Archive for September 16th, 2022

September 16, 2022

Dinan, the crossroad of Brittany !

I like to tell you again about a wonderful town of my lovely Bretagne and the dept 22 of the Côtes d’Armor. I am updating this older post and you can see my several others on Dinan.A general overview should do justice to the city. Hope you enjoy it as I.

And in our road warrior rides in our lovely Bretagne, we visited again Dinan, this time a bit more. We went by car of course. Dinan is indeed at the road crossing of Saint Malo, Rennes, Lorient,Quimper, Vannes you name it. We set out and took off on the road D768 direction Pontivy. We went all the way past Pontivy to hook up at Loudéac with the N164 direction Rennes. Continue until we hit Saint Meen le Grand and got on shortly on the D125 already direction Dinan/St Malo. This road same direction change to the D166 passing Caulnes and then we smoothly fell on the road D766 passing the nice Saint Jouan de l’Isles town with nice story on St John the Baptist. At a traffic circle just still direction only Dinan now we hook up with the D795 straight into Rue de Marchix in Dinan and the underground parking at my favorite hotel de ville ,near the castle. In all , we had 141 kms and did it in 1h36 and still free. It has train service to Paris and bus terminal right by the train station, but never taken them.

We got out of the parking and immediately you see the Hôtel de Ville to your right ;built from 17-19C, and located at 21, rue du Marchix. Before 1822, when the City/Town Hall settled there definitively, after having successively occupied the salle de l’Horloge,the buildings of de la Victoire, des Jacobins, and hôtel dit du Gouvernement,at the rue de l’Horloge , it was the old Hôtel-Dieu.

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Instead of following the ramparts from there we took off for the tourist office which is right next to the entrance to the Castle (see post) but came down on the ramparts and saw there was the Fête Foraine du Liége by the Promenade des petits fossés with lots of rides for old and young and food, and music.

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The Basilica Minor of Saint Sauveur ,and the Church of  Saint Malo (see posts) ; jardin Anglais, traced in 1852 on the old parish cemetery, it also allows you to discover a superb panorama of the Rance valley.

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With more walk on the ramparts along the Tour Saint Catherine with a nice view of the viaduc de Rennes over the Rance river, this grandiose granite monument is 250 meters long including the abutments; its height is 40 meters above the towpath and 50 meters including the foundations. It is made up of 10 arches 16 meters wide, separated by straight feet 4 meters thick; the width of the cart track is 5 meters; it is bordered by sidewalks 1 meter wide.

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The port of Dinan from the castle. Here, you walk along the small harbor, take the time to sit on the benches and contemplate the boaters who moor. In the shade of the palm trees, relaxation is guaranteed!

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We did our shopping at Les Terny Thés for my Harley Davidson mug and 1960’s Paris placemats for drinks,  and now I know where I bought them lol !! The store was located at  11 rue de la Poissonnerie, however, it has closed, here for the memories and the webpage : https://www.lesternythes.fr/ . My sons got their leather belts at TM Cuir at 8 rue de la Poissonnerie ,webpage : https://www.tm-cuir.com/le-magasin-tm-cuir-de-dinan-vente-et-fabrication-de-ceintures-et-ceinturons-en-cuir-depuis-1984/

We loaded for the day when hunger struck with goodies of baguettes and dejeunettes sandwich breads at Boulangerie Royer-Gana at corner of the Grand Rue and Rue du Marchix ; however sadly now closed , Mention for the memories of always, And finally we did eat at the wonderful service and food of Pizzeria Cecco at 3 rue de la Lainerie. Nice quatre saisons or four seasons pizza, banana splits and a bottle of red Italina Negroamaro from Salento ,Lecce ;diabolo menthe, other desserts and pasta/pizzas total came out to 21€ per person,ok and nice ambiance with currency money frames and bucket lounge style tables and chairs in the old section of town. Official webpage : https://www.pizzeriacecco.eu/

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The city of Dinan on its heritagehttps://www.dinan.fr/152/monuments-musees

The Dinan-Cap Frehel tourist office on Dinanhttps://www.dinan-capfrehel.com/en/our-destination/not-to-be-missed-any-circumstances/dinan-unmissable-medieval-city-brittany/

The Bretagne region tourist board on Dinanhttps://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/cap-frehel-saint-malo-mont-saint-michel-bay/dinan/

There you go folks, another dandy in my lovely Bretagne. Dinan is worth the detour and we came back again, I say one of the must cities to visit in the region. Hope you enjoy the brief introduction and do see the other posts on things to see in Dinan.

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

September 16, 2022

My little dear Brec’h !!

Let me tell you about my little town of Brec’h, its actually part of Pays d’Auray, so for most needs we were going to Auray, about 9 kms away or 5 miles; however ,Brec’h (French way written Brech) is divided into about 7 communes or villages plus the center or bourg where the church, post office,tabac are located as well as the mayor’s office and local ,real local govt offices are. This is where I came in contact with Bretagne! did not lasted long as moved on but still a special dot in my World map! Memories forever see post on my arrival,

The town itself is small but spread out wide with a pack of historical buildings. One of our favorite was the Ecomusée Saint Degan. Here the agriculture and doings of the area are all shown, from older days in a natural setting , very nice. The official Ecomusée St Deganhttps://ecomusee-pays-auray.fr/

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Another nice monument sight to see is the Church of St André,(see post) it curiously has 24 capitouls from the 13C,the belltower was added in 1896, and many stones to built it taken from the chartreuse or Cartusien monastery nearby. It has been extensively renovated and looking great now as I passed still.

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A hugely historical monument here is the Chartreuse St Michel, (see post) it was built in 1382 in memory of the soldiers who fought in the war of succession in Brittany ,where the toughest battle was held on Sunday, September 29 1364 the day of St Michel. François II, Duke of Brittany change the collegiale of the monastery of Chartreux in 1480 , an order founded by St Bruno. Under the French revolution, the chartreuses were  chase out. The abbey Gabriel Deshayes, priest of Auray put in here in 1812 the Filles de la Sagesse, or daughters of the  Wisdom who were in charge of caring for the blind, deafs, and hard of hearing or understood. In 1814, under the restauration of the monarchy in France, the bones of the immigrants who were shot in firing squad during the revolution at the Champ des Martyrs(field of heroes) in 1795 were transfert here . It is by the village of Penhoet, part of Brech off D120e coming to Brech on the D768 off the N165 expressway.  It is part handle by a retirement center, webpage: http://fillesdelasagesse.free.fr/reseaux/chartreuse.php

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A building here is held by an order of Montforistes religious order and houses homes for the needed and impaired.  I have come to visit them and are doing a great job.  You can ,see several chapels in the area, some near me are the Chapelle Notre Dame des Fleurs, dates from the 18C, a site of pilgrims very popular during the Spring pardon or forgiveness period of believers.  Another one in the center near the river Loch, is the Chapelle Saint Jacques or Santiago, St James, inside he is shown with his pole and st jacques shells, , the chapelle was built in 1464, and it is mentioned on the road to St James of Compostela from 1648.

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The Loch river is historical and beautiful by its river banks. This river grows out in the middle of the Morbihan dept in Brittany and goes all the way meandering like a snake into the Gulf of Morbihan and into the Atlantic Ocean.  The road just before the bourg or city center here, has a nice park/garden with plenty of ducks!  It has a cute and traditional post office building. 

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In center town or bourg we have patronised in the past the L’Official Gerard, boulangerie pâtisserie épicerie store in town ,bakery, sweets and small grocery store with the unique symbol of an American flag in its rightmost window.  It is located at 12 Rue Georges Cadoudal. you have the Le Moana tabac/cafe, 16 rue Georges Cadoudal;  town meeting for coffee and a glass of beer, plus lotto tickets!! , and stamps when post office is closed,and WiFi ;  as here the hours are country, only in the morning on Saturday and only afternoons for the post office, and all close by 19h !!  The only thing that passes by here in public transport is the regional Keolis line 5  Baud – Vannes. A single ticket cost 2 euros and can be used for 50 cents correspondance with the Vannes bus network Kiceo. This is the initial line my boys used for school and still use it as it passes by Pluvigner as well. For the memories,Keolis Atlantique line 5 webpage: https://keolis-atlantique.com/fr/6V-Plan-et-horaires-de-la-ligne-5.html

The town of Brec’h on its heritagehttps://www.brech.fr/a-voir/le-patrimoine-historique/

The local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Brec’hhttps://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/brech

There you go folks, a small town even a village divided in 26 parts with lots of historical monuments and a wonderful river bank of the Loch. Hope you enjoy my off the beaten path post of my little dear Brec’h !!

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

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September 16, 2022

Vannes and the Sea !!!

I need to write again about Vannes. If you have read my blog you know that I have done a load of posts on the city, and for good reasons. It is the capital of my department 56 Morbihan in my lovely Bretagne. And you ,also, should have read that Vannes is Gwened in the Breton language; that Bretagne/Brittany is Breizh and that the Morbihan is the only department (state/province etc) of France which the  name is not French ; it is Breton as Mor=sea bihan=small or should be Petite Mer but no way it is Morbihan !  You, also, would have read I worked and live not far at about 27 km . Ok now for the new stuff lol!!

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The city of Vannes is a port, a pleasure marina and the out ins of the Gulf of Morbihan;one of the world’s best bays and beautiful I must add. So let me tell you a bit on the sea, and port side of the water in Vannes.  We had the old bridge that took us from Vannes to Séné easy and now we have the tunnel ,easier! The Pont de Kérino is a swing bridge crossing the channel of the port of Vannes downstream of a lock gate. The city of Vannes decided to replace it with a tunnel; the Tunnel de Kérino. The bridge was inaugurated in 1988 ,and now you can walk across it , the vehicles go on the tunnel.

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The Tunnel de Kerino or Kérino underpass is an underwater road, cycling and pedestrian tunnel This structure, intended to cross the Marle river, is located at the mouth of the channel connecting the town’s marina to the Gulf of Morbihan. It is intended to smooth the road traffic between the two banks of the Marle to the south and to relieve the Place Gambetta located at the north end of the channel, junction between the marina at Le Port , and the historic center. The tunnel of Kérino was opened to motor vehicles on June 24, 2016. On July 26, 2016, the tunnel is open to pedestrians and cyclists. The tunnel is dug a few meters downstream from the current Kérino bridge. It has a length of 250 meters and has two passages separated by a partition, one for motor traffic in both directions, the other for gentle travel modes (cycle track and sidewalk).

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The Calvary of Kerino is a religious monument of granite and kersantite erected at the entrance to the port of Vannes It is located on the Butte de Kérino or hill, an elevation of the left bank of the channel of the marina, 150 meters upstream from the Pont de Kérino. The monument looks like a cross calvary, erected on a rectangular base, the central part of which represents an altar. On the cross, on either side of the square barrel, are the statues of Saint Patern and Saint Vincent Ferrier, the Patron Saints of the city of Vannes. The center of the cross features the coat of arms of Vannes. The cross that crowns the barrel is decorated with a Christ on the Cross at the front, and a Virgin and Child at the back. The monument is 6.25 meters high. The Calvary of Kerino was inaugurated on December 7, 1913. It was the subject of important pilgrimages in favor of peace and the return of prisoners during WWI or the Great War.

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The port of Vannes is a commercial port, a passenger port and a marina located north of the Gulf of Morbihan along a 1,200 meters channel in a south-north direction, which leads the boats from the commercial port of Pont-Vert in the floating basin, at the foot of the Porte de Saint-Vincent gate (see post), gateway to the old town section of Vannes.

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The attested presence of a port in its current location dates back to the end of the 14C although research has demonstrated the existence of a port from the 1C AD at the foot of the first city during the Roman occupation: Darioritum, civitas of the Vénètes; now Vannes or Gwened (Breton).  The current look of the port of Vannes and its district dates from the end of the 2000s when new equipment and renovations were done with the set up of a harbor office, cultural kiosk, tourist office, underground parking; and the beautification of the place with the creation of an esplanade on the right bank and the planting of paths of trees along the two banks.

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 The Commercial Port is located just upstream of the Pont de Kérino swing bridge, infrastructure that allows vehicles to reach the east of the city towards the commercial innovation park of Bretagne Sud and the city of Séné in order to relieve traffic in the center. The quays of the commercial port welcome the goods which arrive in Vannes after having crossed the Gulf of Morbihan. Due to a complex topography, a weak tidal range and the presence of strong currents in the Gulf, it It is difficult for large ships to venture to a town like Vannes, located more than 15 km from the Atlantic coast.

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At the exit of the marina, the Parc du Golfe is the starting point for boat cruises trips. AtPlace Gambetta, a hemispherical square, marks the end of the port of Vannes and puts it in contact with the historic center by the Porte Sa;int-Vincent gate. Located on the right bank of the port, the promenade de la Rabine is made up of a long avenue of trees which stretches for almost 800 meters between the port esplanade to the north and the quays of the commercial port to the south.

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The city of Vannes on the Pont de Kerino : https://www.mairie-vannes.fr/pont-de-kerino

The Ports of call on the port of Vannes : https://www.passeportescales.com/fr/port-vannes

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist office on boat cruises : https://www.morbihan.com/accueil/cote-mer/que-faire-cotes-et-mer-/prenez-le-large-les-croisieres-et-traversees/compagnies-maritimes

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on cruises from Vannes : https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/explorer-vannes/activites-vannes/croisieres-traversees/

There you go folks, we walked all of the above so its very easy… and you get to see these monuments and views that are just awesome. Hope you have enjoy the Vannes and the sea post and maybe see you around Vannes someday!! The sea is all around us here one way or the other and we like it

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

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