France

From CDG you can now get trains going in virtually all directions. We took the TGV out to Rennes in Brittany (bit more than two hours $100 each, roughly). Don't forget to validate your ticket a few minutes before the train arrives in the little yellow box and notice your car number to be near the proper place on the platform. The TGV is only in the station for a jiff and track number (voie) is shown only shortly before it arrives on the big board. ♣ In Rennes, there are a number of decent hotels within walking distance, with bags, of the gare. Car rentals are near the gare too. It's also an easy walk up to the old part of Rennes. There are really nice shops in that area of Rennes. Market day is Saturday…and what a market it is!

Remember to plan you French driving to be in a nice town/village for lunch 12:00 to 2:00. Shops re-open at 2:00 or 3:00 or so and restaurants close at 2:00.

Vannes - We rented a car the next day and drove 100km or so from Rennes to Vannes…another nice old centre and some good shops. Megaliths west of Vannes were neat…then on to the autoroute for an hour west and south down to Pont Aven…a neat little village. We stayed south of Port Aven at Ar Men Du on the coast. Small room for 90 euros…good food, but not cheap. Only have one glass of wine as it is $15 a glass. In Breton, 'du' is black, 'men' is rock. The signs are bi-lingual, Breton and French. The south costal walk here was terrific but is was 6C degrees with drizzle, Barbour weather. Quimper the next day for lunch and overnight at Oceane Escale 69 euros downtown. Secure parking next door. Then up to

Morlaix is a neat little city/town to arrive at for an afternoon and overnight (Hotel du Port's room #19 at 70 euros was nice). Patio drinks and walks with views of the sensational viaduct built in the 1860s makes Morlaix special.

up to Perros-Guircec on the north coast for the sensational 'red granite coast' walk. We stayed at Manoir du Sphinx 100 euros and lovely dining room overlooking the ocean and waves. Good dinners are not inexpensive in France. Good coast walk here too.

DINAN - We really liked Dinan, lunch and nice old town centre, and good shops. Stayed north of Dinan at Tirel-Guerin on the main TGV line for two nights 80 euros so we could do

St Malo the next moring and make it to Cantale (oyster beds) for lunch. We liked St Malo a lot: hit it a low tide…the rampart walk is great. You can't drive up to Mont Saint Michel any more so we skipped it (too many tourists anyway and a shuttle now) and went on to Villedieu les Poeles (copper pots) for lunch and then on to

Bayeaux for the tapestry, of course. But we thought the cathedral was nicer than St Peter's in Rome. There are a few nice hotels within walking distance of the tapestry and the cathedral. We selected Le Castel, built in the 1930s, for €75. The shops in Bayeux were not up to our calibre.

Juno Beach the next day and on to Honfleur…quite the town on the mouth of the Seine across from Le Harve. We met my cousins in Honfleur for the 65th birthdsy party and headed south with them over two days in two cars to their place south of Perigeaux. We stopped in Veigne at Le Tortiniere (great dinner for six with a lot wine for €500 Euros and right some good) near the Loire for the night after a visit to Chateau Chenanceaux…wow! The next day, just north of Limoges we stopped for a picnic lunch outside Oradour sur Glane - the martyred village was left as it was after 643 civilians were killed there on June 10 1944. The walk through that village was something else again.

The average cost of hotels for 14 nights was $150 per night, the sum being $2,100 with lowest $95 in Rennes and the highest $239 in Honfleur at Ferme St Simeon (152 euros). Car rental close to $50 a day as pick-up and drop-off were in different cities. ♣ Our Air France flight from CDG was late and we missed the last train out of Montreal. ♣Galettes (de sarrasin), similar to crepes, are made with buckwheat flour and fine for people who can not longer handle gluten…ham, cheese and a soft boiled egg in the centre. ♣ Hotel breakfasts are generally a rip for non-glutten people. So, after my breakfast snack (nuts, fruit, cheese, water, dark chocolate, buck wheat trail mix, an egg, olives, coconut oil), we drove a few minutes or walked for a coffee. Louise had a croisant, of course.

La prière du Breton

  • Donnez moi la sante pour longtemps,
  • De l'amour de temps en temps,
  • Du boulet pos trop souvent,
  • Mais du cidre et des crêpes tout le temps.
france.txt · Last modified: 2014/04/26 11:31 by tom
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