Friday, May 18, 2012
We were in the breakfast room by 7:15 am; enjoyed a continental style breakfast with a selection of five homemade jams…our favorite was the apricot-vanilla jam. Before 8:30 we were packed and on the auto route heading north. The weather was overcast and as we drove we had several periods of rain during our drive.
We stopped in a store on the outskirts of Rennes about noon; purchased food for our lunch and some other supplies that we enjoy…our evening liqueurs and chocolate plus some fresh fruit.
We drove through Dinan about 12:30 and continued on to the coast of the English Channel where we enjoyed our lunch sitting on the beach in Dinard. We could see St. Malo across the bay and enjoyed seeing the boats sitting on the sand as the tide was very low today. We fed the sea gulls our left over lunch as we continued to enjoy the views.
Back on the road we headed across the bridge that crosses the bay between the two cities and headed for the old citi in the port of Saint Malo. The place was packed….we had to wait for a car to leave before we could enter the parking area; (one in for each one that came out) but we hung in and soon were walking in the stiff breezes through the old walls of the city. We climbed the ramparts as soon as possible to enjoy the views out to the English Channel. The tide was still low and there were hundreds of people walking in the tide lands in several sections of the shore. The swimming pool that belongs to one of the big hotels was totally above water. Often it is covered by the water and you can only see an outline below the water and of course the diving platform on the far edge.
Just as we were getting ready to visit the Cathedral we spotted a number of old cars parked together. There were many and some were Jaguars, Porsche, Austin Healy, Citron, VW, and more. It was the Rallye de Bretagne group that has a big weekend…they each had a metal plate attached to the front of the car: “Rallye de Bretagne – 17 – 20 Mai 2012”. Now we fully understood why everything is so crowded…the French are making it a four day weekend holiday!
In the Cathedral we visited the grave of Jacques Cartier, the founder of Canada. There is also a photo for you of the beautiful rose window. The Cathedral was built between the 16th and 18th centuries and is an Italian style structure known as Jean de Chatillon Cathedral.
We walked in the city for nearly two hours before going back to the car and on the road back to Dinan and our new hotel: Hotel Arvor. It is well located inside the old citi and has parking. Plus the rooms have all been remodeled since we last stayed here. And best of all: free wifi!
We walked about the old citi for about an hour, including half way down the old road to the port at the bottom of the cliff. We’ll do the whole thing tomorrow when we’re fresher. At 7:00 pm we had dinner reservations at the nearby Restaurant La fleur de Sel. There we enjoyed an upscale dinner; Chateaubriand beef was my selection…with foie gras and morels mushrooms on potatoes. Dessert was a wonderful concoction. See the photos for more information…I took photos of the menu outside so I could remember. It may not be as good as last night…but it was definitely the second best in the trip!
Tomorrow we’re heading west along the Brittany coast to see what we can see…lots of rugged cliffs and wind swepted shores me thinks! And then back to Dinan for a second night. Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s drive with us.