Thursday, 30 September 2010

A breath of French air

I know that it is more than ten days since I last posted. When I made that statement about being back in ten days I had forgotten that when we returned from our break, we were going to a wedding in Northampton, which meant we would be away again. I had not really forgotten. Maybe it was selective amnesia. How could I forget? It was the wedding of SIL's daughter. Mrs Bennet from the previous post. This was her one and only daughter's wedding and it is just as well that there are not another four to marry off! I am sure that when Kate Middleton and Prince William marry it will be done with far less fuss. At least the date had been set in stone for ten months so could not be subject to constant changes.


For our trip to France this year we had decided some time ago that we would go to Brittany, but we did not have any fixed ideas about where we wanted to go and as we found, when we set about booking the holiday, Brittany is quite big. One thing that was definite was that we would go with Brittany Ferries. So I chose a few hotels from their brochure. Then we selected what we considered to be the most suitable location, which turned out to be the attractive and genteel seaside resort of Dinard, on northern Brittany's Emerald Coast. We were pleasantly surprised. It was quiet, clean and tidy. Unlike most English seaside resorts there were no kiss me quick hats, candy floss stalls or cafes selling fish and chips. In the centre of the main promenade is a statue of Alfred Hitchcock who apparently based the house, in the film Psycho, on a villa which over looks the Plage de l'Ecluse but nobody is sure which villa. Dinard could not be better situated.  The wide clean sandy expanse of Plage de l'Ecluse is sheltered by cliffs to the east


and the west

and across the bay is San Malo.



Late each afternoon a quartet of men could be found playing boules at the top end of the beach. The sea is tidal and I could have watched it, going in and out, all day. Around the corner from where we were staying was the Clair de Lune promenade. Unfortunately the attractively planted flower beds were past their best. However, the view across the bay, from above the promenade looks good at any time of year. It could have been Cornwall.


We had one warm and sunny day, which we spent exploring Dinard. The remainder of our stay the weather was grey and windy - bracing as we English say. It was on such a day that we took the ferry across the bay to San Malo where we were deposited outside the walls of the old city. Inside the walls the streets are cobbled and the buildings tall and impressive, if a bit difficult to photograph. But a very windy walk around the city walls gave us the opportunity to take some photos, before we caught the ferry back to Dinard.



On our way back to Cherbourg, to catch the ferry home to Portsmouth, we stopped off in the very pretty medieval town of Dinan.


The photograph is courtesy of the Internet, as my camera refused to work. Here we visited a large open air market, where you could buy almost anything. I am sure that in the UK health and safety regulations would prevent many of the items being sold at such a market, but this was France. Something that I really noticed was how smart  and chic the French women are. All neatly dressed in jackets, trousers and scarves to go to the market. Sadly our breath of French air soon came to an end and we found ourselves on the ferry back to Portsmouth.

22 comments:

Jennyta said...

A lovely holiday, then CW. in spite of the wind. I love holidaying in France.

the fly in the web said...

I like the Rance estuary area, both for its towns and the countryside, so I can see why you enjoyed it so much despite the wind.
Did you see the barrage?

Sandi McBride said...

Glad your holiday was so spectacular! And sorry your camera picked an inopportune time to go "phlat". Welcome home and welcome back!
Sandi

Maggie May said...

The photos are lovely..... and yes, could have been taken in Cornwall!
It is always good to holiday across the Channel.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Akelamalu said...

It does look like Cornwall and sounds like a lovely place. Shame you didn't have better weather.

LindyLouMac said...

Just a short hop across the channel and you can already experience the calmer way of life that still goes on in much of mainland Europe. Don't you just love it. Cornwall for the scenery but nothing else?

Rob-bear said...

Glad you got away from all the business of your life. And that bit of Brittany looks so delightful.

St. Malo has a Canadian connection. It was the home and the base of Commodore Jacques Cartier, who discovered and claimed Canada for the French in the mid 1500s.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Sounds like a lovely trip. I can't imagine being able to say - oh, we went to France for holiday again. What fun!

Gilly said...

That looks a lovely visit. I hadn't realised there were interesting little medieval towns around in Brittany! But then I hadn't really looked at that bit of France!

Catharine Withenay said...

Crikey, you have been busy whilst I've been out of the loop. Glad you had such a beautiful holiday and I'm looking forward to catching up more!

mrsnesbitt said...

Oh Dinard - we have been there in our French trip in 2000! Remind me to tell you sometime!

lakeviewer said...

I'm glad you had some clear days to enjoy the holiday in France. As for French women always looking sharp, it is admirable, for sure. Glad to see you back.

Manchester Lass, Now and Then said...

Sounds like a wonderful holiday was had despite the weather not being very good. Lovely photos as always:) Linda xx

French Fancy... said...

Well you were in my French neck of the woods then - Dinard and Dinan are gorgeous places and it sounded like you had a great week.

Incidentally, did you know I have a new blog?

http://frenchfancymovestokent.blogspot.com

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, soo gorgeous!!!! I want to live in England again, and bask in French holidays by the seaside!!! Such a delight!!! I'm so glad that you had a break after all the craziness!! Glad you are back, too!! Miss you when you are away!! ~Janine XO

Susie Vereker said...

Lovely photos, CW. Glad you are back.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Sounds like you had a relaxing time CW. We visited Brittany a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. A

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Bit different to Skeggy then! Glad you enjoyed it.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

CW,

Just stopping by to send you my love!! So happy you are back!! ~Janine XO

cheshire wife said...

Thank you Janine. I am strugglig at the moment.

imbeingheldhostage said...

One of our boys was just chosen to go on a France trip with some of his class mates, I'm going to bring him over here to look at your photos--lovely! You've really made me crave traveling with your trip :-)

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