A Travellerspoint blog

June 7 2011 - Le Mont St Michel

LE MONT ST MICHEL AND POINTE DE GROUIN

sunny 18 °C

So the time had come to visit Le Mont St Michel, supposedly one of the modern wonders of the world. Well it is pretty special and we did enjoy it but have to admit we ran away half-way up due to the thousands of tourists clogging the tiny lanes, and found a quietish place to just sit and look at the amazing structures

Despite it being such an attraction for so many years, it is very difficult to actually get information on where to park so that you can walk at least a few hundred metres onto mount

There appears to be no public parking in the little village of hotels just before you get onto the 2 or 3 km causeway (that is always open by the way). About 500 metres from the mount, the parking area starts; we parked very close to the entry to the car-park so that we could walk that last few hundred metres to the mount. The closer you park to the mount, the more likely you may get flooded but there are signs to say whether or not the area will be flooded on any particular day. We paid EU6 to park the car and there is no charge to enter the mount

The usual shots:

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Now that's an inclinator:

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The reality:

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On the way back, we decided to keep right next to the bay and came across a couple of wonderful places near St Malo; a town called Cancale which would be great for a couple of days and a really outstanding area of natural beauty called Pointe de Grouin - forget about Cap Frehel, go to this place. For an overnight stop, it even has a hotel with million-dollar views starting at just EU87 per room

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Posted by kforge 10:18 Archived in France Comments (0)

June 5 and 6 2011 - northern Brittany

RAINY DAYS - DINARD, DINAN, ST BRIEUC AND CAP FREHEL

rain 18 °C

Sunday was our first full-day of rain. Dinard is a short drive from Saint-Cast le Guildo. It is supposed to be an elegant resort but to us it was like Southend-on-Sea with a few grand cliff-top villas. Maybe it was just the rain

Dinard is on the Rance river and a tidal power station was built across the estuary back in 1966. It produces about 25% of the electricity that a nuclear power station would produce

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We then drove up-river to Dinan but as it was raining heavily and it looked like a really interesting place we decided to come back later in the week

So we came back to the gite and watched the French Open Final - a great match and Nadal seemed to curb his grunting a little

Monday was still raining lightly so we thought we'd have a walk around the town St Brieuc (about 40 km away). We really should not have wasted our time; they don't care about their tourist sites or tourists in general, so why should we - it's an ugly town with nothing to see and one of the worst traffic systems we've come across. Just don't go there. Oh, we did find this house built in 1572 - that's all folks!

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Cap Frehel is supposed to be a spectacular peninsula and if you've never seen a cliff before or a sandy beach, it is.

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Posted by kforge 01:08 Archived in France Comments (0)

June 4 2011 - Saint-Cast

DOWN AT THE BEACH

sunny 22 °C

A quiet day. The beaches around Saint-Cast are stunning - golden sand and 300 or 400 metres wide at low-tide. We spent an hour walking along Pen Guen beach (have we arrived in Cornwall) and then had a look at the Grand Plage in Saint-Cast itself. Wonderful views from the lookouts. I've just finished a 75cl bottle of 5% local cider from Jehan Lefevre so it's time to eat and fall asleep, not necessarily in that order

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Posted by kforge 12:27 Archived in France Comments (0)

June 3 2011 - the gite at Saint-Cast Le Guildo

SAINT-CAST LE GUILDO

sunny 25 °C

A lovely drive across Brittany from south to north brought us to our new home for a week - a gite at Gîtes Les Quatre Saisons in Matignon/Saint-Cast le Guildo (about $75 per night for a 2-bedroom gite). The place is just a few minutes drive from the coast and just 20 minutes from Dinard and Saint-Malo. No more end-of-day trudging for us

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Posted by kforge 12:16 Archived in France Comments (0)

June 2 2011 - Carnac

A LONG DRIVE TO VANNES IN BRITTANY

sunny 25 °C

Time for our Brittany tour to start, so Vannes was the destination. It is supposed to have an interesting old town but we didn't even see a sign for "Veille Ville". The hotels we looked at were awful so after several calls to hotels around the Golfe du Morbihan we managed to secure the last room in the Hotel du Tumulus in Carnac (for only EU150 a night). Carnac one of the finest pre-historic sites in the world and the hotel sits right next to St Michael's Tumulus

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The following morning we walked around the "Alignments de Menac" - 1,099 menhirs (standing stones) are set in 11 lines over an area 1300 yards by 110

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When we started out on this trip, we had the naive notion that we could just arrive in a place and find accommodation easily, especially in May and early June. But after a week of 3-hour searches on a daily basis, our romantic ideal has shattered. Today we booked a gite for 7 days and will make humble day-trips from this base near Saint-Cast-le-Guildo (close to Saint-Malo)

Posted by kforge 13:46 Archived in France Comments (0)

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