Bonjour

by Johnny

After a looong travel day we finally made it to our first stop, Dinan, an impossibly charming medieval town in France’s Brittany region.  We quickly dropped our our bags at our great B&B (more on that later) and even though we were walking zombies, we went to explore the cobbled lanes and find some of the town’s famous creperies.  As fate would have it, we stumbled into Creperie Ahna, and after a couple stinky cheese crepes and a carafe of wine we hit the sack.  Dinan was a great choice for a first stop as wandering the ancient ramparts instantly made us feel like we were in Europe.  It seriously felt like we may turn the corner and stumble onto a jousting match.

We explored Dinan some more on our second day.  It’s a tiny town, and by the end of our time there we must have been down every alley, across every bridge and up every narrow stairway.  In the afternoon we walked along the Rance River to an even smaller town called Lehon.  The walk was amazing.  It was so green and quiet, and everybody we passed greeted us with a cheerful “Bonjour!”  The town of Lehon has a beautiful abbey that we explored for a while.  We had it all to ourselves with a couple pigeons.  Outside of the abbey they had an incredible garden with the biggest poppies we’ve ever seen.

 

That night we made our way down to Dinan’s port to have some dinner on the water.  Anna tried some of the region’s famous mussels, and I had an amazing goat cheese salad.  Is it possible to overdose on cheese?  We’ll find out.  We washed the meal down with some Muscadet wine and walked the steep cobblestone hill back home.

Even though it was rainy and windy on our last day in Dinan, we headed out to the town’s weekly market.  If only our local farmers’ market could be this awesome.  Regional and seasonal fruits and veggies, Artisanal breads and cheeses, freshly caught fish, and all sorts of other goodies.  We grabbed a baguette, some olives, hummus, more cheese (I’m starting to feel dizzy), some cherries and a half bottle of red wine and packed it up for lunch later.  Our B&B hosts had fixed up their bikes for us, so we grabbed them and rode about an hour along the river to the next port over, dodging a couple rainstorms along the way.  The skies cleared long enough for us to find and bench and have a nice little picnic.

As beautiful and historic as Dinan is, the thing we’ll remember most about our stay here is our B&B hosts Claudine and Yves.  Their B&B Le clos de Mai is fantastic, but their generosity puts it over the top.  They are some of the sweetest people we have ever met.  They picked us up from the airport, fixed up their bikes for us when I told them we liked to ride, helped us practice some French, made us dinner reservations, took us to Rennes to catch our train to Paris and the list goes on and on.  Each morning, Claudine would put out fresh bread, homemade jams, some of Brittany’s famous salted butter, coffee, tea and some fresh squeezed orange juice.  I’d dream about it every night.  The best part of our day was eating breakfast and talking to them for hours each morning.  We only hope our other stays during our trip can be half as good.  Merci Claudine!  Merci Yves!

Off to Paris to meet Anna’s parents!  Click here for more Dinan pics.

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3 Responses to “Bonjour”

  1. Very Nice Johnny, it sure sounds like a lot of fun….don’t stop with the Cheese…haha

  2. It looks like the head of the host family has the best mustache of all time. In 12 months you will be there.

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