring! oh well we go on normally as this is nothing compare to where we have lived before….Now let me tell you of the latest tidbits of my France.

The regions of Hauts-de-France, Centre and Île-de-France, a high probability of snow showers from this Friday April 1 2022 morning. One to three centimeters (about one inch!) are expected in Paris and its suburbs, even five in the most rural departments and in the plains of the Paris Basin, on the night of Thursday March 31 to Friday April 1, (actually this has been extended to Monday April 4th). It’s freezing air, a pocket breaking away from the polar vortex and descending rapidly like a toboggan over Western Europe to create a cold drop at high altitudes, There should be no fear of morning frosts from here on Friday but that could change as of Saturday and Sunday, when this cold mass will have resumed its path towards the east, leaving a clear sky favorable to their formation according to Meteo France, I have the app in my phone but this is good info to know ahead of coming any time :

Some nice ideas to vacation in France, and already visited with posts in my blog ; these can easily be done by train from Paris too.

Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme, an adorable sloping city of bricks and half-timbering. It enchants the eyes of visitors with its simplicity and the quality of its very well-presented heritage. Going up the main street, you will admire the houses with colorful shutters, but also the district of Courtgain, where sailors once lived who fished for shrimp or worked on the open sea. On two streets lined with cobblestones, those of the Moulins and Pilotes, follow one another of small terraced houses abundantly flowered, See the Guillaume towers and the castle, the Saint-Pierre Chapel with brick, limestone and flint walls. Back at the entrance to the city, the visit ends in the little tourist train that connects Saint-Valéry to Crotoy, another city full of charm. The Bay of the Somme tourist office on Saint Valéry sur Somme:

Only 70 km from Paris, time stands still. In Moret-sur-Loing, (which became Moret-Loing-et-Orvanne in 2015), the presence of the Middle Ages asserts itself everywhere, which makes all the charm of wandering around this town bathed by the Loing river with fortified gates, dungeon and ramparts recount a moment of history , Thus Alfred Sisley posed there for twenty years during his easel. The painter is buried in the cemetery of Moret. Of the thousand paintings signed with his name, more than four hundred evoke the landscapes of Moret and the surrounding area (Veneux-Les Sablons, Saint-Mammès and Thomery). You need to taste the authentic barley sugar, invented in 1638 by Benedictine nuns. The combination of three products, water, sugar and barley ,still made according to the original recipe, the best sweetness for irritated throats! Fans will try the cheese and charcuterie flavored with barley sugar and visit the museum which tells its story… The Moret sur Loing tourist office on the candy :

Villers-sur-mer , Calvados dept 14, only 13 km from Trouville, on the Côte fleurie or Flowery Coast, the old rural town has taken advantage of its seaside to become a pretty family seaside resort, Georges Méliès spent holidays there and filmed there… just like in the 20C François Truffault. The latter closes his “Quatre cents coups” by filming the discovery of the sea by Jean-Pierre Léaud in Villers! The town is renowned for its scallops, coastal fishing and boating, The In Deauville tourist office on Villers sur mer :

Trouville is only 2h15 by train (direct) from Paris which allows you to consider a round trip over a day. Even before arriving, the Norman landscape scrolls past the window and lends itself to reverie… meadows, herds of Norman cows and, finally, the terminus and the seaside. The Trouville-Deauville train station leaves you a few steps from the heart of the city. Turn right on leaving, cross the flowered bridge and you are facing the fishing port. Barely a ten-minute walk and the large beach bordered by its sublime villas awaits you. Those with a sweet tooth will not fail to taste the cakes from the Charlotte Corday pastry shop, including the famous “Tarte Antoine”, in tribute to the TV host Antoine de Caunes, a native of the city. The Trouville tourist office :

Paimpol or Pem Poull = the end of the pond or pond-, in the Côtes-d’Armor dept 22 lives to the rhythm of the sea, an activity that has led the Paimpolais to Iceland, as the novelist Pierre Loti relates in “Fisherman of Iceland” (1886). Another testimony in the heart of town, the statue of Théodore Botrel, the author of the song “La Paimpolaise” (1895). The winding streets take you to the other monument of the city: the Jézéquel cutlery, a Paimpolaise institution since 1886! Held by the fourth generation, this hardware store installed in a half-timbered house conceals a thousand treasures, from nails to the weighing machine to gardening tools and stylized fish hooks…Other things to see are the pointe de Guilben to the Abbey of Beauport while lovers of old trains will choose the open air of the Trieux steamer, an old-fashioned locomotive that connects Paimpol to Pontrieux along the Trieux estuary, The Guingamp-Paimpol tourist office on things to see:

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, the fortified city, Between the Basque coast and the Spanish border, this fortified city of less than 2000 souls, classified among the most beautiful villages in France, is nicknamed the capital of Lower Navarre. About 50 km from the Basque coast, this old town with cobbled streets in which you will enjoy getting lost is dominated by the citadel founded in the 17C. Steep stairs will lead you there, wear good shoes! You will discover a splendid view. Each year, thousands of walkers en route to Santiago de Compostela make a final stop in the city. On Monday mornings, the Farmers’ Market packed with local produce will help you soak up the town’s atmosphere. Don’t leave without treating yourself to a pair of espadrilles hand-sewn for over 30 years by the Arangois family at rue d’Espagne. The Pays Basque tourist office on Saint Jean Pied de Port :

Then, news closer to home… The Salle du Jeu de Paume will reopen on April 1st 2022, after been in renovation since July 2021, The room is close by the Château de Versailles. It was not renovated since the bicentenial of the French revolution in 1989! The renovation was done on the roof, the framework, the joinery, the painted decoration of the room and its floor. In terms of works of art, Olivier Merson’s famous canvas depicting the Oath of the Royal Tennis Court, based on David’s drawing, has also been restored. Webpage :

On April 1st 2022, the apartments of the Dauphin will reopen in the Château de Versailles after been close since 2013. Located on the ground floor (1fl), in the central body of the palace/museum, the Dauphin’s apartment is one of the most prestigious in the former royal residence. The three rooms that compose it: bedroom, Grand Cabinet, library, offer a unique perspective on the gardens. Webpage :

The Saint-Lazare train station, considered the poor relation of rail traffic, line J has just lost two direct trains between Mantes-la-Jolie (Yvelines 78) and Paris (75). These are only trains from Rouen (Seine Maritime 76) with departures 11h17 and 15h17 for stops at 12h10 and 16h12 at Mantes station) and running on line J: many trains from Cherbourg (Manche 50), Rouen or Le Havre (Seine-Maritime 76) indeed mark the stop at Mantes-la-Jolie before reaching Paris. SNCF train schedules :

The «Les fantômes d’Orsay», or “The Ghosts of Orsay”, by Sophie Calle, is on view until June 12, 2022 at the Musée d’Orsay. Haven’t heard of the Gare d’Orsay (7éme) or its grand hotel? Go to the Musée d’Orsay, to meet the “ghosts of Orsay”* who still haunt the place thanks to the relics carefully collected and preserved by Sophie Calle ,Museum webpage :

A fresh start and 72 new shops for the Centre Commercial des 3 Fontaines shopping centre in Cergy (95). The long-awaited extension of the shopping center has been open to the public since this Wednesday ( 30 March 2022) , The 33,000 m2 extension will eventually accommodate 72 shops, all of which should have moved in in their new cells within six to eight months. The site now offers an area of 100,000 m2 and 3,700 parking spaces, One nostalgic center that used to visit when lived in Versailles ! webpage :

The Centre Commercial Les Saisons, the hour of renewal has come more than six years after its opening, the center is diversifying its activities within its Chauconin-Neufmontiers gallery at the gates of Meaux (Seine-et-Marne 77) in order to meet new customer expectations and revitalize itself . These are not traditional stores but rather rare establishments in this type of place. In recent months, two associations, a coworking space and a school have settled there. Visit as near family member! Webpage :

A little over 30 years ago, Disneyland Paris, today the number one tourist destination in Europe, emerged from the ground. The main employer in Seine-et-Marne 77 is also the engine of urban and economic development in the Val-d’Europe conurbation. The countdown is on before Disneyland Paris officially turns 30 on April 12 2022. But the first amusement park in Europe is not the only one to celebrate a symbolic anniversary this year. The agglomeration of Val-d’Europe, on the territory of which the Disney parks and hotels are also, Thise area when first came to it near my wife town was marshes and cows pasture, today is a vibrant modern area as Orlando FL USA was, webpage :

The short metro line from Mont d’Est to Noisy-le-Grand will never be used to transport passengers. Almost thirty years later, the town hall is launching a call for projects to transform it into a place of urban and popular culture. It’s hard to imagine that here, stuck to this busy RER A station in Noisy-le-Grand – Mont d’Est, hides a small abandoned automatic metro line. However, tunnel, cabins, landing platform and exchange room have been waiting for nearly thirty years for passengers who will never arrive. Exurbis site WordPress for more info in French :

Until May 28, 2022, Contemporary works of art exhibited in shops. This is the funny initiative of the “Neighborhood Museum” operation which installed paintings and photographs usually exhibited at the musée des Abattoirs, Toulouse. More info at museum webpage :

Every year the Loto du Patrimoine (heritage lottery) takes place. Since 2019, the lotto has been made in two draws, one on July 14 and the scratch game on World Heritage Day, this game was created as part of the Mission Stéphane Bern by the Française des jeux (French lotery organisation) . What purpose ? Raise funds for the Heritage Foundation, a foundation that maintains monuments and is responsible for restoring those in danger, whether they are historical monuments or not. Yes indeed, Great!!

For this 5th edition of Loto du Patrimoine, 18 sites have been selected, one in each French region. On September 17 and 18, the amounts granted will be revealed. Discover the list of the 18 sites selected for 2022!
GRAND EST site: First castle of the princes of Salm in Sénones (Vosges)
AUVERGNE-RHÔNE-ALPES site: Spring park in Vichy (Allier)
NOUVELLE AQUITAINE site: Italian-style theater in Guéret (Creuse)
PROVENCE-ALPES-CÔTE D’AZUR site: Castellas de Roquemartine in Eyguières (Bouches-du-Rhône)
BOURGOGNE-FRANCHE-COMTÉ site: Priory of Charité-sur-Loire (Nièvre)
Site BRITTANY: Former penal colony of Belle-Île-en-Mer (Morbihan)!!!YES!!!see post
HAUTS-DE-FRANCE site: Oignies mining headframes (Pas-de-Calais)
ILE-DE-FRANCE website: Church of Saint-Louis in Villemomble (Seine-Saint-Denis)
OCCITANIE site: Stewardship House of the Montpellier Botanical Garden (Hérault)
PAYS DE LA LOIRE website: Porte Beucheresse in Laval (Mayenne)!!! YES!!see post
CORSICA site: Castle of Quenza (southern Corsica)
NORMANDY site: Church and veterinary infirmary of Haras du Pin (Orne)
CENTRE-VAL DE LOIRE site: House of the Alixes in Gien (Loiret)
GUYANA site: Acarouany village in Mana
Site LA RÉUNION: Former Pierrefonds sugar factory, in Saint-Pierre
MAYOTTE site: Former Hajangoua sugar factory, in Dembéni
MARTINIQUE site: Atlas cinema in Anses d’Arlet

And while doing compilation for this post, saw an article to vacation in the Azores islands of Portugal! This brought back many memories of a time gone by where sadly pictures were not able to be taken, been poor. Here is my bit of story about me too!

The Açores islands of Portugal are between Europe and North America, Nine volcanic islands offer a rainbow of discoveries like the Pico volcano, 2351 meters above sea level and the highest peak in Portugal . It emerges 1600 km from Portugal and 2450 km from Canada. Nice things to see here are the Nssa. Sra Da Assunçâo Church, Santa Maria Museum, Baia de Säo Lourenço bay,, Formosa praia or beach, However, my story goes deeper than just sights !

Many many years ago, 51 to be exact, I landed at the Santa Maria airport on a freedom flight from Havana to Madrid on a 16 hrs flight onboard a Brittania four propeller aircraft!! I was with my dear mom Gladys who sadly passed away in Versailles in 2007. I will never forget this trip, and weird that I have not gone back. Looking at a travel magazine, gave me the idea to put it in my blog, and hopefully the right timing to finally visit in a more happier time.

The official ANA airport of Santa Maria :

The Açores islands tourist office:

There you go folks, another dandy round of my some news from France! Hope you have enjoy it as I. And see you around, planning already for the next move in my road warrior world!! Salut!

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

March 27, 2022

Some news from France, CCCLXI

Here we are again, and the sunshine comes thru nicely these days; we have even had our lunch and dinners in the veranda! Today March 27, we change the hours in France one more ok. As I write ,it is 9h23 or 9:23 a.m. and already sunny nice!! Let me tell you my latest some news from France; hope you enjoy it as I.

Less than two weeks after the spectacular cloud of sand from the Sahara that swept across France, a new sandy rain is coming its way. According to forecasters, it will last until Wednesday March 30th, before a strong northerly wind dissipates it. According to the European institute Copernicus, a cloud of Saharan sand has risen above the Maghreb and is heading towards Italy and France. This time, the sand cloud of the next few days will not be accompanied by heavy rain, but by a very beautiful sun. This will limit the deposit of sand on cars and windows, since the absence of humidity will limit the adhesion of dust. I already had to car wash my car in advance….

La traversée de Paris or the crossing of Paris in vintage cars canceled due to pollution !
The demonstration is the collateral victim of the episode of fine particle pollution which affects Île-de-France this weekend. The prefecture has decided that “only vehicles with a Crit’Air class 0, 1 and 2 sticker will be authorized to circulate” within the perimeter of the A86 from this Saturday (today). Originally scheduled for January 9, the event had already been canceled three days earlier and postponed to March 27. At the time for health reasons. Webpage info :

Who says Paris is expensive ! These popular little neighborhood cafes, where you can find home-style cooking in an equally family-friendly setting, are back in vogue. More than 120 Parisian addresses revealed in the « Guide du Paris boui-boui ». Gourmet getaways for less than 15 euros! by Chloé Vasselin, which has just been published (Gallimard, 13.50 euros). A cosmopolitan directory with 120 Parisian addresses classified by district. Examples I know, at Sapori di Parma (7éme), everything breathes Italy ,At 17 Rue Ramponeau (20éme). You Chez Ramona, born in Spain, Ramona arrived at the age of 7 in Belleville, where her mother opened a restaurant which she still manages today. Wonderful real food at good prices in still Paris !! Gallimard webpage :

Monoprix goes to the flea market, The brand is launching an event on the theme of the flea market until April 6. Antique and restored products are offered for sale in 25 participating stores, including six in Paris. The store brand has teamed up with Selency, a site selling second-hand furniture and decorations, for the launch of a unique event, More info at Selency :

For info : French companies that have still not made the choice to leave Russia despite the invasion of Ukraine, the Auchan hypermarket. The Decathlon and Leroy Merlin stores ,also belonging to the Mulliez galaxy, Too bad , just saying.

But here comes my Château de Versailles to the rescue of free minds, As promised, the “concert of the Ukrainians” will take place on April 8 at the Palace of Versailles, Three young Ukrainian musicians stranded in France will join the Royal Orchestra for this special evening. The funds will be donated to the Fondation de France. The event is scheduled for 20h (8 p.m.) in the Royal Chapel of the Sun King’s residence. The orchestra will perform pieces by Bernstein, Chopin, Mendelssohn and Mozart. The Ukrainian national anthem will be performed after this concert. Ticket sales open to the public from Monday, March 28. Online sales at:

or in the Palace of Versailles boutique (Monday to Friday from 11h to 18h, located at 3, rue des Reservoirs in Versailles.

Huchez, the watchmaker who has watched over the bell towers of Île-de-France region and Oise dept 60 for 190 years, The latest update, after climbing 167 steps, we arrive at the top of the bell tower of Church Saint-Etienne de Beauvais , Webpage :

When, at 18h51 or 6:51 p.m. on April 15, 2019, the Paris firefighters were called for the start of a fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral, no one still suspected that there would be hundreds of them converging all night on the Île de la Cité for a historic event. Among them, about thirty rescuers from Yvelines dept 78. Steve Venot, a firefighter from this group, filmed the Notre-Dame fire from the basket of an exceptional machine belonging to the department’s emergency service. The director Jean-Jacques Annaud recovered these images and integrated them into his film “Notre-Dame brule”, or Notre Dame Burns released on the screens this past March 16 2022. Preview at Allôcine :

With its Fata Morgana festival, the Jeu de Paume museum of Paris, invites artists to play with light , Its first festival, dedicated to recent creation, with an exhibition of 26 visual artists and a series of events until May 22, 2022. The term refers to a mirage occurring on the surface of the sea, which conjures up, suspended above the water, a distorted vision of what lies beyond the horizon: a phantom ship, a form of flying oil, a floating island… Under this title, it is indeed the question of perception – its complexity, its poetry and its illusions – which is at the heart of the selected works, signed by twenty-six different artists. Webpage :

The Dior 30 Montaigne boutique in Paris, the new temple of the LVMH group, A gallery, lounges, gardens, a restaurant and, of course, a boutique… In early March, the historic address of the Christian Dior house, founded in 1946 by the couturier, reopened its doors after two years of pharaonic work. Webpage :

If Cézanne and Kandinsky are cult painters, no painting is to be seen. 140 laser projectors blast 3,000 images and as many colors onto the walls and floor against a background of music by Chopin or Woody Allen. The two new exhibitions of the Atelier des Lumières are the promise of an intense immersive experience. Atelier des Lumières, 38, rue Saint-Maur ,11éme, Until January 2 2023 ,webpage :

I mentioned his prize in a previous some news from France now here is the chef! Arnaud Donckele crowned with three Michelin stars for Plénitude, based in the Samaritaine, in Paris, Plénitude serves a cuisine where vegetables, meats and fish are “simple condiments” intended to highlight the saucier repertoire. Only once in thirty years: that a new restaurant snatch three stars in its first year of existence. Arnaud Donckele has just accomplished this tour de force for the Plénitude table at the Cheval Blanc hotel in Paris, inaugurated in September 2021 in the renovated premises of La Samaritaine , Since 2005, he has been the chef of the Vague d’Or, in Saint -Tropez (Var 83), for which he already obtained three stars in 2013. In 2016, LVMH acquired the establishment and brought the chef into its network of luxury hotels. The group gave him the keys to Cheval Blanc Paris – in addition to Saint-Tropez in 2018. webpage :

During the festival du film policier or detective film festival, from April 5 to 10, 2022 , the public will be able to view some forty works but also enjoy master classes and tributes. To win the European Capital of Culture label in 2028, Reims is mobilizing and building an ambitious policy. This is how the Reims Polar detective film festival was born, imagined by Bruno Barde. Artistic director of the Deauville American Film Festival and director of the Gérardmer International Fantastic Film Festival, he is once again at work for this second edition of the Reims meeting. Webpage :

In the Oise, the major works of the Seine-Nord Europe Canal have begun. After preparatory work started in the fall, the first cranes are investing the towns of Pimprez and Ribécourt-Dreslincourt in order to build quays there. This time that’s it, the “construction site of the century” has started. Construction work on a 150-meter quay has begun. The Seine-Nord Europe Canal will link the Oise to the Dunkerque-Escaut canal, from Compiègne to Aubencheul-au-Bac, near Cambrai. Which will accommodate boats up to 185 meters long and up to 11.40 meters wide, which can contain 4,400 tonnes of goods, the equivalent of 220 trucks. The Canal Seine Nord Europe project :

The history of the Pavillon de Manse, also called Moulin des Princes, is linked to that of the Château de Chantilly. Built in the 17C to house the hydraulic machine that supplied the fountains in the gardens, it housed machines from the industrial era in the 19C. It will soon be three hundred and fifty years since it sits majestically on the banks of a small river, the Nonette, a ten-minute walk from the Château de Chantilly. Majestic with its white stones under a blue spring sky, it has barely aged. However, the Manse pavilion, built to house the machine to play the “Grandes Eaux” of the royal site, almost quietly disappeared under the vegetation, A site renovated by local enthusiasts ! Official webpage :

Alain Baraton, chief gardener of the Domaine national du Trianon and the Grand Parc de Versailles (Yvelines 78), has just published a book for children. “Their garden explained to children”, published on March 16 by Glénat jeunesse in the “When it’s going, when it’s not going” collection, offers a dive into the world of plants and flowers, with a thousand secrets to understand how they live together. Also, since 2009, he has also been in charge of the Domaine du Marly estate. He is national correspondent of the French Academy of Agriculture and author of numerous books on gardening, plants and Versailles. More info at Gléant in French :

He has almost 6,000 paintings scattered in private collections and museums around the world. Almost thirty years after his death, the painter of Italian origin Pierre Bosco is honored in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines 78), the town where he settled in the 1930s. He completed his days in Vernouillet (Yvelines 78), where the cultural space and a street bear his name. A tribute exhibition bringing together nearly 270 paintings and drawings is to be discovered at the Manège Royal until Sunday 27 March (today). The pieces exhibited are essentially from the family, or lent by individuals. The panel is large enough to grasp the evolution of the work of the man known to the general public mainly for his horse races, his cockfights or his pelotons of cyclists. In the United States where his work was particularly “fashionable”, especially in the 1960s after an exhibition with resounding success. Witness the paintings that joined the collections of some of the great Hollywood stars of the time, such as Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas. Late but worth mentioning held at the Manége Royal or Royal Armory in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Free admission. The Seine St Germain tourist office on the Manége Royal :

In the Potager du Roi , the “construction site of the century” financed by donations has begun. The third major renovation of the royal garden, whose construction was completed in 1683, is underway. At Versailles, the craze for the King’s kitchen garden made it possible to finance the restoration of a few lines of trellising out of the 68 around which revolves the central square of this nourishing garden, created at the request of Louis XIV. These long frames, several meters long, allow the pear trees to grow in the form of “palmettes”. Wonderful news raising about 70K€ to do this !! webpage :

After two years of interruption, the shearing and wool festival welcomes visitors again until Sunday evening 27 March (today). Transformation workshop, demonstration of herding dogs… Workshops and events offer an immersion in the heart of the wool industry. the Bergerie Nationale of Rambouillet (Yvelines 78). This rather spectacular intervention is the flagship event of the wool festival, organized at the Bergerie since 1986. On a podium set up in the middle of haystacks, the sheep enter the ring two by two and pass through the expert hands of the shearers. . In two days, the Bergerie collects around 250 kg of wool. It is recovered by the association Laine de Par ici, located in Magny-les-Hameaux (Yvelines 78), which ensures its transformation. The Bergerie Nationale watches over some 400 sheep, including 150 Merinos. This breed imported from Spain and reproduced in Rambouillet without any crossbreeding is also the subject of an exhibition, « La Guerre des moutons » or the war of sheeps, presented until April 18 at the National Archives, in Paris. Merinos are sheared later in the season: only their Roman cousins ​​will shed their fleece this weekend. Bergerie Nationale webpage :

The Archives Nationales on the exhibition :

One of the latest acquisitions from the Air and Space Museum, at Le Bourget, is a miniature representing the flight, on September 19, 1783, of a balloon from the Palace of Versailles. It is the first flight in the world with living beings. On board, a duck, a rooster and a sheep. A fragile gouache on paper, protected by a glass that the ravages of time have cracked. Eight centimeters in diameter on which Jacques Duchamps immortalizes, with delicate brushstrokes, the jubilant crowd in the main courtyard of the Palace of Versailles and a gigantic balloon, rising leaning in the air. This miniature representing the first flight with living beings, in 1783, was acquired by the Air Museum to complete its vast collection devoted to the pioneers of aerostation, webpage :

From its height of 12 meters, it has seen five centuries of local history pass by. But at 543 years old, it’s time for a little refreshment for the emblematic halle of Milly-la-Forêt, in Essonne dept 91. The work will last between 10 and 14 months , It was built by Admiral de Graville, after authorization from King Louis XI by letters patent of May 5, 1479, Its role was to host the Thursday market. At the time, the surrounding towns were even prohibited from organizing theirs on the same day. Even today, the Milly-la-Forêt market is held every Thursday afternoon, under the halle. The time of work, it is moved, like all the activities which took place under it, on the place du Colombier. Always a must over the centuries, the halle has been contemplated by the greatest: Kings Louis XI, Henri IV and François 1er, but, also by Richelieu, Madame de Sévigné, and the young officer Napoléon Bonaparte when he was a student of the school. de Brienne in 1786 laid their eyes on this incredible edifice. There were many inns around the halle. Newer visitors include , Jean Cocteau, Jean Marais, Christian Dior, Françoise Sagan or the singer Claude François, when he was staying at the Moulin de Dannemois, passed through the halle. The Milly-la-Forêt tourist office on the Halles :

The tourist season begins this weekend (26-27 March 2022) in Provins (Seine-et-Marne 77). It is marked by the 20th anniversary, celebrated all year round, of the UNESCO classification of the city as a World Heritage Site. The Provins tourist office :

Biarritz, the former fishing village that became a chic seaside resort in the mid-19C, now attracts ocean lovers and discerning gourmands. The configuration of the Port Vieux beach allows easy launching, even when the swell is heavy. A natural swimming lane rises up to the Rocher de la Vierge, whose metal footbridge is designed by Gustave Eiffel. The Halles at rue des Halles. Open every day (from 7h30 to 13h30, and all year round, the Arostéguy delicatessen there since 1875, has offered the best of teas, jams, charcuterie, spices and spirits, We cross the threshold of Bookstore, 27, place Georges-Clemenceau which houses the former shop of Mademoiselle Chanel, a high place of elegance for the seaside resort of the time. The place has retained a crazy charm: frontage in fir green wood, atypical British-style architecture, reading corner… The walk continues on rue Gambetta, the busiest artery of the city. At the Haitz Pean center, in Anglet, very close to Biarritz, to learn to send the ball back against the wall with your hand or a chistera (curved wicker glove) after a rebound, like in tennis. The typical and essential sport of the Basque Country! This is Biarritz in one day folks, love it, The Biarritz tourist office :

There you go folks, another dandy episode of my enjoyable posts some news from France! Hope you enjoy it as I. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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