Brittany, Oysters on the Beach and Dinan

Trip Start May 10, 2014
Trip End May 31, 2014

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Where I stayed
Dinan, Brittany, France
What I did
St. Malo
Northern coast of Brittany
Oyster farming

Flag of France  , Brittany,
Monday, May 19, 2014

I love Brittany! We had petit dejeuner at our chambres d'hôtes just after 8:00 a.m. this morning. When we entered the breakfast room, we were greeted with a hearty "good morning!" by a lady sitting alone at the table. We shared interesting conversation with her while we had breakfast. I was amazed to hear that this lady, probably in her 50's, is traveling alone in western France for the better part of a month. I cannot imagine doing this! She seemed like driving in France is a little intimidating to her, and she asked what we thought of it. It doesn't bother Ed, but he has driven in Naples, Italy, and I am convinced that if you can drive in Naples, you can drive anywhere! Actually, driving in France doesn't seem to be too bad, other than trying to find parking spaces in towns and villages. Still, I don't see how this lady manages to drive and read the map to get where she's going, but she is obviously doing it. She laughed and said it took her two days to figure out how to put her rental car into reverse! I told her (sincerely) that she is a very brave lady to do this kind of trip on her own. She seems to be traveling on a tight budget, and said she came to France after managing to scrape together enough airline miles to get a ticket. My hat is off to her!

We left Colleville-sur-Mer and traveled along the northern coast of Brittany. We passed mystical Mont St. Michel, which seems to float on the surface of the sea. We didn't stop, because we visited here a few years ago. We drove through the little seaside village of Cancale, which is known as the oyster capital of Brittany. I absolutely love oysters, so we stopped at a little beachside restaurant and had a plate of oysters prepared two different ways. One was the traditional Breton way, cooked in a light creamy sauce with leeks, garlic and butter. The other kind was the "American" style, prepared with a red sauce. Both were absolutely delicious! My favorite was the creamy Breton style, and Ed liked the recipe made with red sauce the best. After we finished our lunch, we walked out to the beach behind the restaurant to see the oyster farming area and take some photos. I have to admit, I don't know the first thing about how oysters are farmed, but I am going to look it up. It seemed that pieces of oyster shells are put inside a partially filled mesh sack, which is then submerged under water. This trip is giving me lots of things to research when I get back home!

From Cancale, we drove along the dramatic and beautiful northern coast of Brittany to the lovely seaside town of St. Malo. It is a pretty busy place with lots of traffic, but oh, the architecture of the seaside houses! I want to go back and spend a couple of days in St. Malo, although we probably will not get to do it on this trip. I think the town would be a delight to explore on foot, with the car parked. Actually, the best plan would be to fly into Paris, train to St. Malo, see the town and then pick up a rental car on the way out. St. Malo looked like the perfect place for an author to set up in a room on the top floor of one of the houses overlooking the sea -- the view would be spectacular, and no doubt inspiring. For today, we decided to press on to the medieval town of Dinan, just a little south of St. Malo. Our plan is to spend the night there, because our guidebook really praises this town.

It began to lightly mist and then rain before we reached Dinan. We were able to get a room in the old port section of town, and since it was raining, we decided to just settle in for the evening. I called Matthew and Mom from here. Although our hotel offered Wi-Fi, we were on the top floor of the building and didn't have a strong enough signal to use Skype. So, later in the evening I very quietly went down to the ground floor of the hotel in my nightgown, tee shirt and flip flops to make my phone calls. Ed went with me and assured me that no one would be stirring that time of night. Not totally convinced of this, I hovered in a shadowy corner where the dim light would disguise me a little if anyone came in. While we were on the phone, Mama told me I'd better not be caught over there in my nightgown, because they might ship me off to Amsterdam. Ed said, "those gals in Amsterdam wear less than a nightgown!" All went well, and thank goodness no one came into the hallway while we were downstairs.

It is raining steadily now and we will turn in -- a chilly and cozy night in Dinan.

Bonsoir for now!
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Debbie Allen on

Mont St. Michel should be Camelot. It looks like a place where Arthur would be King.

karenstephens on

I would have to check, but I think there just might be some ties between the Arthurian tales and Mont St. Michel.....more research! Just returned to our Chambre d'hote in Amboise -- saw chateaux of Chambord, stopped at a wine cave for tasting and now back at the room having tea and writing, listing to the birdsong in the garden just outside our room door. Ed is at the market. Happy!.

Vila on

L K,

I,m still enjoying the blogs! Just wish I was there. Kay called to tell me that Dorothy's email address is incorrect on your blogs and to request that you change it if you can. The correct address is: Dorothy is dissapointed that she is not getting them. Love, Mom All is well here.

MOM on

L K,
Please confirm previous comment about Dorothy's address

karenstephens on

Okay Vela, will check it! Have the most amazing stay in Amboise...met great new friends.

Dorothy Matthews on

Hello there, Karen and ED I've just got finshed reading all 12 of your story's and I've got to tell you it was like being there. I finally got them and am so glad to. Hope your trip continues to be a great trip. Much love to you both.

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