Wanderlust Home and Pet Care
June 22 We arrived at our home in Plomelin. We have rented this home from a friend in Denver. Judy helps us get settled (sister of owner living here in France). The church is across the street with bells every 15 minutes starting at 7 am. The patisserie shop is a couple of blocks away as is a small grocery store. We will be here 3 weeks until our first house sitting assignment begins.
June 23 We drove to the small village of Pont l’Abbe not far away. Thursday is market day and we needed some food so I was very excited - we can actually bring something home instead of just looking!! It was better than I expected. We purchased rotisserie chicken, smoked fillet mignon, sausages, cherries, strawberries, lettuce, green beans and cucumber. As we were leaving we noticed a kiosk selling brioche rolled on an iron, cooked and then rolled into sugar or chocolate.
We bot a cinnamon sugar and a chocolate. I remembered having something similar in Cesky Krumlov. It was still warm by the time we got home. Gary made coffee and we dug in. I do have to admit the dessert made in the Czech Republic was made with a pie dough which I prefer but this french style still was delicious.
June 24 Gary walked to the patisserie store for croissants and pain au chocolat. Oh man are we cheating!!
June 25 Gary was the tour guide. Pont Aven, a small town known for the large number of mills was the destination. It was a beautiful village. We found the foundations of several but only one mill is still a true reminder of the production history this town had. Brittany is known for crepes made with buckwheat. Our lunch consisted of a savory and a dessert crepe washed down with local cider. DELICIOUS! We were invited for cocktails to meet Judy’s family. It was a delightful get-together.
June 27 We prepared for guests with heavy apps and cocktails. Judy and family wanted to see the remodel of the apartment where we are staying.
June 28 The seaside village of Douarnenez was a 45 minute drive. The town was heavy into sardines when in the early 1900s the sardines vanished. The town converted to all types of fishing in order to survive. There is a walking route named after the sardine which was very nice as the many signs along the route were also in English.
July 2 We tried to get out sightseeing earlier in the week but the rain seemed to keep us at home until the 2nd. We had visited Concarneau before when we joined Marci & family for the houseboat trip on the Canal du Midi. That was maybe 12 years ago so it was time for another visit. The tourist office had a walking route which we took. We visited the local aquarium which concentrated on plankton. I had no idea that plankton came in so many different shapes and sizes.
July 4 Happy Independence Day Another day without rain so we drove to Quimper’s centre ville. I didn’t realize that the old section of the city was surrounded by a wall, however, not much of it remains. I enjoyed seeing all the timber buildings especially the ones that were leaning. Hope they don’t fall down! We had a nice lunch at a cafe that has been in business for a long time. They had an old picture on their place mats which I loved.
July 5 Sunshine - yeah! The drive to Pointe du Raz took about an hour. It was beautiful farmland and small villages along the way. We stopped to take pictures of Eglise de Meilars. It was built between 1528 and 1544. I thought the statues and cross on a separate monument was so unusual! The hike out to the Pointe took about 30 minutes. The purple flowers growing low to the ground were everywhere. With the sun, blue water and flowers, it was a feast for our eyes. While we visited the information center, a prehistoric site was mentioned where fire was first used in France some 465,000 years ago. The site was only 30 minutes away. The site included the cave - only visited with a tour group, a necropolis and a grave with the finest and largest dolmens of the area. It is amazing to think that prehistoric man could figure out how to lift the massive stones to build the cairn.
July 6 More Sunshine. Gary discovered some Geocaches in the area. With a couple of days of zero rain we wouldn’t get muddy. Unfortunately, the caches were micros and we never found them. On the bright side, the GPS led us to Saint Meryn’s fountain. Saint Meryn is the patron saint of Plomelin and is located in a lovely park.
July 7 Way Point, Fougeres. The castle, built in the 11th century, was a military stronghold. We rented listening devises to learn about the history as we walked the ramparts. The town is divided between the lower - the working class area and near the castle and the top of the ridge area - developed by the wealthy. This area of Brittany, which borders Normandy, holds more surprises but we just don’t have the time as we were on our way to the D-Day beaches.
July 8 Our AirB&B host made us feel just like family - played a game in the back yard, had aperitifs in the garden, and met the neighbors whom are dairy and rabbit farmers. The morning was spent at the Memorial du Caen - a museum you must not miss if visiting the D-Day beaches. The afternoon was spent at Arromanches’ D_Day museum. This museum is all about the artificial harbor created for supplying the troupes. Amazing engineering. We figured that Buck, Gary’s Dad, came to France using this port on D-Day + 6.
July 9 The first part of the morning was spent at Pointe du Hoc. The American Rangers had to scale the cliffs and take out the heavy guns that pointed to Utah and Omaha beaches. We then came back to the house for a tour of the machine that automatically milks the cows. The machine uses lasers to wash each teat before it is milked. It also tracks which cows have been milked and when. We then drove to the American Cemetery. It was very sobering to see all those graves.
July 10 We headed back to our apartment in Brittany but stopped for lunch in Josselin. The village is on the list of most beautiful villages. We will come back to Josselin for their Medieval festival on the 14th - the center of town closed for a market, a parade at 7 pm and fireworks to finish the event.
July 11 Locronan village. Another most beautiful village and I think of the villages we have seen, this is my favorite. The village has many building that have survived from the 16th Century. We ate at this restaurant in the picture. My pork was delicious. There are very few “new” buildings in the village so it truly represents it’s history and architecture.
July 12 We drove to Phare (Lighthouse) de’Eckmuhl and the surrounding beaches. It was a beautiful day but not warm enough to get into the water. The surfers were wearing wet-suits which I just don’t carry in my suitcase. July 13 I was packing for the road trip to Magnac Laval where we will house sit 4 dogs for 2 weeks.
July 14 Bastille Day and a medieval festival in Josselin. The town was full of people all dressed up for the event. Wandering troubadours, dancing, a tournament and plenty of kiosks to purchase food and drinks were available. We attempted to eat at a restaurant in the center of town but just too long a wait so we had a nice lunch with a view of the town’s castle. Our AirBnB also had a terrific view of the castle and was a 15 minute walk into town. I walked back down at 7 pm to watch the parade. Never saw the fireworks as it was 11:30 pm before it started and a was snoring away.
July 15 Gary found an article about the town La Gacilly and their photographic display. Large photos were placed on the sides of building or photos were placed in the city garden. It was a pleasant side trip on our way to Angers. Our purpose for visiting Angers was the castle, built in the 13th century and having 17 towers. The castle is also home to the Apocalypse tapestry, the oldest surviving tapestry over the length of a football field. It was commissioned in 1375 and took 7 years to make recounting the struggle of Good and Evil in the Book of Revelation with a realistic representation of life back then.
July 16 We made our way to our first house sitting assignment in France. Goodbye Brittany, thanks for a wonderful time.