Sunday, July 17, 2011

14. DInner and biking Dinan

Woke up early with nothing planned, so time for a bike ride into the countryside. Lynn got us a huge Michelin map of Brittany, and I Xeroxed a copy of the section covering our area  for rides. I stick it in a baggie with my phone and some Euro’s, jam it in my jersey pocket, and am all set.

Weather was chilly and spitting rain, like yesterday. The cobblestones weren’t slippery, so I set off across the Viaduc. Then, at some farm fields I took a random road and explored. You don’t use road names or numbers much here, you just follow signs to whatever town you’re going to, then navigate to the next town, etc. Works great now that I have the map copy with me…as long as there are those familiar pointy signs at intersections! 
Out in the country at Le Quiou, I found another section of the infamous Vois Verte bike route, converted from old railroad right of way. This one had the old train station still standing. I resolved to use it as my emergency exit if necessary for a fast direct route back to Dinan, but kept exploring on the roads. Went through some pretty areas; the “towns” on the map are almost always just a small collection of buildings, including a church and some houses or farm buildings. I was riding on Sunday: oddly no church services in evidence, and no tabacs were open for food or drink.
Rode to the bottom of my map, so time to go home. I found the Vois Verte again down at Plouasne (I’m getting better at sniffing this route out), so decided to hammer home. The Vois Verte is basically flat, very few up or down grades, and surfaced with really hard packed crushed gravel…and runs straight through the countryside like a railroad does. I was making great time, sheltered from the wind and the rain which was picking up, but after 8 miles the thing fizzled out into a cow pasture! I hit the road to keep up the tempo, but ended up lost, looping between Le Hingle and Trevron, cause there were NO ROADSIGNS at the intersections! 

 I used my “bonjour, MAYDAY ce vous plait” technique with a young guy on the roadside,  and he got me back on track. Great finish to the ride: the skies opened up, rained like crazy, windy too, and I was on a nicely paved road with no traffic. Rode as hard as I could, and ended up in Dinan by a route I’d never seen before. Hot shower, some lunch, then we went for a walk.
The best thing we found today was weird chickens (colorful, not like what we ever saw) and a tiny petting zoo at the children’s park. Took pics of the livestock and ponds, then kept exploring. Lynn found a great restaurant, “Le Cantorbery” for supper. We spoke to the proprietress, and read up about it, so will try it tonight. More later!

          Lynn typing now: Tonight we found the most magnificent place for dinner. We had "le menu" which included several courses. We began with plates of fresh seafood….some of which we recognized and some not but they all tasted great! We had several sizes of forks and prongs to retrieve the delicacies from their shells and a bowl for all the non-edible portions. We spent several hours there, consumed two bottles of wine, and just enjoyed the ambience of the open wood fire where our food was grilled…from the beginning bread with cheese mousse to the end with our desserts – our desserts weren’t grilled, but my steak and John’s sea bass were….no one hurries you and we just had such a fantastic meal and enjoyed our waitress so very much. 

It was also nice to get dressed up nicely for dinner and truly make the evening the meal. We thought of our good friends George and Jan and just know they would have loved this experience with us. Every time we return to our apartment we see the extra room we use as a closet and drying room (doing laundry here is a hoot) we think of Leo and Erin and so wish they were able to come share that extra space with us!

PIC captions: Le Quiou old railroad station at Vois Verte trail.
                      Mini petting zoo guys - tiny goats head-butting each other.
                      John with plate of local fresh oysters.
                      Lynn at our favorite restaurant and meal so far! Parfait!! 
CLICK here for all photos and vids:
2011 Dinan and Paris French Adventure

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