Archive for April 1st, 2019

April 1, 2019

A rainy day by Saint Nazaire!

Today was and still is a rainy day (this is a re post of June 2013).  Rather than stay home as usual we hit the road as I was home this weekend. We are starting to spread out a bit into outlying areas of our base in the Morbihan. Today we did a quick visit to Saint Nazaire, in dept 44 Loire-Atlantique of the Pays de la Loire region.

It is another seldom visited off the beaten path of my belle France, but heys we are here need to see it all lol!




As we had little time and no plans to visit, we only touch bases by going into the center of town. The usual shopping we do near us ,we did it there this time. That is shopping for the wife, lots lots of it lol!!! then shopping for the kids lots of it, and little for me as I do the driving slave slave slave lol!!! We did purchase some clothings  at C&A and pillows ,and household items at GIFI, then  went over to see the big centre commercial of Savine, Grand Champs, both full of stores, restaurants amazing place so much in one place all next to each other, just before getting into city center Saint Nazaire in the neighboring town of Trignac. sure to be back ::)

While there we ate at a picturesque restaurant call Poivre & Rouge, in the nearby town of Trignac tried before and it was a pleasant surprise with great family welcome, funny folks, great service, and the food was great, had 400 grams steaks, Iberico spanish pork ham, cold cuts and melted camembert cheese, duck maigret steak of 200 grams, and all with grimbergen blonde/blanche beers, cafe gourmand, banana splits, and cheesecake ice cream, strawberries, and another of caramel and apple flavors, all for about 27.80€ per person within our budget! Like I said, we will be back soon. Good. Official site here:


We walk the center of Saint Nazaire around the shopping Republique, many nice shops and restos there too, all the way to the Hôtel de Ville or city hall, and pass by the train bus station upon entering the center of town. The buses were working well, even on a rainy windy there, that is still going on by me. Ruban Bleu shopping center for our shopping today; official webpage here: Ruban Bleu shopping center Saint Nazaire

On our way back , we just did our groceries at Auchan, heck its only 110 kms from us so on a cool day it was no problems, this is our former hypermarket from the Yvelines(78)! More on it here: Auchan shopping center

In all, its a place to combine it with the beaches of La Baule, Pornic, Pornichet etc and do the shopping back here on way back, nice planning, check, noted,written,and schedule. See you around here in summer. Well the real one because today we are already in summer time here lol!!! Those meteologists folks still missing the point rain all day lol!! Need to be back, I will,promise!

First ,this is the town of Saint Nazaire webpage and it can be translate to several languages (have it in English),

And this is the tourism webpage of Saint Nazaire:

Enjoy Saint Nazaire and remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

April 1, 2019

Inland beauties in the Morbihan, Maletroit and St Marcel!

Here I am back in my neck of the woods . I was drawn to Maletroit, and Saint Marcel inland Morbihan. It was a thrill to find more gems there, and on  historical St Marcel as well. A great Saturday indeed.

No train station, there is a bus line no 4 from the train station in Vannes or pl de la LIberation in Vannes to Maletroit; the schedule in pdf file here: TIM line 4 Vannes to Maletroit

Then best is by car from Vannes take the N166 direction Rennes and come off at exit D776 Maletroit, follow the signs for the city. Or a bit further or coming from Rennes closest is the exit D10 Serent/Maletroit. From Nantes you take the N165 to the N166 direction Rennes and follow above. Its a gem and best by car.

Maletroit as other 23 cities in Brittany receives for its historical richness the title of « Petite cité de caractère » or small towns of character. All works around the river Oust, that connects here with the wonderful Canal Nantes-Brest. You have many things to see here and a day will be filled with goodies to enjoy,such as the place du Bouffay (houses from the 15C to 16C intermingle), L’île Notre-Dame(isle of Notre Dame between canal and river), Church of Saint-Gilles (12-16C), Chapelle de la Madeleine (where treaty of the Hundred years war was signed), Monastery of the Augustines, see and walk medieval streets such as rue du Général de Gaulle, rue Sainte-Anne ,and rue des Ponts (houses from the 15-16C), see the stone shales in purple, green,and blue, sand, tiles, stones, and granite in the architecture of the buildings and houses. See the windmill of flour,and the ecluses or levies on the river and canal, plenty of houses of wood front from many years old since 15C ; and see the house of water and fishing or maison de l’eau et de la pêche.


The region of Broceliande  tourist info is small here in French

More information is in the city of Maletroit :

The Tourist office of Brittany has more info on Maletroit:

The Church of St Gilles was under renovation but still open, and very nice in a pedestrian section by the pl du Bouffray, really nice,the most impressive is the meridional  façade shown very high on the front. On each side of the south portal you have two doors sculpture from the 17C, you can see encrusted on the wall the sculptues that comes from the church of the 11C, great reliefs rounded, chapters and corbets, all representing a melee of attributes of the evangelists (lion of Saint-Marc landed by  Samson  that symbolises maybe the man of Saint-Mathieu,the deer of Saint-Luc resting on a socket decorated with the eagle of Saint-Jeanand ) ,a nice place to eat at Bar du Bouffray lights meals and drinks (which we did) , other heartier restos abound. The statue called Notre-Dame-de-pity dates from the 16C. It is carved in a wooden monolith. It was before the French revolution in the chapel of the Augustinian monastery  in the Notre Dame island, then thrown by the revolutionaries to be burned, it was exchanged by Pierre Evain, carpenter, against 5 ropes of wood. He hid it before installing it in the Church. From the Romanesque period, there remains the square of the transept and its south-extended cross-vaulted apsidal, which opens onto a southern façade with a rich iconography. At the 16C  Northern nave in flamboyant Gothic  was attached to the southern nave radiating Gothic. These two naves, separated outwardly by an octagonal turret and communicating inside by large arcades, confer to the ensemble a great originality. Then it was rebuilt and enlarged in the 17C following the fire caused by the Leaguers in 1592.

Inside, you will notice a beautiful polychrome Pieta of the 16C, the stained glass of the tree of Jesse  15C, the large stained glass window, to the left of the high altar of 1900) which represents the life of Saint-Gilles , the Chair aux Sirens  17C and the reliquary hand of Saint-Gilles, 15C in silver bronze.  On both sides of the south gate, consisting of two doors carved from the 17C, one can see, embedded in the wall, sculptures that come from the Church of the 11-12C. Large reliefs in the round-bump, capitals and corselets, they represent a jumbled of the attributes of the evangelists , the lion of St. Mark crushed by Samson which symbolizes perhaps the man of Saint-Mathieu, the Ox of Saint-Luke  rests on a pedestal adorned with the Eagle of St. John, vices (protest, impurity, debauchery, adultery, lust, drunkenness, avarice) or the Acrobat, an interesting allegory of man leaving the station right to sink in the aforementioned vices.



At 4 Faubourg Saint-Michel  ,you see the wonderful Monastery of the Augustines, and next door the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception. A wonderful history even narrated in French at the webpage, There were Augustins on the isle of Notre Dame from 1633 to 1791, stop by the revolution . In 1828, Jean-Marie de Lamennais. that came to found the Congrégation des Prêtres de St Méen, buys the building and creates the  Novitiate. In 1866, well welcome by the locals, the new monastery under the support fo the Immaculate Conception came back to be. However, the laws of 1902 against the Congrégations teaching in France needs to close and the Sisters flee to England. In order to continue the Sisters need to have a nurse degree to care for the sick.  In April 1915, the group arrives back again to Malestroit, the room welcome the refugees from Belgium due to WWI,  Friday September 13 ,1918, all the community gets together for a geste that give birth to a house, the consecration of the Sacred Heart that still is celebrated on that date to this day. The official hospital next door to the monastery has a webpage in French:  Clinique des Augustines 


In WWII ,they did heroic acts curing and guarding resistant’s fighters in their monastery and clinic at great risks, the Géneral Audibert, chief of the Résistance de l’Ouest, hid in the clinic, made prisoner and deported to Buchenwald, mentioned on his return « Elles ont agi avec joie, espérance et charité ». “they acted with joy, hope, and charity” BRAVO! This is their webpage in French,


Other wonderful thing to walk ,see and admire is the magnificent Canal Nantes Brest that passes the town along the river Oust. A bit of info on it, the Canal link the two cities in the name from Nantes to Brest, taken the valleys of the rivers Erdre, Isac, Oust, Bravet,Doré,Hyéres,and Aulne; these rivers are link by three canals that joints flanking the lines of water. Its construction goes back to the first half of the 19C and it has 364 km long. The idea was to link by water as by road was more difficult the whole of the Dukedom of Brittany, idea as far back as 1538. After many hesitations and the ravages of war, the project took fly in 1803, and was achieved in 1858 ,with the presence of emperor Napoleon III and the Imperatrice Eugene at the levy of Guilly Glaz.


On my way to Maletroit, passed by St Marcel, and notice a sign for the Museum of Breton Resistance in WWII or Musée de la Résistance Bretonne. it was a pleasant surprise for military history lovers like me; the weapons are all spread out n the yard from guns to bunkers and great history inside. If by car, you can combine a visit to both St Marcel and Maletroit very nicely and get away from historical, navigable, and military sightseeing at its best.  The inscription in their site pretty much sums up everything indeed,  Saint-Marcel, in the forests of Lanvaux, sheltered the largest Breton marquis (resistant fighters), where on June 18, 1944, a memorable combat of the Brittany and French history proceeded. Before the allies unload in Normandy, the parachutists of Free France were released on Brittany, and in the days which followed to Saint-Marcel where 2500 Breton gathered. These feats of arms of Resistance in Brittany, one of the first areas of France recognized for its heroism and its sacrifices deserve to be recognized, explained, commemorated and preserved forever. You come here and you too will recognized them.  You reach here by car on the N166 from Vannes or Rennes, and get off at D776 direction St Marcel/Maletroit, at the roundabout take direction St Marcel and follow the signs to the museum. webpage in French, hit Visite:




Some of the off the beaten path folks asked me all the time well plenty in my belle France still to be discovered by many. Enjoy Maletroit and St Marcel in inland Morbihan of Brittany!

And remember ,happy travels good health, and many cheers to all!!!

April 1, 2019

Gulf of Morbihan: Larmor Baden, and Port Blanc!

Another day of going into the wonderful Golfe du Morbihan or Gulf of ( Morbihan is Breton meaning small sea, French would be petite mer). Having my Dad in tow its an big effort but we manage to do it.  This is the area just to the west of Vannes, the area main city and seat of government in the  department 56, region of Brittany. This is a re blog with updated info.

We started our morning going to Larmor-Baden , a nice harbor city with passenger boat service to the outer islands, and market day today, Sunday. Many picturesques hilly streets and beautfiful home before reaching the harbor or port area. Many homes for rent vacation properties in this area, very nice, and the port area with nice restos overlooking the harbor. Boats do go out to the outer islands very frequently in summer.

larmor baden

larmor baden

We then move on to Port Blanc, where direct boat trips to the gulf is done, very frequently in summer. The main island just in front is the Iles aux moines, an island first inhabited by monks. Now a very nice vacation hotspot with beautiful beaches. The area has a boardwalk with bakeries, restos and ticket offices for boat passenger rides. A great parking is nearby just before reaching the port area, and its free.


port blanc

You reach all these places off the expressway N165 then exit for Larmor Baden,  on the 316, then the 316A  department roads;signs are well posted to go to larmor on the D316 etc. You have Vannes bus system KICEO .  on line 23 available , the best way here is the car, definitively a must to really enjoy the area.

The choices are endless,and families especially are welcome. The surfing, jet ski, canoeing, kayak crowds are also very welcome as these are prime location for its practice.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Larmor Baden on things to see

tourist site Gulf of Morbihan on Larmor Baden

Tourist office of the Morbihan on Port Blanc

Tourist office of the Morbihan introduction

Enjoy the coastal beaches and wonders of the Morbihan. And remember, happy travels , good health,and many cheers to all!!!

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