Tag Archives: half-timbered houses

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

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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!

Amboise aire, Saturday 31st December 2011

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We stayed two nights at La Suze-sur-Sarthe and the second day turned out to be quite sunny, but chilly.  We walked into the town and around the market, but there wasn’t much of particular interest.  Adonis continued with his fishing, although he didn’t catch anything, and I continued with my crocheting and reading.

aire at St Genouph by the Loire

On Friday morning we left following the D12 to La Flèche, the D308 to Baugé, the D766 east to Chateau La Vallière and D34 south to Villandry and St Genouph, just west of Tours, where we stayed all afternoon and spent the night.  St Genouph is a tiny village  right by the river Loire, very quiet and just perfect for an overnight stay, behind the church and Marie in the village free car park.

This morning we just drove to Tours itself and parked by the Cathedral of St Gatien, where we admired the numerous 13thcentury stained glass windows and the stories they told, especially the martyrdoms of the various saints, like St Martin.  They are all quite amazing, as are the rose window and the majestic gothic faҫade.  Apparently, on a sunny day, all these windows project some incredible colours inside the cathedral, but today’s been a gloomy grey day and unfortunately we didn’t see this spectacle.

 

Tours' St Gatien Cathedral

We then walked into the old quarter and admired the Renaissance faҫade of Hotel Gouin and went looking for the Ecole des Langues Vivantes to see the sculpted figures mentioned in the guide book, but it proved to be a fruitless task, as we were getting tired and only had 30 minutes left on the car park ticket.  We had a coffee instead in the Rue du Grand Marché and enjoyed the old half-timbered houses dating from the XII to XV centuries, some of them so crooked and slanting that it’s a miracle they are still standing.  They reminded me a little of Canterbury.

 

Stained-glass windows in Tours cathedral

Back in the van, we carried on east out of Tours to Amboise, north of the river on the D952 and were here for 12 noon.  We have paid 20€ for two nights and I had another moment’s panic when the machine wouldn’t read the ticket, no matter which way I inserted it.  I pressed the help button and a helpful assistant sorted it out for us.  So here we are again opposite the Château: an aire with a view indeed, just superb and well worth the money.

 

 

Rose window at Tours's cathedral

 

Half-timbered houses in Tours old quarters

Hotel Gouin's faҫade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve just come back from a long walk with Bramble to the end of the Île D’Or and are about to have a shower ready for our New Year’s Eve meal at the Lion D’Or just on the other side of the bridge, which we booked from home.  It should be quite special.

Amboise on New Year's Eve

Surprise pudding at the Lion d'Or

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adonis has been complaining about a pain on his left knee and has been limping a bit today, so I hope he’ll be alright for tonight, but he might need to see a doctor when we return home.