Tuesday, July 26, 2011

21. Dinan exploring, bike and River Lunch

In our quest to stay low key and unplanned, we decided to pick one or two things each day we’ve been meaning to do, or something we read about in our Dinan book, and DO IT. Still no schedule, just some direction!

Monday we did a few: found the statute and birthplace of an explorer named Pavie, born across “our” square in the oldest building in town. We also visited inside Basilica St. Sauveur, the enormous church next to our apartment, and found the place where the heart of a  warrior named Guesclin from the Crusades was buried. He wanted to be buried in Dinan, but the only thing left of his body by the time they got here was the heart. So it’s in an urn in a side room of the cathedral. We also found ancient carved writing on some of the floor stones, so old that it’s been worn away from the thousands (millions?) of feet walking over it during the centuries. This place was built starting in the 1450’s…unbelievable. 

Later, Lynn cooked a great spaghetti dinner with fresh-ground beef from our bucherie. The buchier has become Lynn's pal, and explained that France does not allow pre-packaged ground beef, it must be done only to order. So, it's fresh and delicious. Which ours definitely was!

Tuesday was fun and laid back too. Weather was the warmest and sunniest since we arrived in Dinan. So, I had a great bike ride in the countryside while Lynn did laundry (it’s best when it is sunny, so we can hang the heavy stuff outside on the clothesline to dry).  The bike ride was my favorite kind: I headed for St. Malo as my destination, but never made it. I meandered all over the countryside exploring any road that looked promising. Found a fabtastic hardpack dirt bike/hiking path  along the banks of the Rance for about 8-10 miles, then headed for pavement and many deadends into French Gittes, which we will explore for future use, perhaps. Got hugely lost a bunch of times, but it all came out fine.  Man, they grow a LOT OF CORN here, I rode past hundreds of acres of it! Stopped when I was starving and got directions to a boulangerie/patissierie from a friendly postman on a motorbike, then bought my snack from a nice lady who tolerated my French-mangling order, and ate at a wonderful park across the street. All in some small town that I can’t remember the name of now. Parfait!

Lynn and I were in touch by phone, so made plans to meet for lunch at Port Dinan, on the river straight down the hill from the walled town of Dinan. There was a pizza place we’d been meaning to try there, right on the river, so that’s where we planned to meet. Lynn had to hike solo down the ultra-steep cobblestone street Rue de Jerzual, carrying a change of clothes for me so I could eat after getting out of my bike kit. She met a couple from Texas and the Isle of Guernsey on the way down; they took her picture on the Jerzual. We linked up after I rode in across the incredibly scenic little bridge in the middle of town. The ride was around 50 miles, just time to quit! THEN, it turned out our pizza place was a great restaurant, with a sunny terrace and full menu. So, I got some moule and beer, while Lynn got a scrumptious turkey, ham, cheese with cream sauce menu item. After we ate, we accomplished another thing we’d put off: got information for a boat cruise on the Rance…probably do it sometime this week!
Walked around town enjoying the perfect weather, and checked out the children’s park which is always hopping. That’s the place with the petting zoo and collection of unusual chickens (who knows why?). Angie, we took a pic of what I call the “Shitzu Chicken” just for you... it looks like a feathered Simon; you can’t see its eyes or beak anywhere!  No more excitement, we’ll let ya know if anything happens.

PIC captions: After lunch at the River Rance, Tuesday 7-26-11.
                     Yes, this is where they buried Guesclin's heart.
                     Lynn's awesome spaghetti dinner.
                          Typical scene country riding.
                          John at Port Dinan bridge.
                     More moule for lunch by the bridge.
                     Lynn lunches at the terrace under the viaduc into Dinan.      

CLICK here for all photos and vids:
2011 Dinan and Paris French Adventure

No comments:

Post a Comment