Archive for September, 2009

Quick Trip to Brittany

September 12, 2009 6:41 pm

OystersI returned a few days ago from a whirlwind tour of a small section of Brittany. I took the TGV to Rennes to meet my friend Mary  from America and from there we established our base in the beautiful village of Combourg. Each day we drove to a different town, most of them along the northern Brittany coastline. First we went to Cancale – the main feature of which was huitres – oysters. We had a fabulous three course meal that cost only 15€, very reasonable by French standards. The first course – l’entrée –  was a dozen oysters, the second – le plat – was moules frites (delicious mussels and fries), the third – le dessert – a cinnamon-laden mousse au chocolat. We had a perfectly chilled bottle of Muscadet with the meal. Afterwards, we walked along the windswept cliffs overlooking the acres of oyster beds below and Mary, a French teacher, helped me with my French.

Mont St. MichelThe next day we drove to St. Malo, a stunning granite-walled city on the coast. The weather was perfect but I could tell that, for most of the year, its ancient ramparts are battered by wind and sea. In the Middle Ages it was a fortified island and notorious as a haven for pirates. These days it is filled with seafood restaurants and, it seemed to me, loads of English tourists. From there, we drove to Mont St. Michel. I heard that this incredibly beautiful place has become extremely touristy and, for that reason, I didn’t really want to go there. However, I kept seeing the island way out in the water from Cancale and then St. Malo, and its siren call finally worked its magic on me. I just had see it up close. I’m so glad we drove the short distance there. I love the picture I took of the island but if I had turned around and snapped that view instead – well, let’s just say that “enchanting” is not the first word to spring to mind. My friend told me it was even more touristy on the island, so I left with only the gorgeous exterior view in my memory.

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