Shearwin's in Europe 2015 travel blog

Vannes - Chateau de L'Hermine

Vannes - Gardens below the city walls and Cathedrale St-Pierre

Vannes - no vertical walls in the old city

The Gates - La Port St Vincent

War Memorial 1939-45

Port St Vincent


It is 1600hrs and we have just returned to our hotel room to rest after walking since 1000hrs with only a few breaks.

Today's objective was to wander the streets of Vannes to get a feel for this historic walled town which is rated as one of Brittany's most attractive sights. It will feature during this years Tour De France on the 12 Jul.

Our first task was to scource the regular coffee and pastries which we found at the Brioche Doree, a chain cafe, just outside the city walls.

Sustained, we then set off in beautiful warm and calm conditions noting:

- the Cathedrale St Pierre, an imposing structure amongst the sea of timber framed houses. It has a unique altar of two large white marble statues of angels on either side of the tabernacle and two equally imposing white marble statues forward of the alter columns. It also contained an eight panel timeline diagram showing popes, rulers and significant events from the time of Christ - it stretched 20 metres end to end. The stained glass windows tended to depict individuals as opposed to religious events of significance and were colourful and attractive.

- the markets; both outdoor and the covered market in the Place Des Lices. The quality of the food produce of all types plus clothing and other material products were of outstanding quality; we spent quite sometime viewing - we both bought an expanding waistband for carrying glasses, money etc.

Anxious to stretch "her" legs, we crossed through the St Vincent gate in the south of the old city and walked the 1.6 km water channel, know as the Marina, to the Bay and back.

We had visited the tourist office during the return leg and armed with new sites, we continued to walk the gardens to the east of the walls noting the Castle of L'Hermine ( home to the early Dukes of Burgundy) and its garden ( under preparation for the Tour), several of the towers on the wall, an original wash house and the gardens containing the many memorials to those fallen in modern day French wars.

We concluded our wanderings of the many interesting streets filled with a wide variety of building designs while checking out restaurants for dinner - only one stop for a wine refreshment.

It is now 2100hrs - time for bed after a very enjoyable day in Vannes ( varn ). Dinner at my choice of restaurant was not a winner. Entrees of fried goats cheese and salad and Kaye's fish cappacio were quite nice; the mains of veal marsala and beef with Gorgonzola cheese were a big disappointment. Lovely restaurant, well patronaged by both tourists and locals but average in delivery. Our lovely young waitress thought we spoke Australian in Australia not English - I don't think she even knew what Australian sounded like - she was however very sweet. Stopped for an ice cream on our return; served by a chap who had lived in Australia for sometime - couldn't remember much about it - obviously a low impact experience.

Tomorrow, is a longish drive to Rennes as we have three additional stops planned and all are in different directions than North East - an early start is on the menu!



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