Posts tagged ‘Versailles’

August 9, 2022

Some news from France , CCCLXVI

It’s time again 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 CCCLXVI is 366 , another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are in Summer ,and temps already back to canicule level so drink,,,anything, and we continue eating out in our veranda porch , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Now for the lovers of doors, which i see plenty bloggers are, the one unique and the best for me is at 29 avenue Rapp 7éme arrondissement of Paris. This is an Art Nouveau building and door and done by Jules Lavirotte the best example of the belle epoque. The entry door with a heading of a women head sculpture around Adam and Eve chase from paradise is awesome to look at. I used to have a picture of it but can’t find it, if you like doors go by there is a must really.

The recruitment campaign completed last March 2022 has enabled eighteen new sellers to set up shop on the banks of the Seine, alongside the famous green boxes filled with books Paris has seen 18 street booksellers set up shop on the banks of the Seine, On the Quai de l’Hôtel-de-Ville in Paris (4éme), exits from the Pont-Marie metro. These are the new famous Bouquinistes de Paris !!!

Competition for the most beautiful terrace in Paris: merchants invited to sublimate “the French art of living”. Selection criteria: aesthetics, vegetation, quality of materials and respect for environmental issues. The vote is on in the city of Paris !

The A1 closed for nearly three days to lay the footbridge connecting the Stade de France to the Olympic Aquatic Center, A spectacular operation will be carried out in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis 93), between this Monday evening from 22h and Thursday at 04h in order to remove the bridge linking these two major Olympic Games 2024 sites. It will lead to the closure of part of the highway/ motorway for 54 hours.

How customs fight against fraud and trafficking on the A1 highway/motorway, On the busiest motorway in Europe, the forty customs officers of the internal surveillance brigade (BSI) of Nogent-sur-Oise are increasing the seizures of illicit products. Report on the outskirts of Chamant, the largest toll gate in the Hauts-de-France region. The agent asks a few questions: “Where are you from? », « What were you doing there? “, ” Where are you going ? “, ” Why ? “. “The idea is to understand the logic of their journey.” And perhaps also to detect an ounce of feverishness? It’s mostly a matter of experience, Big brother is watching you on the roads of France, And of course, this goes up wonder why huh !

The Domaine Chabrand-Thibault estate, a veritable green lung that was once private ,the local govt now will install a promenade there. Beyond a breathtaking view of the Seine valley and the Paris region, the Chabrand-Thibault estate, in Cormeilles-en-Parisis, definitely conceals many treasures. this vast green lung of nine hectares, owned by the region since 2014 and included in the regional space of the buttes du Parisis, to open it to the public in March 2023. There will be a paved promenade in balcony and a staircase of 180 steps, which will cross this island historically attached to the private estate of La Châtaigneraie. Located in the historic city center, and along the strategic road, the park is crossed by a forest and a meadow. It owes its name to Jean-Victor Thibault, a notary who married Anne Émilie Gabrielle Chabrand, daughter of an important landowner, and who donated a lot of land to the city. Visitors will therefore soon be able to walk around the site to discover its alleys populated by bicentenary oaks and chestnut trees, but also its remains of a romantic park , and in particular white arches whose origin remains unexplained as well as its many species of birds such as the Woodpecker, the Jay of the oaks or the Blackcap. The domain having been closed for fifty years ! , it is rather the non-humans who have taken up residence there.Until now,,,info webpage in French :

The national forest of Compiègne (Oise 60 ) attracts around 1.5 million visitors a year. Among the most frequented sites are the belvedere of Beaux-Monts and the ponds of Saint-Pierre in Vieux-Moulin. A little corner of paradise among swans, dragonflies and moorhens. is adorned with a pedestrian path, an educational trail and many other surprises Parking area, pedestrian path, cycle path, educational trail…Nice lung to wandered around me think, webpage :

In the Palace of Versailles there are very elaborate, the souvenir shops of the residence of the Sun King offer thousands of handpicked references. Each product has been validated to ensure that it complies with the image of the castle. A business that targets both new visitors and regulars. The Palace of Versailles, its Hall of Mirrors, its Trianon, its gardens… and its shops. Each more neat than the other. In the middle of summer, that of the Dufour Pavilion, located at the end of the visit, is teeming with tourists. Each year, they are 7 million to hurry to the Sun King. And so many potential customers. I have a post about the castle shops! Webpage :

The RATP strikes very hard and invites you to explore, thanks to its interactive map, all the underground street art works it has listed. To carry out this project, the Parisian transport group has joined forces with Notorious Brand, an artists’ collective and Quai 36, an art production house. RATP pdf map :

It is possible to enjoy a breathtaking 360 degree view of all of Paris from the colonnade of the Pantheon! Until now reserved for guided tours, you can now take advantage of this entry visit for only 11.50 euros. The Panthéon, Place du Panthéon 5éme Paris, webpage:

The Paris Zoological Park, located in the Bois de Vincennes, in the 12éme arrondissement, offers a new experience to come and discover: Sundays at the zoo “Between friends”. Every last Sunday of the month, you can recharge your batteries with your friends: note August 28, September 25 and October 23. Paris Zoological Park Avenue Daumesnil 12éme, webpage:

At the beginning of July, the Abbey of Maubuisson inaugurated “AVA” a Virtual Assistant of Archeology which allows to discover the history of the place in an original and alternative way. Let yourself be transported by this sound journey and come and live an unforgettable interactive experience! Maubuisson Abbey Abbey Park, Avenue Richard de Tour – 95310 Saint-Ouen l’Aumône, Every day From 8h to 20h, Until October 10, From 8h to 18h30, From October 11 to March 31 webpage :

The Basilica Sacre Coeur or Sacred Heart, have you visited it from the inside? At almost 130 meters above sea level, enjoy a view of all of Paris. Located at the Butte Montmartre, it is open to the public every day. With the strong summer heat, take the time to cool off inside the place and admire the many stained glass windows and the impressive mosaic of Christ in Glory! Basilica of the Sacred Heart, 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre 18éme, webpage:

Located in the heart of the Bois de Vincennes, La Ferme de Paris is managed according to organic farming practices, with respect for the environment and animal welfare! On its 5 hectares available, meet very cute animals and enjoy the vegetable gardens, orchards, fields and forests! La Ferme De Paris, 1 Route du Pesage 12éme, Vincennes tourist office on the farm :

Since its reopening on June 3, come and have a good time at Jardin21 and enjoy its beautiful space of 1850 square meters. The cultural third place located on the edge of the Canal de l’Ourcq concocts beautiful afternoons but also beautiful summer evenings! Jardin21 ,12A rue Ella Fitzgerald 19éme ,webpage:

La Brasserie Fondamentale invites you to quench your thirst around a good beer with friends at more than 200 meters in height. Perched at the top of the Montparnasse Tower, we promise you a breathtaking view and a nice rooftop on the left bank! Tour Montparnasse, La Brasserie Fondamentale, Open 7 days a week, From 9h30 to 23h30, webpage:

The ephemeral terrace of the Trianon Palace in Versailles is hosting a new concept of “country barbecue” this summer. A unique grilled menu cooked in front of customers by chef Frédéric Larquemin. Every Thursday and Friday evening, as well as Saturday noon, the braziers are set up on the lawn to cook a selection of grilled meats in front of customers In this friendly atmosphere animated by a DJ, the codes of the palace are respected, The “Trianon Champêtre” formula is offered at 55 euros per person. It should last until the end of September, weather permitting, Bon appétit !webpage:

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior of this blog. Hope you enjoy the post and do prepare for an eventful Summer! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

August 5, 2022

My walks of my Versailles !!!

Ok so lots of walks all over my belle France, we really enjoy it. Not to be mistaken, I love to arrive into town with my car , but once in town,my feet are better than Supermen !! I like these series as it brings lots of family memories to me and share with your some interesting parts of a city me think. This time will take you to my dear Versailles, and my walks in my Versailles !!! Hope you enjoy it as I.

The former Hôtel de la Marine et des Affaires étrangéres, 5 rue de l’Independance Americaine is known for the grand galerie aux sept salles showing the beauty of France in Europe, having as themes the different cities of glorious dates of France. In the center it was a table en marbre that serves for ambassadors meetings and signature of treaties, At this table were signed the May 15 1768 the treaty that brough Corsica to France, and September 3 1783 in which England recognised the independance of the USA, The table is gone as are the archieves of foreign affairs that were replace by old books, The books were taken from noble men and royals by revolutionary confiscations in 1793 from the libraries of aristocrats and nobles that left Versailles,after the French revolution. It is now the Municipal Library of Versailles and course can be visited.

There is an intriguing passage opening onto the salon de l’oeil de bœuf or living room of the bull’s eye ,interior cabinet of the queen and there is a spiral staircase, or the staircase of the dupes. It was a secret passage used by Marie Antoinette to reach Axel Fersen lodging above her lodging. A service staircase like dozens of others in the Palace of Versailles  that the staff of the royal family used every day. But this passage is the oldest of all. This staircase would go back for some to the second castle of Louis XIII built between 1631 and 1634 for others, to the first campaign of work of Louis XIV between 1661 and 1668. The name of escalier des Dupes which is sometimes given is usurped because it is not contemporary with the famous day of the Dupes of November 10 1631 which saw Louis XIII reiterate against the advice of his mother Marie de Medici his confidence in Cardinal Richelieu in his Palace of Versailles. See it ask for it!

The bedroom of Louis XV in the interior apartment of the king, Arriving in Versailles in 1722 at the age of 12, Louis XV first occupied the large central room of his great grandfather, with 90 square meters and its 10 meters high ceiling , the bedroom was all the more difficult to heat in winter as it was exposed to the east, The King Beloved abandoned it at the age of 22 for a more comfortable room facing south, At the end of his reign these comings and goings were no longer an illusion so that it was in his private bedroom that the king died on May 10, 1774. The room that Louis XVI will occupy following his grandfather will remain one of these spaces of the castle which few mortals had the right to tread. Sublime !

The library and bathroom of Madame du Barry; small apartment of the king (2nd floor), Before becoming the title favorite of Louis XV in April 1769, Jeanne Bécu was a saleswoman in a fashion boutique on rue Saint Honoré in Paris. Marry to a certain Count of Barry for making her entry into court, she only reaped contempt and hostility. Aware of the scandal caused by the presence of this young woman of 25 years without nobility, Louis XV sought to protect her by installing her discreetly in his small apartment, It was the winter that Madame du Barry‘s apartment was used the most because in the spring the king and his close friends migrated to the countryside at the Petit Trianon. Louis XV was there with his favorite.

Let’s start with a bit on what is Versailles, a more historical perspective I like and do enjoy walking and riding these spots ! It is with the help of plates from Trudaine’s Atlas illustrating the roads and landscapes of France in the 17C that we learn about the former royal hunting estate of Versailles, built on an area of ​​approximately 10,000 hectares, i.e. an area equivalent to the city of Paris today !! In the beginning, the Val de Galie located between the old feudal divisions of Mantois, Pincerais, Laye, Parisis, Josas and Hureoix, occupied about two leagues of 25 degrees of length, in the direction of the south-east to the north-west, from Viroflay to Villepreux, and a league and a half approximately, in its greatest breadth from north to south, from Rocquencourt to Satory. In the titles of the 16C this valley is called Gally (some locals claims origin of the name of Versailles). To the north was the keep of the castellans of Rocquencourt, flanked by turrets and surrounded by walls, on a wooded hillside overlooking the plain dotted with woods and marshes, and the chapel of St Nicolas at a short distance and under the protection of the keep.This of course is a huge territory today but have done it by car and some posts in my blog !

The park of Versailles extends the gardens thanks to two large bodies of water: the Grand Canal and the pièce d’eau des Suisses, It covers approximately 800 hectares, criss-crossed by straight paths delimiting wooded areas and agricultural fields. This is all a road warrior lands and lots of walks, sublime , a must get away from the palace!

The Grand Canal of Versailles is a basin, part of the park of the Palace of Versailles, built from 1667 at the instigation of Le Nôtre. Before this date, the gate that closed the park was located behind the Bassin des Cygnes. The works completed in 1680, the Grand Canal will serve as the starting point for the fireworks given during the sumptuous royal celebrations that Louis XIV organized at Versailles. The latter would sail there with a substantial fleet: a three-master (“Le Grand Vaisseau”), a galley (“La Dunkerquoise”), rowboats, galiotes, brigantines, gondolas (offered by the Doge of Venice) and , from 1675, two yachts from England. The sailors who served on this flotilla were commanded by Captain Consolin and were housed from 1674 in buildings constructed especially for them near the Trianon, called the “Little Venice”. Every year on September 5, the anniversary of the birth of Louis XIV (in 1638); the Sun sets in line with the Grand Canal. In winter, when the frost prohibited all navigation, the Grand Canal was transformed into an ice rink welcoming skaters and sleds, when allowed,

On the Allée de la Reine, in the direction of the Trianon, the walker can let the rhythm of this quadruple alignment regulate his walk according to the alternation of shadow and light created by the trunks of the beech trees. The Place d’Armes du Grand Trianon presents itself to him like a large clearing before he plunges back into the darkness of the Allée des Mouchards. Reserving the Trianon gardens for a future getaway, it crosses the Fer à Cheval space open to the arm of the Grand Canal, then sinks into the forest path of Ru de Gally. The Allée de Saint-Cyr lends itself perfectly to the exercise. From the small hill where it takes off, at the corner of Allée des Rendez-vous, it offers a real panorama of the Estate. The high oak groves then the large agricultural plots rise in tiers, the damp projection of the Ru de Gally can be seen further on, and finally the order of the rows of lime trees which announce the Étoile royale, seen more than a kilometer from our starting point. Sublime !!

The Allée royale de Villepreux, created in 1680 by André Le Nôtre, gardener to Louis XIV and Grand Director of Versailles, is at the center of the plain of Versailles ,Extension of the Grand Canal, this axis is part of the “Grand Perspective” imagined by André Le Nôtre on either side of the Château. It starts at the Bassin d’Apollon by the Tapis Vert, an esplanade that descends towards the Grand Canal. Beyond, the path starts from the roundabout called L’Étoile Royale and crosses the towns of Versailles, Saint-Cyr-l’École, Fontenay-le-Fleury, Rennemoulin and Villepreux. The Allée Royale was the main of the five alleys starting in a bundle from the Etoile Royale, forming a majestic landscape ensemble that was compared to “the King’s hand landing on his territory”. Originally, it was a grassy avenue 97 meters wide. Unobstructed in its center, it is framed on either side by two main alleys of 5 meters, bordered by a double alignment of country elms, This is an awesome walk , highly recommended just get out of the palace ! By the Allée Royale you will have the new stop of the new tramway line 13, more info here :

The official Château de Versailles on the park :

The Versailles tourist office on the park

There you go folks a wonderful historical architecturally stunning old royal city of my belle France. This is my walks of my Versailles, and you are encourage to do so too. Hope it helps the will to do it. And remember, happy travels, good health, andn many cheers to all !!!

August 4, 2022

Antiques neighborhood of Versailles !

So why not tell you another little spot in my dear Versailles where I will not be tired of telling you lived for almost 10 sublimes years. And many visits thereafter…from my beautiful Morbihan in my lovely BretagneThere is so much to see in Versailles and again will not be tired of telling you the city is more than the palace/museum as almost everyone that comes here do not go elsewhere in the city, a pity.  Let me tell you about the Antiques quarter of Versailles in my nostalgic Notre Dame district of Versailles.

The whole area is broken down into sections and all are worth the detour good for about half a day. These areas are the Bailliage, Village, Carré, and Passage.


The Bailliage this superb 18C building built in 1724 by Tavenot, a student of Mansart, first court and first prison of Versailles today houses antique shops and galleries that present furniture, modern paintings and objets d’art in a charming setting.

Let yourself be dragged to the Village, former outbuildings of the Picardie hotel where the little houses arranged in a horseshoe around the well, welcome the walkers. A picturesque staircase will guide you to other exhibitors and will allow you if you wish to join the rue de la Pourvoierie and the Notre Dame market.

The Passage is implanted in the old walk of the prisoners of the prison of the Geole. Samson who executed Louis XVI held the office of executioner until 1788. Madame Du Barry, the famous favorite of Louis XV was locked during the French revolution. Today, jewels, ceramics, elegant furniture, objects of shop windows are the admiration of all walkers.

The Carré des Antiquaires, originally stables of the bailiwick , turned into sheds during the 19C to house the wines and spirits destined for the Notre Dame market where the given name of Cour de l’Etape aux Vins, or courtyard of the wines stages. Today transformed into galleries of antique shops or craftsmen’s workshops they reveal the richness of the creation, and the art of living of past centuries.

You can come into this wonderful area of my Versailles by the Passage de la Geôle or the rue du Bailliage or the 14 bis, rue Baillet-Reviron or the 13, rue de la Pourvoierie. The hours are different for each, you need to check before going, but do go ! Remember, the  Passage, Village,and the Carré.


The official Antiques of Versailles :

The Versailles tourist office on the antiquarians of Versailles

There you go folks, another wonderful artful historical and architecturally stunning visit to the other Versailles. The antiquaires of Versailles is wonderful worth a detour. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

August 4, 2022

The Chapel and the Espace Richaud of Versailles !

And here I am again, to update this off the beaten path older post about my dear Versailles. If you have been reading my posts , you know I lived here for almost 10 years and still my sentimental favorite. Versailles is sublime, royal, majestic and chic with nice town feel. A while back I wrote of the transformation of an icon in the city, and now very modern spaces.   I am trying in my posts to show you the other Versailles as well. Let me tell you a bit on the Chapel and the Espace Richaud of Versailles! 

Again, pictures are not allowed inside ,but is worth the detour to the Chapelle de l’Immaculate Conception. In your walks of the city and you must get out of the palace, at the end of rue royale, take a look at the Lycée Notre Dame de Grandchamp that houses a private school and next to it at 16 Rue Monseigneur Gibier, you have the Bishop’s office of the diocese of Versailles. And next to it at no 8 the  Chapelle de l’Immaculate Conception.


A bit of history of the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception,  and its meaning. It all started when the Order of St. Francis of Assisi, who in 1224 joined the Order of the Poor Ladies, of which its first abbess was the sister Claire. Hence the name adopted later: the Poor Clares., the nuns who joined them were called “Colettines”. The Poor Clares of Versailles belonged to this branch of the Franciscan Order. Some of their most important dates are : The apparitions of Our Lady of Bernadette, Lourdes 1858; Installation of Poor Clares Colettines at Versailles in 1860 ; Chapel consecrated in 1867 to the Immaculate Conception; Departure regretted of the Poor Clares in June 1999; and October 12, 2008, resumption of worship during the month of the Rosary of the year of the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady in Lourdes: “I am the Immaculate Conception”.

The official Congregation of the Chapelle de l’Immaculate Conception of Versailles

I like to take remembrance to the Hôpital Richaud, a venerable institution in Versailles who have seen its better days.  I have been in it and still have some pictures as to when it began to be change unfortunately. The Units have been transferred next door to a modern facility ,and the old hospital is been transformed into a luxury condo, apartment complex, the only building left will be the Chapel. The Chapel was, in the Convent of the Augustinians of Versailles or Couvent de la Reine, dedicated to the education of young ladies founded by Queen Marie Leszczynka,wife of Louis XV. It was done in 1772. It is very near my former home and easy to get there from Paris as my old route was from the Gare Rive Droite  Versailles on the Line Paris St Lazare, La Défense. If you are in city center Versailles by the rive gauche château station nearest the palace you can walk east or take the bus phebus 3 (my boys old school route), arrêt/stop  Gare Rive Droite. The walk will allow to past by the wonderful historical and elegant architecture of Versailles!


L’hôpital Richaud, also known as the  Hôpital Royal de Versailles is completely restored and transformed since 2015 in housing, shops and liberal professions offices. The hospital is located in the Notre-Dame district in the center of Versailles near the Rive-Droite train station (my old neighborhood) . It is located also in this district and near the Notre-Dame Church, Lambinet Museum, Hoche High School and Saint-Jean-Hulst Private School. Two underground car parks have been dug on either side of the building, one under the bd de la Reine named Reine-Richaud and managed by Urbis Park, at the entrance rue du Maréchal Foch, and the another under the Place du Marché Notre-Dame, managed by Indigo.  This hospital Richaud has a long history since at its origin was the house of charity created by king Louis XIII in 1636 The construction work of the Royal Hospital of Versailles spread over a long period of nearly 80 years,and was not finishing until 1859. The site was assigned a hospital function: first modest ‘charity house’ held by the Daughters of St. Vincent de Paul, the institution has seen its patient attendance grow over the years   until the 1960s.


After the transfer of activities to the Hôpital Mignot hospital site in 1981, the site goes through many years of neglect. This hospital is next to my boys high school in Le Chesnay now new town of Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt, just a street over from the city of Versailles!  In November 2009, the real estate organisation ,OGIC acquired almost the entire Royal Hospital of Versailles from the French State via the town to turn it into housing, with 20% of social housing, shops and gardens . The opening to the public of the whole of the Carré des Siècles,(square of centuries) new name given to the real estate site was made in April 2015. It is a block of housing (317 dwellings including 66 upscale apartments and 91 social housing or students), shops (five in number) and offices ( nearly 3000 m2), with a cultural space that can accommodate exhibitions or concerts, a daycare of 66 cradles and 10.000 m2 of public gardens. The renovated chapel, now Space Richaud, now hosts exhibitions as well as plays.

The city of Versailles on the Space Richaud

The official General Hospital Richaud on its history :

There you go folks, you can go in and visit the espace Richaud or old royal Chapel and see still the beauty of it. Just another gem in my beloved Versailles, do see it, and behold. Versailles is a lot more than a palace! I say !!

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

August 2, 2022

Some news from France , CCCLX 

It’s time again 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 CCCLX is 365 , another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are in Summer ,and temps already back to canicule level so drink,,,anything, and we continue eating out in our veranda porch , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The canicule is back ! This third round starts from last Sunday July 31 until (at least) Wednesday August 3. Sunday starts nicely with temperatures approaching 30°C in the northern half of France and exceeding 32-33°C in the southern half. Then, each day, the mercury will take 1 or 2°C higher to reach up to 35°C in the south. Temperatures could remain above normal for the season until August 8, so says Météo France !

This Tuesday (today), the prefectural services placed Paris and all the towns of Hauts-de-Seine (92) , Seine-Saint-Denis (93) and Val-de-Marne (94) in “drought vigilance”. The “vigilance” level, called “orange”, is the first of 4 levels of dryness. This vigilance does not provide for restrictions but for measures to encourage water savings: limiting the cleaning of cars, roads, sidewalks or the watering of green spaces, but also the reduction of water consumption to home , A heat wave is confirmed for the middle of the week, centered on Wednesday and Thursday with maximum temperatures between 34 to 38 ° C and locally 40 ° C, said Météo France. As a result, four departments in the South-East (Ardèche, Drôme, Gard and Vaucluse) and the Pyrénées-Orientales remain on orange alert. Fifty other departments, south of a line from Charente-Maritime to Alsace, are on yellow alert, The heat is on, and get out the cold ones lol !!!

Ricard, Coca-Cola and Nutella: despite the crises, remains the favorite products of the French ! The health crisis and inflation have upset many habits. But not the list of food items that we consume without moderation, and with regularity, over the years. we continue to consume, with imperturbable regularity, certain favorite products, as evidenced by the latest hit parade published by the Nielsen IQ institute for the first half of 2022. I only do Coca Cola once in a while ,the others nope !

Will the future “Paris Centre – Saint-Germain peaceful zone” keep the contours defended by the Paris City Hall? Or will it be returned to its original perimeter, the historic heart of the capital? Intended to eliminate all transit traffic in the heart of Paris, the project comes up against the reservations of the police headquarters and the mayors of the left bank arrondissements. The latter could win their case, and see their territory excluded from the zone. This intention by the mayor of Paris will create more havoc in Paris as it is now more trafic than ever due to closing of some roads !! The end is not near, be prepare for heavy trafic and overloaded public transist network for years !

Since 1996, the central and tourist section of the RER C in Paris has been interrupted every summer to consolidate the tunnel built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. And this should last several more years !! This summer again, work on the RER C continues with an interruption of the line since July 15. It must be said that they are dantesque. The objective is to consolidate the tunnel built at the beginning of the last century for the Universal Exhibition of 1900 in Paris, on the intramural part of the current line between the Musée d’Orsay and the Champ-de-Mars (7éme). On the ground, exposed to allow digging, we can still see the stones dating from this period. Part of the line that goes to Versailles so be aware folks.

Metro line 14 (Mairie de Saint-Ouen – Olympiades) is one of the most impacted. Due to the work, the stations on the line between Châtelet and Olympiades are no longer served until August 20. Please note that the entire line will also experience complete closures on August 14 and 21 until 4 p.m. On the RATP website, maps with the main alternative routes are available. For journeys between Gare de Lyon and Olympiades, replacement buses are in service. On the RER B side, modernization work between Gare du Nord and Charles-de-Gaulle airport is continuing. Heavy disruptions are therefore to be expected in August. On the weekend of August 13 to 15 inclusive, traffic will be interrupted between Gare du Nord and CDG2 Airport, substitute buses will be made available. Thursday August 18 from 10:30 p.m. and between Aulnay-sous-Bois in Seine-Saint-Denis and CDG2 Airport from 11 p.m., from July 4 to September 2 inclusive (except the weekend of August 15). the RER A, major disruptions are to be expected on weekends in August. There will be no trains between Nanterre-Préfecture and Cergy/Poissy on August 6 and 7 and August 13 and 14 (This is also the case for line J Saint-Lazare and Mantes-la-Jolie via Poissy in the Yvelines). Traffic will also be interrupted between Auber and La Défense every day from Saturday August 13 to Friday August 19 inclusive. On the lines of the RER C work started in July which is continuing. For C, the very impactful work started on July 15 will last until Saturday August 20 inclusive. Trains therefore remain canceled in both directions between the stations of Musée d’Orsay and Pontoise (95), Musée d’Orsay and Versailles-Rive-Gauche and Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (78), Pont-de-Rungis (94) and Massy-Palaiseau (91). There too buses replace trains.

Rising animal abandonments, falling adoptions… the sad summer of the SPA, in search of foster families, With 2,590 animals abandoned in Île-de-France region alone between May 1 and July 27 ,and 11,461 in France, the shelters of the Humane Society (SPA) are literally overflowing at the end of July, So sad people do not realise these are lovabe creature and should be taken with responsability ! These will be prone to drop their kids too at the dire moments in life !!! We love animals !!!

The restoration work on the facade of the Saint-Eustache Church is on track. This project, which started in January 2022, should be completed in October 2023. The unsealing phase will end at the end of August. And the actual restoration work, which should last a year, will begin at the beginning of September 2022, The church will continue to be open.

An anecdote told in some of my posts, and have the priviledge to visit while working next door for several years, In Paris (9éme), a reservoir was dug under the Palais Garnier during its construction in the 1860s. This underground “lake”, which serves as a training ground for firefighters, has fueled many legends, including that of the Phantom of the Opera. In 2018, this vast tank, located 15 meters below the stage of the Opéra Garnier, was emptied for major cleaning , A secret body of water of more than 1,800 m2 in the heart of Paris, 15 meters below the stage of the Opéra Garnier.

This past Saturday morning at Aventure Land, the ticket office has barely opened when visitors are already crowding the aisles. The signs of a “normal season” for this outdoor amusement park located in Magny-en-Vexin (Val-d’Oise 95), after two years marked by the Covid. Aventure Land opened with new attractions perched in the trees for the busiest park in Val-d’Oise, and many courses in the trees including tree climbing and zip lines, webpage :

The Antoine-Vivenel museum wants to gain popularity. The cultural place is being transformed: new entrance, access for people with reduced mobility, new rooms… It will host an immersive historical center, the objective of which will be to present the different sites to visit in the Compiégnois region. Work began in early July last to open the Vivenel museum in Songeons park. A new entrance, but also an elevator, a reorganization of the reception, an immersive historical center. . The Antoine-Vivenel museum, located in the former home of the collector who gave it its name, is one of them. Webpage :

All summer long, the Parc des Impressionnistes in Clichy (Hauts de Seine 92) hosts the Kiosque Contours, a festive guinguette where it is good to have an aperitif far from the bustle of the city. Webpage :

At the Palais de Tokyo, Aïcha Snoussi and her sunken treasures Like an archaeologist, the 33-year-old visual artist stages the artifacts of a strange vanished civilization with fluid genres. A way for this Tunisian to show her attachment to queer identity. Webpage :

On the occasion of the bicentenary of Napoleon’s death, (re)discover the greatest moments of the Emperor’s life during this 50-minute screening. A return to the Napoleonic era, for an evening that reveals the legacy that his epic left behind. An unmissable show that promises to be majestic and monumental! For its 9th edition, the Nuit aux Invalides is thinking big and has a new immersive show in store for us that will amaze us! A colourful, 360-degree projection on the stone facades of the Invalides, which immerses us in total immersion in a wonderful world , The Night at the Invalides: Napoleon, The Flight of the Eagle, 129 rue de Grenelle 7éme, Up to September 1, 2022, Tuesday to Saturday, 22h in August, webpage:

From September 3 to 5,2022 for its 7th edition, the new Traversées du Marais festival will take place, in collaboration with the Museum of Hunting and Nature, to highlight the diversity of places that will participate in the festival. The festival will take place in around thirty emblematic places in the neighborhood, through multidisciplinary and free artistic proposals. A great way to discover the Marais like you’ve never seen it before. Webpage:

I like to give you out of many my favorite most beautiful beaches in the Basque Country of France,

We have Lafitenia, the well-kept secret of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, is our favorite! Unspoiled, bordered by an embankment of fern moorland enveloping a perfect cove, this magnificent beach is known to surfers who appreciate its “left wave”, slightly offshore. It is accessible from the coastal path, by a slightly steep descent in the embankment. A somewhat hidden beach, therefore, far from the main roads and of which we give each other the word among insiders…!

Erromardie, a summer atmosphere, This is the largest beach in Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Located north of the city, this “two-in-one” beach is separated by a small river, the Grand Isaka. Surrounded by campsites, it benefits from strong seasonal activity and the presence of fishermen on foot, who come at low tide to collect small crabs from the rocks. Great novelty on this site also popular for its restaurants, and since spring 2022, cars no longer have access in front of this sensitive coastal area

Grande Plage, the icon of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, From Sainte-Barbe point, the view opens onto the famous Luzian bay, with its dikes, the white facades of Ciboure, the fort of Socoa in the distance and , of course, the immense beach nestled in the perfect amphitheater of the cove of Saint-Jean. Here, everything is designed for relaxation. The impeccable blond sand, the absence of swell, the coastal promenade and the covered gallery La Pergola – the “planks” of Saint-Jean-de-Luz! , with its side-by-side restaurant-terraces, make up an ideal setting for a seaside stay.

And further south you have Hendaye, the border beach, Between the rocks of Pointe Sainte-Anne and the mouth of the Bidassoa, it is the last beach on the French Atlantic coast. Just before the Spanish border symbolized by the river, it is impossible to miss this long strip of fine sand of almost 3 km, considered by some to be the most beautiful in the Basque Country. Ideal for learning to surf and stand-up, safe for family swimming, it also welcomes volleyball players and joggers on its hard sand. Without a doubt, a real holiday beach! Enjoy them all !!!

Did I told you about the most beautiful villages in my lovely Bretagne/Brittany ? Yes, and here are some as told by various travel publications in France ! My favorites too,

Locronan, one of the most beautiful corners of France (Finistère 29) Its famous Grand’place, lined with Renaissance houses of dark granite, attracts many visitors wishing to take a leap into the past and pilgrims who come to accomplish the most famous troménie of Brittany.

Rochefort-en-Terre, a highly flowery Breton village (Morbihan 56) owes its remarkable state of preservation to two historical benefactors, first Anne de Bretagne, then in the 20C, the painter Alfred Klots. Falling in love with Rochefort-en-Terre, the American invested his fortune in the ruins of the castle and stimulated many tourist initiatives, including the first competition for flowered windows (now the villages fleuries de France!). Even today, spring sees the city adorned with a profusion of geraniums and other fragrant flowers. Winter is no exception, since the end of year celebrations are the occasion of a real festival of illuminations, for its wonderful Christmas market !

Ploumanac’h, a village at the end of the world in Perros-Guirec (Côtes d’Armor 22) It is a stopover of choice for hikers on the Chemin des Douaniers, attracted by the emblematic and very photogenic lighthouse of Mean Ruz. All in red stone, it opens the passage to the port of Ploumanach’, naturally sheltered from the strong currents that have sculpted the emblematic rocky chaos of the coast.

Moncontour, a medieval town in Brittany (Côtes d’Armor 22) This medieval town is the only one in the department to win the title of “Most Beautiful Village in France”. From this period, remain beautiful bourgeois residences. Imposing ramparts dating from the 13C and 14C still surround the city.

Landevennec, palm trees in Brittany (Finistère 29), The microclimate it enjoys sometimes earns it the nickname of “Little Nice”. Its abbey, founded according to legend by Saint Guénolé, still houses around forty Benedictines. Close to the building they now occupy, on the archaeological site of the former monastery, a museum retraces 13 centuries of Breton history.

The island of Saint-Cado in the Ria d’Étel (Morbihan 56), The stone bridge that connects the hamlet to the mainland is the subject of a very singular legend. At the request of Saint-Cado, it would have been built by the devil himself, persuaded to receive in exchange, the soul of the first creature that would cross the structure. Cunningly, the monk arranged for it to be a cat!

And here are two new tendance restos I am told by Paris friends looks good, open for August 2022, Of course, looking forward to taste them eventually,

Nestled in the heart of the famous neighborhood or quartier of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, this address offers you delicious recipes to taste. La Diva des Près occupies the premises of a former historic butcher’s shop in the 6éme arrondissement. Moreover, we still find the old rotisserie remained intact inside the restaurant, as well as the incredible wine cellar. A trendy place, where pink clearly dominates the chic atmosphere of the restaurant , La Diva des Près, 79, rue de Seine 6éme, Monday to Friday from 11h to 02h, Saturdays and Sundays from 8h30 to 02h webpage :

We remain in the spirit of conviviality with this beautiful address located in the Motte-Picquet neighborhood in the 15éme arrondissement or district. Here, we share the plates with a generous and sunny menu that will make you travel. In an atmosphere with a refined design, Abstinence makes it a point of honor to work exclusively in short circuit, with seasonal products. As for drinks, the restaurant offers around fifty wines with a French dominance and delicious cocktails signed by their team of mixologists. Abstinence, 47 avenue de la Motte-Picquet 15éme, Open 7 days a week, 12h 14h30 and 19h to 00h,webpage :

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior of this blog. Hope you enjoy the post and do prepare for an eventful Summer! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

July 26, 2022

The Dufour Pavilion and the Grand Commun of Versailles !!!

Let me bring you back to my beloved and former home of Versailles. One can never be too far from it and that includes me. We simply love it, mind you not just the castle museum but the town in its whole! I like to update this older post for you and me ! Two buildings quite related to each other yet apart ; the Dufour Pavilion and the Grand Commun.  One is very popular as you need to go thru it to get into the Castle/Museum and now there even has a nice restaurant there. The second is much less known but equally important in the history of Versailles and France, at least…

The Dufour Pavilion is a 17C building constituting the main body of the Château de Versailles, present on the Court of Honor (cour d’honneur). Located between the Royal courtyard (cour Royale) and the courtyard of the Princes ( cour des Princes), overlooking the courtyard, the Dufour Pavilion is located to the left of the grid of honor (golden wrough iron grille gate) for a person arriving at the Castle. It is really an imposing building once you look at it from outside coming in.


A bit of history I like

Emperor Napoleon Ier planned to build a white stone façade on the town side. He ordered a study by Alexandre Dufour. The latter will be entrusted by king Louis XVIII with the task of constructing this pavilion following the projects sketched by the Emperor. The Pavilion was built between 1818-1820 in place of a wing dating from the extension of 1668. The architecture incorporates that of the Gabriel wing, built under king Louis XV by Ange-Jacques Gabriel. The Dufour Pavilion, however, will never be finished on its rear part, although this has been sketched; the 17C a wing is preserved as a result of its restoration in 1814 and is still present today.  The Dufour Pavilion houses up to 2010 offices, including those of the management, communication and museum graphic conservation. The services still present are moved to the Grand Commun (see below) . They lead to the creation of reception space on the ground floor and in the basement, the restaurant “Ore” of Alain Ducasse of 600 m2 on the first floor (2fl US) ; and a conference room of 220 places under the attic of the 17C wing. A really classic work, done so I could see before departing Versailles.

Versailles chateau pl d armes dic11

This is Monsieur Ducasse resto ORE

The Château de Versailles on the Dufour pavilion

The Grand Commun, or as its official name the Grand Quarré des Offices-Commun , is a building located at 1, rue de l’independence-American and corner of Rue des Recollets. I figure could put it here as it refers to the services once in the Dufour Pavilion as told above. This building took many years of renovations and now is splendid, do stop by.

A bit of history I like

Built between 1682 and 1684 by Jules Hardouin-Mansart on the site of the Church of Saint-Julien, the building housed the kitchens and the tables of the officers who served the courtyard of the Château de Versailles, as well as rooms for the courtesans. The building is organized around an inner courtyard.  By conducting excavations in the courtyard of the Grand Commun in 2009, a team from the National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) exhumed the remains of the Jeu de Paume game or palm/tennis game of king Louis XIII, built in 1630 as well as vestiges of the enclosure of its castle, and, under further again, a cemetery of the high middle ages, probably in connection with the church. The palm/tennis game or Jeu de Paume room comes in the form of a large rectangular building of 33 meters long by 14 meters wide with lateral walls of 1.30 meters thick. The presence of three galleries indicates that it is an indoor game. The floor is covered with stone-sized tiles and probably preceded by a terracotta tile floor. The house of the paumier (the one who maintains, manages and animates the playroom) was also found.


Manufacture of arms under the French revolution, the Grand Commun sheltered from 1843 a military hospital then became military hospital Dominique Larrey. Since 2015, various services of the Château de Versailles (DRH, conservation, staff changing rooms, research center of the Château de Versailles) are installed there as of today. Of course this is not visited now,and photos not allowed inside,  but I had the opportunity to see the jeu de paume section while excavations were going on as I am a Friends of the Château de Versailles since 2004 !


The Château de Versailles Research Center

The Château de Versailles on the Grand Commun

There you go folks, two wonderful buildings one in and one out of glorius royal Versailles, unique in my belle France. The Dufour Pavilion and the Grand Commun, history and architecture all for the better and the enjoyment of all. Hope you come to enjoy as much as we do, my beloved Versailles , a lot more than a castle.

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

July 11, 2022

Some news from France ,CCCLVIIII

It’s time again 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 CCCLVIIII is 359 , another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are in Summer ,and temps already in canicule level so drink,,,anything, and we continue eating out in our veranda porch , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

As said, we are in the heat again, The canicule is back in my belle France, So drink cold beers lol !! Up to 35C in Paris, 37C in Toulouse, and even 40C in the south… From Tuesday, 12 July 2022, a new heat wave arrives. It will be hot, very hot, night and day in France. The heat wave that will hit the country in July comes only a little more than three weeks after that of June. My area highs call for 35C by next Thursday, We are loaded and ready !!!

The Association of Friends and users of the Champ de Mars has submitted a file for the participatory budget for the restoration of the Belle-Epoque benches and the Medici vases of the place Jacques-Rueff, as well as the balustrade along the avenue de La Motte-Piquet. It will be submitted to the vote of the Parisians in September 2022. The association of Friends and Users of the Champ de Mars, on the front line in contesting the OneSite project to transform the Eiffel Tower sector led by the Paris City Hall ! Of course, that mayor again,,, The development plan for the Champ de Mars, pierced by an avenue (Joseph Bouvard ) and a roundabout, surrounded by a circular alley with very symmetrical ornaments. In each corner of this belt of shaded alleys have been placed 44 inverted bell-shaped Medici vases, surmounting and adjoining 36 stone benches, many of which show time and degradation. On the place Joffre side, along the current ephemeral Grand Palais, the formerly white stone balustrade, with pilasters and also punctuated by 4 vases on pedestals, is not in better shape. Yes the city should put more emphasis in keeping the old that made Paris what it is, I am glad there is an association of citizens to fight for it, Their webpage :

The future surroundings of the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris unveiled point by point the things to be change ; again hoping for the tradition to be kept, The Parvis topped with a thin layer of water, a garden of more than 400 meters, 131 trees planted, redesigned basement, breakthrough towards the quays… Their most beautiful creations will be exhibited from June 28 to August 28, 2022, at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal (6éme). As for Bas Smets, the winning architect, you will be able to see his drawings take shape and emerge from the ground between 2024 and 2027. The “clearing” will therefore house an ephemeral body of water, supplied by the non-potable water network already used to water the city gardens and clean the streets of Paris. From the statue of Charlemagne to the Memorial of the Martyrs of the Deportation at the eastern tip of the island a vast garden will be redesigned and densified. Behind the monument, the current square Jean-XXIII will be particularly redesigned. The gates surrounding the cathedral will be preserved, for heritage reasons and to protect the building from possible manifestations of vandalism (good). It is accessible by the Quai de l’Archevêché and hidden by a vast fenced hedge, this is the nice square of Île-de-France. In addition to its little-known character, the landscape gardener is eyeing it for two reasons: the presence of the Memorial to the Martyrs of Deportation and the breathtaking perspective of the Seine, the quays and the Île Saint-Louis. The current quai de l’Archevêché and rue du Cloître-Notre-Dame ,which runs along the north facade of the monument will be extensively renovated. On the menu: calm traffic, perspectives and tree planting. As for the rue du Cloître Notre-Dame running along the north facade of the cathedral, it should also be “appeased” and embellished with new plantings. Currently, under the cathedral forecourt, 3000 m² of space is divided between a car park and an archaeological crypt. A space also little known, which was revealed following the archeological excavations carried out from 1962 to 1975, anticipating the underground parking project , In the Middle Ages, the forecourt was much smaller than it is today. The opening of a staircase at the foot of the cathedral will restore this distance in relation to the facade and will make it possible to apprehend the monument as it was nearly 800 years ago, with an ascending reading of the monument. What will become of the gates of Square Jean-XXIII and that of the square Île-de-France, which houses the memorial to the martyrs of deportation at the tip of the Île de la Cité (6éme)? Officially, according to the plans of the landscape architect Bas Smets, these two green spaces together will form no more than a large garden of 400 meters long and 1.5 hectares. Without grids. We are keeping an eye on these changes by Paris.

Something to be gone due to the Paris Olympic Games 2024: the Arena de la Chapelle, 58 Bd Ney, 18éme, will bear the name of Adidas, The naming operation intended to give the name of a brand to a public establishment was adopted but the municipal majority of the mayor of Paris; however, appeared very divided on this subject. Of course, where is business money flows in many ways,,,,Keep an eye on these beneficial events of none..

The tramway in Île-de-France region is 120 km in service, 50 km under construction and 40 km planned. It is less expensive than a metro line, but has more capacity than the bus. And the journey, often outdoors, is more pleasant. For all these reasons, the tramway has seen its network grow in just a few decades. This past Wednesday, 6 July ,the Ile-de-France 13 line is inaugurated in the Yvelines (78), between Saint-Cyr-l’École and Saint-Germain-en-Laye. It connects the north to the south of the department after five years of work. The T13 is part of these suburban lines which avoid going through Paris and confirms that the tramway represents a real alternative to the train or the metro in the region. Nice ride should be I will look forward to test it, More info webpage :

The future La Défense RER E station is a veritable cathedral taking shape under the La Défense Cnit. The structural work is complete. A first branch should be operational in mid-2023. The future RER E station at La Défense has just completed the civil engineering works, that is to say the structural work. It can now concentrate on fittings such as the installation of elevators or the installation of 56 escalators. Webpage :

140 years later, the forbidden statue of Victor Hugo signed Auguste Rodin finally appears ! He is tall, 2.10 meters, and emerges from a long sleep of nearly 140 years. It is however the result of the meeting of two very big names. It is Auguste Rodin, the most famous French sculptor of the 19C, who is the author of this statue. And his role model is Victor Hugo. Webpage :

Expected for more than five years, the Avengers Campus, an entire district entirely devoted to Marvel superheroes, Spider-Man and Iron Man in mind, will open its doors at Disneyland Paris on July 20, 2022 (and we will be in Sept!). Also, the Art of Marvel hotel, the superheroes heroes invite themselves into your room ,Shining with a thousand lights, gold, silver and red, it welcomes you as soon as you enter. In the vast hall, you even have the right to three imposing Iron Man for the price of one, armor declined according to the eras, in the window just in front of the reception, not far from the suspended abacus of Captain America. All around, seven engraved columns display the characters of the Avengers, while images of comic books come to life in black and white on a giant screen… Welcome to the New York-The Art of Marvel Hotel at Disneyland Paris (we will be not!) , 4 stars where superheroes reign supreme in the 350-room , It is the result of a transformation of the already existing New York hotel which, after 18 months of work, has become a must for Marvel fans. In total: 350 works by 110 international artists cover the walls, including 50 made especially for the place, making it a kind of museum of the famous American licence. Webpage hotel :

And Avengers campus :

The 4th edition of this free air meeting, which exhibited 75 aircraft at the Meaux-Esbly or precisely Isles-lès-Villenoy aerodrome (Seine-et-Marne 77), A great event indeed, webpage :

The Palace of Versailles, finally, the renovation of the Place d’Armes. The redevelopment of the famous square has just been approved. Beyond the restoration of the grid of honor for the 2024 Olympic Games, the goal is to clear, by 2030, the perspective dear to Le Nôtre towards Versailles, with the relocation of the car parks. Wonderful idea, the view already is grand.

I put this here because the anecdote is when I came to France ,choosing where to buy house, Croissy sur Seine was one choice ,the aprt offered was done, and the school was an attraction for my boys. Eventually, of course,we settled for Versailles. You are welcome to the British School of Paris, (well Paris again the name,,,) the only school in France that delivers the English baccalaureate! Built according to the traditional model of English private schools, the establishment located in Croissy-sur-Seine (Yvelines 78) welcomes pupils from kindergarten to high school. It is the only one to deliver the “A-Level”, equivalent to the baccalaureate in France. Webpage :

A gigantic scaffolding more than 45 meters high covers part of the facade of the Château de Pierrefonds to repair the ravages of time, these works which should last until the end of 2023. And contrary to certain rumours… the castle remains open! The scaffolding installed on both sides of the wall is 46 meters high! In particular, it will make it possible to intervene on roofs affected by infiltrations. The big tower, it’s 38 meters high, it’s going to be colossal. Webpage :

Only 10 km separate them and yet, the abbey of Chaalis and the town of Creil are like two totally different worlds that are almost never in contact. A regrettable reality which should quickly disappear, thanks to the agreement signed this past Thursday July 7 2022 between the Institut de France, owner of the abbey, the rectorate, the sub-prefecture, the educational city and the city of Creil. But those closest geographically are not automatically the most regular visitors to the Chaalis estate, its castle-museum, its chapel, its 20-hectare park or its famous rose garden. Webpage:

Discover the Ecological Garden, in the heart of the Jardin des Plantes, which is opening its doors for the first time in 60 years! Nearly one hectare of vegetation, grassland, marshy areas… In short, nature has taken over to make way for a large number of plant species. The Jardin des Plantes organizes guided tours in small groups. After more than 60 years of closure, the botanical garden has taken a breather. . Accompanied by a guide who reveals all the little secrets of nature, we immerse ourselves in this wild space. Here is a great program for a successful summer in Paris. Jardin des Plantes 57 Rue Cuvier, 5éme free visits, webpage:

The Nuits des Étoiles (night of stars) are back this summer in Paris and Île de France region to the delight of the curious and lovers of astronomy! The free event will take place over a whole weekend, from Friday August 5 to Sunday August 7, 2022. The Square Louise Michel, at the foot of the famous Sacré Coeur in the 18éme arrondissement, will welcome you on the night of August 7 to 8 from 21h to 01h. The Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, located at Porte de la Villette in the 19éme arrondissement, will open its doors to observe the Parisian sky on Friday August 5, 2022 from 21h. The town of Mons-en-Montois in the (seine et marne 77) or the Jardin Fertile in Montrouge in the (hauts de seine 92), will also be able to welcome you from August 5 to 7, 2022. Webpage: -stars

High-level sport, remarkable races, electro music and Robin Schulz as a special guest, all this awaits you on July 14 2022 at the Hippodrome Paris-Longchamp! To spend an incredible day and vibrate until the end of the night, go to the ParisLongchamp racecourse. Open-air food Garden, incredible Gallop races and DJ sets ready to turn the Hippodrome Garden Party; Wish to be there. Paris-Longchamp Racecourse, 2 route des Tribunes 16éme, Info webpage: 14-july-lhippodrome-parislongchamp

Located in the 18éme and 3éme arrondissements, Bouillon Pigalle and République, institutions of traditional French cuisine at (very) attractive prices, offer their customers the possibility of reserving a table… Incredible! Of course, this all applies to lunchtime and evening services. For those who still wish to stay quietly at home, the delivery and Click and Collect services are still in operation… Bouillon Pigalle 22 Boulevard de Clichy, 18éme and Bouillon République 39 Boulevard du Temple 3éme, Reservation webpage :

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior of this blog. Hope you enjoy the post and do prepare for an eventful Summer! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

July 5, 2022

Wonderful Rambouillet !!

This is one of those town we came for the history we read and passing nearby many times on the N10 , we decided first to see its mini train museum and the rest is history as they said. A nice town, very much visited later on while living in Versailles. I like to update this older post for you and me; hope you enjoy it as I. I am talking of course of Rambouillet, yes there is a castle from the monarchies ,emperors and presidents of France it has it all. Rambouillet, of course, is in my dear Yvelines dept 78 of the region of Ïle de France in my belle France!

It is at about 45 km (28 mi)  from Paris and 29 km (18 mi) from Versailles, the capital of the Yvelines department 78.  Very well connected town by road with the main routes, the N10 avoiding city center passing on the east in direction of  Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Versailles, and  Paris (the prefer route) as it also connects you to the autoroutes  A12, A13 and  A86, as well as the nice D191 towards Mantes-la-Jolie, and to the west direction Chartres connecting with the autoroutes A10 ,and  A11 by Ablis . Also,  the D906 connecting Rambouillet with Maintenon on the west, and the D936 connecting Rambouillet with Houdan and onwards to Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines and  Dourdan. All good roads and many times traveled by yours ; truly. Train never came by it here but you have the regional Transilien Paris-Montparnasse and the TER Val de Loire-Centre passing by to Rambouillet and onwards to Chartres.

A bit of condense history I like

It is said that the first mention of Rambouillet was in 768, and from there many deviations in name until  after the French revolution and the current name. The ancient texts tell us the town grew up in the current neighborhood of  Groussay and the old lordship of  Montorgueil where today we have the famous bergerie nationale.  Thanks to the heritage of mother Amicie, Simon V is at the head of a vast domain including Montfort, Rochefort, and the forest of the yvelines. He goes on the 4th crusade in 1202 upon returning he brings a piece of the True Cross that after stolen in 1882 were never found. He was killed in 1218 on the ramparts of Toulouse. His oldest son Amaury inherits all but cannot keep the territory of his father given away to the Count of Toulouse and the albigeois lands to king Louis VIII of France in 1224.  In 1368, Jeanne de Breucourt heir to Rambouillet sells to Jehan Bernier the houses and rights to the village of Rambouillet; it is this later that transform the mansion here into a castle, the beginning of what we see today. The king  François Ier, died in 1547 at the Castle.

In December 29 1783 king Louis XVI buys the castle and by 1785 ordered built the milk pet farm or bergerie for Marie Antoinette.  The French revolution of course takes it all, and stayed abandoned until 1809, when self proclaimed emperor Napoléon Ier bequeathed to the city of Rambouillet.  The Château de Rambouillet was the scene of many international events such as the economic summit of the G6 of 1975 with the USA, Great Britain, Italy ,Japan, West Germany, and France. The conference of  Rambouillet, negotiations for the peace in Kosovo between the independent Kosovars and  Serbia under the NATO in 1999. The old hunting lodge host several personalities such as the Duke of Édimbourg, Prince  Rainier of Monaco ; on the side you have the military outpost of Des Gardes or Caserne Des Gardes.

Things to see in Rambouillet:

The Château de Rambouillet,built between 1368 and 1384 ,receiving visitors such as François Rabelais,doctor of the king and king François Ier that loved to hunt here in 1547, died on a tower that afterward kept his name.  Napoléon spent a night here in 1815 before his final departure  in exile for Sainte-Hélène.  In 1830, king Charles X escaping Paris from the insurrection of the three glorious days or the  Trois Glorieuses, reached  Rambouillet with most of his family, court, and the rest of his troops still loyal, they camped in the park and on a room of the castle in August 2 1830, the king and the dauphin heir abdique in favor of the young Duke of Bordeaux (not to be the Count of Chambord or Henri V) . President of France Félix Faure made of  Rambouillet  his official residence in summer of 1896, and until 2009 Rambouillet was one of the official residences of the President of France ; now it is used for conferences, meetings etc.

Rambouillet chateau-from-gardens mar11

Other places to see are the Saint Lubin and St John the Baptist Church , rue de la République at place Jeanne d’Arc built early 1868 and opened for service in 1871 replacing a Church by the same name dating from the 10C. The king of Rome palace or Palais du roi de Rome  was built from  1784 on orders of king Louis XVI to served as a government mansion and later change by emperor Napoleon  Ier that made it into the residence of his son the king of Rome in 1812. It kept the name until the Restoration of the monarchy  in 1830. By 1989 the city of Rambouillet buys the property to host expositions, and cultural events as well as created a museum of the game of goose or the musée du Jeu de l’oie.


There is the unique monument to the memory and recognition or the monument du Souvenir et de la reconnaissance, also known as the American monument or monument américain, as well as the American Eagle Monument  done by veterans of the August 1944-45  combats in the area erected on the way of out of Rambouillet  on the route de Gazeran.  This is in memory to the American Soldiers dead for the liberation of this region in August 1944. The owners of the land where the Americans felled gave it as bequest to the city so the monument can be built. The monument opened in June 1947 by then President of France  M. Vincent Auriol, Jefferson Caffery, US Ambassador to France and Doctor  Petit, new major of Ramboullet, as well as many personalities civil and military of France and the USA.

Adjacent to the castle you can see the Chaumiére aux coquillages, built in 1775 all done in shells. The Laiterie de la Reine, a little farm adore by Marie Antoinette, all in the middle of an English garden. All done with tiles and marble with a dome ,open every day see same webpage as the castle above. The gardens and park of the domaine where the castle is takes from a French garden to terraces, and bushes, trees, a little stream in many sites, and little isles around them. It was created by the Duke of Penthiévre in 1779. Great park for a picnic which I have done with the family.

There is the wonderful Rambolitrain, train museum that my boys love it!! , opened in 1984 and one of the most important museums in France on train miniature models  showing the history of railroad from the origins to today with many train toys and train toy stores of the 1930’s. It is a minituare train museum great for old and young alike, my kids love it. More than 4000 pieces on display with model railroad station and running trains.  You have, the cavern of Ali Baba, a re creation of a toy store from the 1930’s.  Its located at 4 place Jeanne d’Arc, city center.  We love it, as said. The museum of the goose or  Musée du jeu de l’oie opened since 2001, shows a collection by Pierre Dietsch, of more than 2400 games of goose. The Bergerie Nationale also has a museum of the Sheep or musée du mouton. Built by king Louis XVI with imported merino sheeps from Spain. It has a working farm with about 1000 sheeps. There are cows and donkeys, goats,pigs,horses, all living as before. You can have horse wagon rides, and demonstrations. Near the castle.  There is the Espace Rambouillet,a place to observed animals  in the forest by the public. The Espace Rambouillet  offers you an introduction to the forest of Rambouillet. With over 100 kinds of wild birds of prey plus wild pigs,deers, etc you can see them up close with different themes in the Forêt des Cerfs, Forêt Sauvage, and Forêt des Aigles. It is on road D27 between Rambouillet and Clairefontaine, follow the N10 from Rambouillet .The forest of Rambouillet, covers over  200 km2,  with a vast ensemble of oak trees. 

And last but not least the Carrousel des Palais at Place Félix Faure which we walked by when in town, so figure need to post it here as with many photos they are hard to find if any lol!  Eating places , I had quick formule du jour at Cafe de la Gare, 10 place Ferdinand Prud’homme  ,yes its next to the train station in city center. For evenings and French traditional resto I have try the Le Cheval Rouge, 78 rue du Général de Gaulle , which is the road up from the castle going into city center.


The city of Rambouillet on its heritage

The Rambouillet tourist office on its heritage

The official Castle of Rambouillet on castle, laiterie de la Reine and Chaumiére aux coquillages

The official Bergerie Nationale

The Yvelines dept 78 tourist office on Rambouillet castle :

There you go folks, another dandy royal, imperial, and presidential city to you.  You will love it at Rambouillet and still an off the beaten path site me think. Again hope you enjoy it as I.

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

July 1, 2022

Some news from France ,CCCLVIII

It’s time again 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 CCCLVIII is 358 , another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are marching on to Summer rather quickly ,and then stop here with temps in 70’s F , and eating out in our veranda porch continues , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The favorite village of the French in 2022 is… Bergheim. Located in the north of Haut-Rhin, in Alsace. Starting with its architectural heritage, with its 14C ramparts and its very well preserved gate towers through which one enters the town. Also remarkable are its ramparts which project walkers back to medieval times, with the grassy ditches at their feet in which sheep are in the midst of eco-grazing. A stop is also a must in front of Renaissance houses, classified as historical monuments. Quintin, Côtes-d’Armor, dept 22 in Brittany finished third. webpage:

On the occasion of the 39th European Heritage Days, the Favorite Monument of the French returns to France 3 TV! This year, you voted for the 14 monuments in the running for the grand finale from a selection of 42 places from the exceptional cultural, historical and architectural heritage of France. I chose the Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte for my vote, You can vote here :

The Tour de France 2022 is the 109th edition of the cycling Tour de France. The big start takes place on July 1, 2022 in Copenhagen and the finish will be judged on July 24 in Paris, on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. It is 3,350.1 km long and divided into twenty-one stages: six flat, seven hilly, six mountain and two individual time trials. Besides France, Denmark, Belgium and Switzerland are the foreign countries visited. It covers four massifs: the Vosges, the Alps, the Massif Central and the Pyrenees to finish. In France, eight regions and twenty-nine departments are crossed! The official Tour de France :

The stages are :
1st leg Fri. July 1 Copenhagen (DEN) – Copenhagen (DEN), Individual time trial, 13.2 km
2nd stage Sat. July 2 Roskilde (DEN) – Nyborg (DEN) plain stage, 202.5 km
3rd stage Sun. July 3 Vejle (DEN) – Sønderborg (DEN) plain stage 182 km
Mon. July 4 Transfer day
4th stage Tue. July 5 Dunkirk – Calais hilly stage, 171.5 km
5th stage Wed. July 6 Lille Métropole – Arenberg – Porte du Hainaut, hilly stage, 157 km
6th stage Thu July 7 Binche (BEL) – Longwy, hilly stage, 219.9 km
7th stage Fri. July 8 Tomblaine – La Super Planche des Belles Filles, mountain stage, 176.3 km
8th stage Sat. July 9 Dole – Lausanne (SUI) hilly stage, 186.3 km
9th stage Sun. July 10 Aigle (SUI) – Châtel – Les Portes du Soleil mountain stage, 192.9 km
Mon. July 11 Morzine – The Portes du Soleil ; Day off #1
10th stage Tue. July 12 Morzine – Les Portes du Soleil – Megève, hilly stage, 148.1 km
11th stage Wed. July 13 Albertville – Col du Granon – Serre Chevalier, mountain stage, 151.7 km
12th stage Thu July 14 Briançon – Alpe d’Huez, mountain stage, 165.1 km
13th stage Fri. July 15 Le Bourg-d’Oisans – Saint-Étienne, plain stage, 192.6 km
14th stage Sat. July 16 Saint-Étienne – Mende, hilly stage, 192.5 km
15th stage Sun. July 17 Rodez – Carcassonne, plain stage, 202.5 km
Mon July 18 Carcassonne Day off #2
16th stage Tue. July 19 Carcassonne – Foix, hilly stage, 178.5 km
17th stage Wed. July 20 Saint-Gaudens – Peyragudes, mountain stage, 129.7 km
18th stage Thu July 21 Lourdes – Hautacam, mountain stage ; 143.2 km
19th stage Fri. July 22 Castelnau-Magnoac – Cahors, plain stage, 188.3 km
20th stage Sat. July 23 Lacapelle-Marival – Rocamadour, Individual time trial, 40.7 km
21st stage Sun. July 24 Paris La Défense Arena – Paris – Champs-Élysées, plain stage, 115.6 km

After two years of Covid, Paris-Plages returns for “an edition without hindrances”From Saturday July 9 and until Sunday August 21, the traditional Paris-Plages returns to its two main sites, the Parc Rives de Seine and the quays of the Bassin de la Villette, as well as in various places. webpage :

The Meudon airship hangar is ready to take off again. Abandoned for 40 years, the last monument of the Universal Exhibition and first airship factory will reopen in the fall, transformed into a cultural space. Hangar Y, built in 1878 in Meudon in the Hauts-de-Seine 92 , then abandoned for 40 years, will reopen in October, City of Meudon:

On the occasion of the retrospective dedicated by the Museum of Fine Arts to the artist born in Bordeaux (Gironde 33) in 1822, the metropolitan archives are offering an exhibition, “Rosa Bonheur, hors-cadre”, to discover her differently. first female artist to be awarded the Legion of Honor in 1865, then the first to be elevated to the rank of Knight in 1894. Rosa Bonheur, hors-cadre“, archives of the metropolis of Bordeaux, until Sunday September 18, 2022, from Monday to Friday, 9h30 to 17h, free entry. Webpage:

On the A 13, the “site of the century” is soon coming to an end at Mantes-la-Jolie (78 Yvelines). Started six years ago, the work related to the construction of a new viaduct and the repair of the bands rolling are slowly coming to an end. In eighteen months, the highway will be returned to motorists. The Paris-Normandy Motorway Company (SAPN) has just confirmed that the schedule of pharaonic works at Mantes-la-Jolie will be maintained, barring disaster. Webpage:

On the occasion of Cabaret Sauvage’s 25th anniversary, enjoy a whole month of music from July 1 to August 6, 2022. It was inaugurated in 1997, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. For the 25th anniversary, 25 performances will take place with many artists. Parc de la Villette – 19éme. webpage:

Open-air cinema at La Villette Open-air cinema, Prairie du Triangle, From July 20 to August 21, 2022, opening from 20h to 23h. With reservation webpage:

Until August 14, the Playing Card Museum retraces the construction of the frieze La Vie imagined by Victor Prouvé to adorn the main staircase of the City/Town Hall of Issy-les-Moulineaux (92). Victor Prouvé is a total artist. In the Art Nouveau movement, we know him book bindings, casket, vase designs for Émile Gallé, soliflores in bronze, glass or even biscuit, fashion design sculptures and of course paintings. Victor Prouvé endeavors to represent each detail in size real in pastels, watercolors or charcoals. Along the way, we progress with the artist in the conception of this prestigious commission, intended to depict an ideal Republic. Webpage:

Pyrotechnic show, baroque dances and electro sounds return to punctuate the summer at the Palace of Versailles even in its impressive gardens designed under the reign of Louis XIV. This year, in addition to the legendary Fountains Night Show, numerous festivities for all ages, including the majestic Royal Serenade, punctuate the days and evenings in Versailles. A great way to (re)discover the royal domain. Every Saturday evening and until September,2022 happy visitors can stroll around the grounds of the Sun King and his court, and attend an intense program where firework shows, baroque dances and electro rhythms mingle. Accompanied by Groupe F pyrotechnicians and other elegant partners such as the Éventail dance company and the musicians of the Folies Françoises ensemble during the Royal Serenade evenings which precede the colorful projections and fireworks of the Nocturnal Musical Fountains Show . Two and a half hours of strolling await visitors who enter the royal domain to the sound of 17C music. From the recently restored Latona fountain, to the Mirror basin, passing by the captivating Water Theater or the grove of the Baths of Apollo, the traveling show hypnotizes young and old alike and rises to the top of the unmissable outings in summer families. Without forgetting, this year, two exceptional evenings which spice up the Versailles program: the Nocturnes de feu on Monday August 15 and the Electro Nocturnes on Saturday September 24. Les Grandes Eaux Nocturnes, until September 17 from 20h30 to 23h05 in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles (Yvelines 78). webpage:

The Fnaim (National Federation of Real Estate Agents) of Greater Paris has just unveiled an observatory on the real estate attractiveness of almost 300 cities of Greater Paris. Each district of Paris is considered as a city in its own right. This is a completely new observatory since 11 additional criteria have been taken into account and are based on objective and non-qualitative data which are issued by official sources such as INSEE or city/town hall statistics. Several criteria : the price of housing, its quality (rate of central heating equipment, age and surface area of ​​housing, etc.), security (physical violence, damage to property, crime, etc.), health (number of general practitioners for 100 inhabitants, number of hospital beds per km² …), education (nurseries, colleges, high schools), public transport (metro, RER, bus, travel time home / job …), environment (surface of green spaces per inhabitant, evolution of car use…), trade (number of shops every 100 meters…), employment (unemployment rate…), culture (museums, theatres, stadiums, gymnasiums…), income and finally local taxation (housing and property taxes). See photo of course, Versailles is on the list top 20 !! I knew that lol ! Notice only two districts of Paris on the list.


On the Île des Impressionnistes, in Chatou, the Maison Fournaise restaurant is finally at ease. In short, neu-neu big caliber! Following the pretty ripolinage of the places and history of making people forget all these bouibouis years, we sincerely understand why the team at the recovery insists so much on announcing, in the spring of 2022, the house as “new” … An institution in Chatou! webpage:

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior of this blog. Hope you enjoy the post and do prepare, they say the Americans are back lol!! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

July 1, 2022

The road warrior roundtrip to the Brie country!

You need to know that I love the road even if in my belle France public transport is pretty good, nothing beats the road and the car, for me. I have been driving since that faithful day in 1976 I go my first driver’s licence in New Jersey USA ; and from then on it has been a thrill on the road anywhere ! Lately in Europe, I have continue driving into countries and cities where most are afraid to drive (do to publication that do not know better) , Even in the left driving in London ! And the Arc de Triomphe of Paris ! As far as central Germany, and Italy, north to the Netherlands, and south to Portugal and Spain , wide and wonderful freedom of the road or put your pedal to the metal and go !! Oh no points no accidents fyi ! And of course, this post will be on my black and white series, no pictures !

Briefly, like to inject my beloved dear places where have worked or lived in my life, also several posts on them in my blog, Places on a world globe of special meaning to me each and every single one of them;as growing up to now, These are Punta Brava, Madrid, Perth Amboy, Daytona Beach, Holly Hill, Ormond by the Sea, North Miami, Hialeah, Miramar, Verneuil sur Seine, Versailles, Brech, and Pluvigner. Not to mention those nearby ,where I have worked such as Miami, Paris, Lagos, Curitiba, Geneva, Bazainville, La Défense, Suresnes, and Vannes. I thanked them all for the good times and the good cheers.

This time we were visiting the inlaws in Seine-et-Marne  dept 77 near Disneyland and the Brie cheese country so we took off by car again. This is the story of the road trip ; well prepared with online tools and careful watch of the GPS, never a problem I said ,even avoiding heavy traffics.

We went out on the toll road route as we wanted to arrive quicker to my mother in law house in the countryside of the Marne. They are very well place around the WWI museum and the American Monument in memory of the Americans of WWI ,the brie cheese original region and the closest big city to Disneyland Paris (yes not in Paris but in dept 77 Marne-la-Vallée). All live around the big town of Meaux.

From our home in pretty small Pluvigner, we went up on the D768 to hook up with the N24 direction Rennes.  We went around the beltway or Rocade sud (south) direction Le Mans on the N136, the road name of the rocade. We hook up with the N157 direction Le Mans linking up continuously on the A81 (L’Armoricaine highway) .  Where you take your toll ticket only. North of Le Mans we hook up with the A11 passing the wonderful old world region of the Perche. The A11 is call the Océane highway. We passed wonderful Chartres ; eventually hooking up with Saint Arnoult des Yvelines in our old dept 78 and paying the toll while hooking up with the A10 also call the Aquitaine highway.

Passing Janvy, we hook up with the N104 also known as the La Francilienne, a big beltway around Paris far from it that was done to help decongestion a bit of the Capital. Nothing to it is still heavily traffic as well lol!!! This road hooks up with the A6 also known as the Autoroute du Soleil or the sunshine highway direction Fontainebleau but just for a bit as we hook up again with the N104 as one continuous road. Following signs for Paris, Metz ,Nancy etc. You end up on the A4 autoroute or autoroute de l’Est or East highway; continuing direction Metz.  You past exit or sortie 14, this is for Disneyland and continue to a toll road to get into the A140 autoroute that links up with Meaux. Arriving by 16h to our mother in law house which is in the village of Chambry on the N405 road ,also known as the route du Varreddes.

On the way back , we decided to not pay tolls as we usually do even if it takes longer; it is also, a more scenic drive.

We left Chambry early by 10h50 or 10:50am and continue on the N405 then we took in city center Meaux the N3 our old road we took when visiting my girlfriend (later wife), and going to Paris together !!! It has been a long time….We drove into the A104 La Francilienne on the northern beltway around Paris. we hook up with the N2 directioin Soissons for a while to connect again with the N104 la Francilienne around the CDG airport. This roads hooks up with the A3 direction Bobigny Centre and then quickly into the A86 passing north by Saint Denis and Asniérés sur Seine.  We took the D7 along the Seine with Paris on the other side or our left hand side.  This is my old road taken to work duties many times by Suresnes.

We continue on the D7 along the Seine passing nice Boulogne-Billancourt and the Alfred  Kahn gardens. Eventually passing on the other side of the Bois de Boulogne and the racecourse or hippodrome de Longchamps. Passing by Saint Cloud and my old wine club shopping!!! until hook up with the A13 autoroute direction Rouen or also known as the Autoroute de Normandie.  We passed by our beloved Versailles, and sadly no time to stop by this time.  We hook up here on the A12 autoroute direction Dreux. Following it up on the N12 direction Dreux.  This is a long east west national road that links up with Normandie and even Bretagne. We passed by Houdan, Dreux, Nonancourt, Verneuil sur Avre, the old region of La Perche again, and onwards to around Alençon, right thru Mayenne, around Fougéres, and hook up with the A84 autoroute or the Route des Estuaires. You go straight into the rocade of Rennes or N136 direction Lorient. At the porte de Lorient or gate to Lorient hook up with the N24 direction Lorient.  We continue until the exit sortie D768 Baud that brings us down home. Arriving by 21h or 9pm.

Bison Futé is a government site very useful for traffic information:

My favorite info traffic webpage:

For weather ,on or off the road ,we check Méteo France:

The info on the autoroutes or expressways especially we look here for the rest stops or aires and time our km/miles with stop on the best ones as far as facilities is concern:

We have GPS in our car but nevertheless we look at viamichelin to compare and many times I have found the paper directions better especially over long roads, the GPS is very good in cities and around them.

And another wonderful trip with little traffic jams except a bit around the A86 in Paris area. This is just one trip one direction of many choices ,and over the years have tried them all, We are pretty much into no tolls road but if needed for some reason we can take the toll roads for a while, In and out, you take a bit longer but save on the money, paying tolls is like paying another tax ! You can see many posts on these towns and its monuments in my blog fyi. Hope you enjoy and find useful the post.

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

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