Tag Archives: Brittany

Dinan, Ille-et-Vilaine, Tuesday 19th August 2014

Standard
Charming Medieval Dinan

Charming Medieval Dinan

 

This is our second, and sadly, last day in Brittany, as there has been a slight change of plans and we are returning home a couple of days earlier than anticipated.

 

Soaking up the atmosphere in Dinan

Strolling on the cobblestone streets in old Dinan

 

We have enjoyed our short stay in this stunning region very much as it hasn’t been as crowded as we feared this time of year and neither has it been too hot to make it uncomfortable, so we’ll probably come back at some other time in the future and go further west, as I would have liked, as far as Finisterre, the most westerly point in France. Still, that leaves us with something to look forward to in the future.

 

Chateau Dinan

Chateau Dinan

 

Dinan is a beautiful medieval town with half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets as well as a very impressive castle, Château Dinan, which contains a collection of traditional Breton lace headdresses, but we preferred to walk around the charming old streets and have a drink at one of the many bars. I really enjoyed my Kir Breton, which contained cider, a very refreshing and delicious drink indeed.

 

The Chateau walls

The Chateau walls

 

We are staying at the Municipal Campsite for only 15.10 a day and I have to say that I’ve just had the worst ever shower on my travels (now on our 5th year): only a trickle of water reached me from the high shower head and perhaps I should have moved to the next cubicle, but not knowing if it would be any better, I stuck with it till the bitter end. The funny thing is that one of the reasons why we like to stay in campsites is to have the ‘luxury’ of hot showers without having to use up all our water in the van, so if these facilities are not good, there’s little point in coming. Well, I suppose we also have electricity and we can charge up our mobile phones and Kindle, so let’s look on the bright side!

 

Savouring the local flavours: Gorgeous and refreshing Kir Breton

Savouring the local flavours: Gorgeous and refreshing Kir Breton

 

Yesterday, we visited another charming medieval town with an impressive castle: Josselin, and again, we went for a long walk around the town, along the river Oust and the town’s gardens, with a trail for children to follow and stunning hydrangeas with conical flowers, the like of which I had never seen before. Funny how neither of us was in a mood for visiting the castle, but sometimes a gentle stroll getting lost in a new place is just as much fun and, after all, we have seen and visited our fair share of châteaux!

 

Josselin Chateau on the River Oise

Josselin Chateau on the River Oust

 

I love how these castles were built on natural rocks and cliffs

I love how these castles were built on natural rocks and cliffs

 

We stayed at the free motorhome aire by St Martin’s Church, which was a tad too busy for our liking, but still quiet at night and we both had a good night’s sleep.

 

The busy but free motorhome aire at Josselin by St Martin's Church

The busy but free motorhome aire at Josselin by St Martin’s Church

 

View of Josselin from the town bridge

View of Josselin from the town bridge

 

Half-timbered house in Josselin

Half-timbered house in Josselin

 

Josselin en Fete

Josselin en Fete

 

Amazing conical hydrangea flowers

Amazing conical hydrangea flowers

 

The gorgeous hydrangea bush with conical flowers

The gorgeous hydrangea bush with conical flowers

 

 

The day before that, we stayed at the motorhome aire at St Philbert de Grand Lieu by a lovely lake, around which we took Beano for a long walk. It had no electricity, but it did have free water, it was peaceful and on hard standing. There was a huge municipal campsite nearby which might be useful for future reference.

 

Motorhme aire at St Philbert de Grand Lieu by the lake

View of Motorhme aire at St Philbert de Grand Lieu by the lake

 

Wakling around lake

Walking around lake at St Philbert de Grand Lieu

 

Tomorrow, we’ll be heading east again to the lovely La Ferté-Macé before moving north again to Broglie and our usual visit to the vet.

We’ll be back on the road during the October half term!

Pont Réan, Guichen Aire, Ille-et-Vilaine, Monday 28th October 2013

Standard

 

Well, we have survived the storm that was supposed to hit Brittany at 80 m.p.h last night, although we both agree that it had been far worse the night before at Quiberon.

 

We survived the storm at Quiberon

We survived the storm at Quiberon

 

Something quite amusing happened yesterday morning. As we were leaving the aire at 9 am, we encountered a few vans parked around the exit, with a van trying to squeeze out between the bollard and the paying machine using levelling blocks, as this had broken down and nobody could get out. I was told help had been called for, but being Sunday it might take a little while. A frustrated camper tried jumping on the bollard itself to make it go down, but to no avail, but at least it provided a few moments of entertainment. A few minutes later, the gendarme arrived, but he couldn’t do anything either and even tried kicking it, which, of course, didn’t work! The guard finally arrived at 9.20 am and operated the system manually and we were able to leave without further ado. Very efficient, we thought, and we carried on merrily on our way.

 

A wet walk on Port Blanc

A wet walk on Port Blanc

We spent Sunday afternoon and night at the new motorhome aire at Baden, situated on Route de Port Blanc, Kerhilio, at 800 metres from the jetty de L’Ile aux Moines (www.airedesiles.fr) This is quite an impressive and beautifully kept motorhome aire and the 8 daily fee for this time of year included electricity hook-up, wifi and showers, although these were switched off! The water borne operated with a €2 coin and we were more than happy to pay for this, as we were running a bit low and desperately needed a shower. The aire has room for 50 motorhomes, but there were only 3 last night, well protected from the strong winds by the surrounding trees.

 

Stopping by the oyster beds

Stopping by the oyster beds

 

We loved the walk down to the beach and seeing the oyster beds in the fishing village. It was raining quite heavily at one point, but we didn’t really mind as the scenery was so lovely.

Oyster beds

Oyster beds

 

Oyster beds under water

Oyster beds under water

 

We went to Port Blanc after making a final visit to the Carnac Alignments at Kerlescan, with its 13 rows of the best preserved menhirs and the impressive Géant du Manio, which stands 6 metres high, and its Quadrilateral. This is situated just a short and pleasant walk through the woods from the D196 road.

Getting excited about finding the Giant!

Getting excited about finding the Giant!

 

The Quadrilateral at Manio

The Quadrilateral at Manio

 

The Gian at last!

The Gian at last!

 

 

Little me by the Giant of Manio

Little me by the Giant of Manio

This morning, we left in a downpour and got rather wet whilst filling up with water and emptying the grey water tank, but the rain cleared soon after and it has remained a sunny and warm day (22 ºC in van at the moment at 5 pm). We went back on the D101 to north of Vannes, N166 to Bohal, about 10 miles south of Ploërmel, D776 to Guer, D772 to north of Guichen and D577 to Pont Réan, about 6 miles south of Rennes.

 

The motorhome aire by the Vilaine river

The motorhome aire by the Vilaine river and stone bridge

We are parked right by the Vilaine river, with a beautiful and picturesque view of the stone bridge on La Cale de Pont Réan, Rue de Redon. It really is lovely here, with 10 pitches for €5 a day, which is collected by a guard in the evening.

 

The charming stone bridge at Pont Réan

The charming stone bridge at Pont Réan

There are lots of people walking along the river, so it seems to be a very popular place, with a few restaurants and all kinds of shops, as well as canoeing and other water sports. This is another charming stop to bear in mind for future reference.

 

The river walk and motorhome aire viewed from the stone bridge

The river walk and motorhome aire viewed from the stone bridge

 

We are going towards Alençon tomorrow and have already made an appointment at the vet in Broglie for Beano’s worming before returning home on Saturday.

 

The quay and access for water sports at Pont Réan

The quay and access for water sports at Pont Réan

Quiberon, Morbihan Department, Brittany, Saturday 26th October 2013

Standard

 

 

Côte Sauvage or Wild Coast at Quiberon

Côte Sauvage or Wild Coast at Quiberon

 

This has been our first ever day in the Brittany region and we have certainly made the most of it.

 

Magnifcent sunset at Oudon

Magnifcent sunset at Oudon

 

We were woken up at 7.30 am by Beano, who seemed a bit unsettled or upset about something (perhaps the early trains going past near the campsite at Oudon), so we were ready to leave Oudon by 9 am, back on the D723 to join the motorway north east of Nantes at junction 41 and on to the N844/A82/N165/E60 (Why so many names for one road???) towards Vannes and on to south west of Auray, where we headed south west to Carnac on the D768.

 

The Carnac Alignments

The Carnac Alignments

 

With only one break for coffee before 11 am at the lovely aire of Marzan at j.17, over the attractive view of the Vilaine river by La Roche Bernard, we were in Carnac by noon and, after deciding not to stop for the day at the motorhome aire in the town itself – lovely as it was -, we went back on the D196 just north of Carnac to have a look at the famous Neolithic site of The Carnac Alignments, made of thousands of 6,000 years old megaliths.

 

The Carnac alignments

The Carnac alignments

 

We stopped by the Visitors’ Centre at Le Ménec to go around the site and get some information about it. The leaflet says the village of Ménec was built within the enclosure, comprising 71 blocks which almost touch one another. This site currently has 1,050 stones running over a total length of 950 metres.

 

Ménec, built around the megaliths

Ménec, built within the enclosure

 

We really enjoyed our walk in the sun around this fascinating and intriguing site and finding out about their history and purpose. Built between the fifth and third millennia BC by sedentarised communities, the rows of menhirs and enclosures form part of individual tombs (mounds) and collective tombs (dolmens).

 

Some of the bigger megaliths at Ménec

Some of the bigger megaliths at Ménec

 

After our walk around the site, we made our way to Quiberon and, although we tried stopping for the day at various possible wild-camping spots, we decided on the official motorhome aire by the camping municipal de Kerné on Route de Port-Kerné, open all year and with room for 110 vehicles, with water but no electricity at only 6 a day. This wonderful aire is right on the coast and commands beautiful views of the very aptly named Côte Sauvage or Wild Coast.

 

The motorhome aire at Quiberon

The motorhome aire at Quiberon, Port-kerne

 

So after lunch and a little rest, we went for another long walk to enjoy the magnificent coastline and the sheer force of the ocean blowing the foam from the waves over the impressive cliffs, making it look like snow.

 

The wind 'playing' with the foam from the waves

The wind ‘playing’ with the foam from the waves, looking just like snow

 

The wind 'playing' the the foam from the waves

The wind ‘playing’ the the foam from the waves

 

It’s been very windy all day but still very warm, with temperatures in the van hitting 26ºC in late October! I am not complaining.

 

Loving the wind and the sea at Quiberon

Loving the wind and the sea at Quiberon

 

 Tomorrow, we are going to see the rest of the megaliths, including the Giant of Manio or Géant du Manio, which stands roughly 6 metres high! After that, we’re hoping to spend some time in the Golfe du Morbihan, which looks very interesting indeed.

 

Côte Sauvage or Wild Coast at Quiberon

Côte Sauvage or Wild Coast at Quiberon – more ‘snow’