Day 12, Friday 5 July, travelling to Vannes.
Trip Start Jun 23, 2013
19Trip End Jul 11, 2013
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We decided to eat breakfast in the hotel this morning and we observed a small 'art' tour group of Australians who were in Quimper for the week and each day they went somewhere different in order to draw, sketch, paint etc. We came down to breakfast via the lift, but when we wished to return to our room, the lift was out of order. How pleased we were to be on the first floor of the hotel as this meant we only had a smallish number of stairs to carry our cases down. We started on our journey to Vannes in South-West Britanny. The front desk receptionist gave us the route to exit Quimper which sounded simple enough - WRONG!
We also walked around the town of Carnac - another delightful small town where we enjoyed a lovely Grand Cafe au lait chaud (Coffee with hot milk with the milk being served separately)
We decided not to take the direct route to Vannes but drove through some lovely countryside and small villages/towns. At La Trinité-sur-Mer there was an extremely large and beautiful harbour. It was also near here that we saw our very first separate bike path. As we passed through many small towns we noticed a great variety of beautiful homes. Many, even the newer ones, are built using local stone and they look very attractive.
We felt very sure that we would find our way easily to our hotel in Vannes as we had it all planned out on a real paper map as well as on the iPad! WRONG! As our hotel is a little way out of the city centre we had planned on driving around the outskirts in order to reach it but unfortunately we missed ONE turn off and found ourselves in the middle of town BUT we were still able to find our hotel without too much time being wasted. There is a free shuttle bus (every 15 minutes) to take us into the centre of town. Vannes, as with most towns/cities we have visited has an 'old' town centre which is surrounded by the old city wall. This is very well preserved here. Unfortunately the old town is not a car-free zone so there are a large number of cars still coming through very narrow and windy streets
We ate dinner at the hotel tonight and it was excellent even though it was in the hotel. No English on the menu and waiters who didn't speak English! Our meals were tasty and enormous. (see photos) We think that well-done meat means on the rare side of medium for French chefs - Jane always says "non rouge" but this makes no difference.
Going past Reception after dinner, Jane saw the predicted weather forecast for Vannes for the next few days - 28C, 29C, 30C!!! Summer is here finally!! BUT we are leaving Vannes so we hope it is the same in Chinon.
- When travelling on multi-lane roads cars always keep to the right lane and the left lane is only used for overtaking. Cars always return to the right lane immediately after overtaking.
- We overtook a number of cars again today BUT we were overtaken by a police car travelling at great speed (130+kph?) with lights flashing
- We are most grateful that we have a compass located in our car. The display panel also gives us our kilometres travelled, average speed, petrol used per 100 kilometres etc. This compass has ensured we are always travelling in the right direction even if we are unsure of the road upon which we are travelling.
- We notice that every small town we have visited always has at least one book store of the family owned, small variety - not a large business like Dymocks etc. Great to see.
- It might be fun to write a book about public toilets as these vary so greatly. Just recently we have noted mens toilets with urinals right next to the opening to the street. This means that anyone passing by can see who is standing there! See a posed photo of Brad standing in front of a urinal at Carnac!
- We passed a lad riding a bicycle on a narrow road while pulling along a second bike - interesting.
- Near an 'arty' shop we noticed that the bollards nearby had been nicely decorated and were covered in knitted woollen 'socks'.
- Carnac was the second small town in which we have seen condom vending machines - great for when you are in need at any time of the day or night! Interesting for a largely Catholic country!