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Jul 5, 2017 - Dinan part 2

Dinan part 2. My second day in Dinan my train did not leave until late in the afternoon so I explored some more. You can get up on the ramparts and walk pretty much around the whole city. Beautiful views over the roof tops. I noticed this one Boulangerie that twice now had a line out the door. It was early Sunday morning so maybe because they close early. But after looking in the window I suspect that they're bread is really good. The Brittany region is famous for their crepes. It's a big part of what they eat. I figured out the difference...

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Jul 4, 2017 - Standing stones, part 2

The day after our dinner conversation, we walked along the stone alignments. Direct access without a guide in high season is not allowed. English speaking guides start work next seek. We could ride the white tourist trolley/train for an overview of Carnac and the alignments. The trolley offers minimal commentary about the stones over the multiple-language audio guides. That's because next to nothing is known about the alignments. Never mind. Anyone with interest in prehistory would be mesmerized. The neolithic alignments are at least 6,000...

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Trip Journal


Back to Europe

Jul 3, 2017 - Standing stones

I'm fairly certain the following dialogue captures the essence of actual conversation. Over dinner..... Mo: do you think we could go there? Jim: Mount son Mitchell, sure. Mo: what did you say? Jim: Mount some Michell. Mo: no, you said Jean Valjean. Jim: no, I didn't. That's the guy in Le Miz. Mo: I know it's the guy in Le Miz. That's what you said. Jim: I was trying to say Mount Saint Michelle. Mo: you said Jean Vanjean. Jim: I didn't say Jean Vanjean. Maybe I said the other guy's name. Mo: what other guy? You mean the police guy chasing...

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Trip Journal


Back to Europe

Jul 1, 2017 - Dinan and Dinard

I want to talk a little about the train situation. Of course, everyone knows that trains are a huge source of travel in Europe both by tourists and locals. It's commonly ok to just go to the station and get a ticket and get on. But in the summer, some of the popular routes are quite crowded so a ticket ahead of time is a good idea. Where to get the ticket online? There are lots of websites but many charge a fee or don't tell you they're charging a fee but jack up the ticket price. I've found that in Italy trenitalia.com was good and...

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Jun 3, 2017 - Dinan to St Malo and then Jersey

Have added a couple of photos from Dinan which is said to have one of the best preserved old town centres in Brittany. Certainly all the buildings on our steep walk to the river were in good condition. This morning we travelled on to St Malo a town badly bombed by the allies and not eventually freed until 1945. Some will recognise this as the town in the book "All the light we cannot see".St Malo has a large port and as in all the coastal inlets large numbers of yachts of all sizes moored or out at sea enjoying the sunny warm weather. St...

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Jun 2, 2017 - Birds, seals and other sea life

We certainly have plenty of variety on this trip and today we headed off fora boat ride around islands off the "Pink granite coast" an area where even the kerbs are made from the local pink granite. Vivienne, David and I opted for the top uncovered section of the boat and were very pleased as we had a great view. You need to look at the photos but doubt that they do justice to seeing the flights of birds that came over and the magnificence of the gannets as they came close to the boat so that we were viewing them from underneath. As we came...

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Jun 1, 2017 - Churches and Calveries

Some quick notes as I wasn't able to send yesterday. Visited three Bretagne churches. Which are quite different but have in common a close proximity, a sense of the Baroque in the interior, a baptistery within the church, and a Calvery outside. Both the calveries and the the inside of the church are directed at teaching. The calveries have the scenes of the Passion with the figures in granite, while inside the paintings especially around the side altars show scenes from both the new and old testaments, Adam and Eve always featuring in some...

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May 31, 2017 - A leisurely day

Last day in this area and a more relaxed day starting with a short drive, then a walk down into a small fishing village - Doelan. It still functions as a fishing village but also seems to have many recreational fishermen whose boats are in the inlet. Judging by the houses in the area either fishing is quite a lucrative job or there are wealthy retired people living in Doelan. Many of the large and relatively new houses had lovely gardens with the roses entire as we wandered. On to Pont-Aven made famous because of the group of artists, one...

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May 30, 2017 - Submarines and standing stones

Off at eight this morning to travel to Lorient, think L'Orient then move to The Orient so why a place in France with this name. E reason is the French East India Company which operated out of this large harbour on the South coast of Brittany and the same harbour became an important harbour for othe trading including an involvement with the West African slave trade and the import of goods from the new colonies. And today the harbour has three marinas sheltering what look to be very expensive sailing yachts. But in WWII Germany wanted to...

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May 29, 2017 - A surprise day

Today was an easy start at 9:30 as we did not have large distances to travel. Bretagne (Brittany) only became part of France in the 15th century and still preserves much of its Bretange culture, sense of independence and language. Sign Post are in two languages so Concarneau is Konk Kerne and Quimper is Kemper. Our first stop was at a factory making traditional baked goods and we watched the crepe making and the traditional buttery cake of Bretagne being transferred from baking tin to packaging. The countryside in the area is lush with many...

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May 28, 2017 - Rennes to Concarneau

After one night in the Mercure in Rennes we packed and met with our guide for a walking tour of the city. Unfortunately this necessitated rain jackets and brollies but we managed as she took us around the city. Rennes is the capital,of Bretagne ( Brittany) and is a city of 70,000 people with a large university and a big student population, which gives it a certain feel and I can now better understand the bar/ cafe where we ate last night. Our guide showed us the various areas which have been walled at various times and then damaged by fire...

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May 27, 2017 - Mont St-Michel

An early start today with all on the bus and off by eight o'clock. Travelling is hard work sometimes. We were headed to Mt St Michel the Abbey ser atop a small rock,island off the coast of France in a bay which has Normandy at one end and Brittany at the other. Our first distant view of the island came at a confront stop after about an hour and a half and it gradually came into view as we drove as did the lines of traffic heading in the same direction. A shuttle bus took us across the bridge to the island where a huge sweeper was clearing...

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