rowanf: (Me open mouth)

Fi-Trollquest3.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
So when we left our intrepid adventurers we had just arrived in Rennes. We awoke the next morning to a grey and rainy day. Our hotel had a real continental breakfast, one including cold cuts and a variety of cheeses in addition to pastries and cereal. Yay. However, my stomach decided to rebel and I spent much of the day at the hotel whilst Russell picked up the rental car and drove off to explore Vitre. The particularly frustrating thing was that Blizzard once again cut off my WoW access because of my foreign log-in. And then it was time for Tuesday maintance. So all of that enforced leisure didn't even allow me to play. *grump*

Today was supposed to be fairly clear skies so Russell took off for Mont Saint Michel and I wandered around Rennes. After asking at a newsagent about English language magazines (I had bought an Economist in Aups' train station) since I was out of paper reading material and not wanting to carry the iPad, I got directed to the Rennes train station. The newsagent there not only had magazines but also a selection of "foreign books" which were mostly mysteries and thrillers. I picked up the lastest Donna Leon (13.90 Euros!) after waffling between that an an old Charlaine Harris Harper Connelly mystery I wasn't sure I had read or not.

Fortified with reading material I went to a cafe and had an omelet as I hadn't really eaten much at breakfast (I am sick of ham & cheese!) whilst waiting for the Musee de Bretagne to open at noon. (So maybe it was lunch.) The museum documents the human history of the area from the earliest Paleolithic to more or less the present. The main info plaques are both in French & English which was lovely for me. They had a very interesting assemblege of stone tools and a great collection of Celtic coins. I had managed to leave my cane stool at the hotel so by the time I hit the Middle Ages I was flagging (and frankly less interested anyway). The history of Anne de Bretagne and the end of Breton independence with her marriage to the King of France was interesting (we are staying in Hotel Anne de Bretagne). And there was a room of folk costumes that was great. Unfortunately the practice of museums selling postcards of their collections has not caught on here. They had like six postcards and six bookmarks available... all of medieval illumination (probably from bible or book of days sorts of things). But it was a fine museum to wander for a couple of hours (though benches were a bit sparse for me).

I got back about two hours before Russell and got in some WoW time. Go me. So since I have no France pix... have a WoW illustration of me doing one of the new Troll quests. (*grumble* again about left at home camera.)

We went to dinner at La Chope which we had found last evening but were way too hungry to wait for European dining hours to roll around. I enjoyed "Coquille St-Jacques de ma Grand-Mère" and "Escalope de veau à la crème et champignons" whilst Russell enjoyed a wonderful pork in fruit stew that I can't find on the website menu. He also got the dessert that came with my Menu Chope. It was a lovely meal.

Tomorrow, off to Carnac, I hope.
rowanf: (South Park wasted)

Venice-shrine.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Today was mostly a day of traveling. I did walk into Aups to grab some groceries so we could eat on the train but that was it. We took the TGV to Paris, a cab across town (from Gare du Lyon to Gare du Montparnasse) and then another couple hours to Renne. We arrived in the rain and are now sitting in our hotel enjoying having wi-fi. Yay! Maybe I'll actually manage to log into WoW sometime. :)

Don't have any pix for today so here is another one from Venice that I didn't use in a journal entry. I still can't believe I forgot my camera. :( Russell will probably post some of his to FB eventually. I just stole a couple of me to put up on Flickr, he has hundreds, of course.
rowanf: (rowan silk wings)

France-M&R&R.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
On Sunday, after brunch, we headed our for a tour of the area. Nearby is Lac du Sainte-Croix, one of the largest lakes in France (2200 hectares), created by a dam in the 1970s. Michael and Richard showed us one of the beaches (pebbles rather than sand) which they like to swim at during the summer.

Then we hit a Roman ruin in some nearby town (just four pillars from a temple of Apollo). I admit in stealing pix from Russell I went for the smiling faces over a decent shot of the ruins.

We tarried in the town of Moustiers Sainte-Marie. The town was on a hill with many pottery vendors, that being the speciality of the area. We looked the church with lovely stained glass and an interesting design. We had coffees and lemon drinks at a cafe over the cascade which is a river of waterfalls through the town. There is a local legend about a Lord who put up a star on a chain across the gorge above the town in fulfillment of a vow if his crusader son came home from the Holy Land. Or maybe it was something else... no one knows for sure. But today's star is the 13th to hang above the village over the centuries. The bakeries all offer star cookies. *grin*

Then we went on to a view point at the start of the Canyon du Verdon which was quite pretty. It is France's "Grand Canyon" evidently. Lots of folks in kayaks and paddle boats exploring the lake and canyon.

On the way home we stopped at a chevre dairy and got some lovely fresh goat cheese (including some to carry on our journey). We ate dinner at the Auberge de la Tour in Aups and that was lovely too.
rowanf: (Rowan Beltaine)

France-housefront.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Saturday morning was market day so we wandered off to the market which had a variety of produce and food but also quite a lot of household things. We bought some soaps and strawberries and olive tapenade and some roast pork slices because I got peckish. Yum! We wandered back and Richard cooked a lovely brunch which we all ate on the patio.

After lunch Russell and I wandered back to the village to explore. The guys had told us to look out for Wilco, the cutest truffle pig. If you call his name he comes running and wags his tail just like a dog.

We checked out the shops but also found the clock tower and a 16th c Madonna raised in honour of some massacred Huguenots. I do wish I knew where my Huguenot ancestor, Henri Cabanis, came from in France. We know he fled to Switzerland with his wife and child, then left from Gravesend on to Virginia on the ship "Mary and Ann" in 1700. That is my only French line on my father's side. My mother's surname ancestors were from Alsace but I consider them Alsatian or German despite the area currently being in France (it was part of Germany when they left). I know my cousins have always considered themselves of French descent though.

Anyway, back to the present. We had a lovely dinner of salmon roll and asparagus then sat around a Beltaine bonfire until after midnight chatting and singing and enjoying the holiday.

May 2015

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