Friday, July 29, 2011

23. Boat the Rance, Return to Plancoet

We became ambitious yesterday (Thursday) after I got in a good bike ride and Lynn thoroughly shopped the “Every Thursday Dinan Market”. First, the market: hundreds of merchants set up their tent stores on the Dinan municipal parking lot, and everybody goes down there to buy fresh produce, meat, and almost everything else anyone can imagine. We went together and bought a lot of fresh produce to eat, then came home to eat it for breakfast. GREAT! Later, I headed out for a bike ride and Lynn went back to the market for more shopping…they sell clothes, paintings, etc. Glad I didn't have to go too!

Ambition caught us later that afternoon when we walked back down the Rue de Jerzual to Port Dinan and hopped the Rance tour boat. It was a pleasant 1 hour river cruise up the Rance, under the viaduct and past some pretty, placid, idyllic woodsy scenery to an old Abbey founded by monks long ago, no longer in use.  We got to use one of 87 locks on the river to raise the boat to a higher level for part of our ride, then used it again to descend when we came back. Napoleon III  ordered the Rance to be canalized long ago, thus the tow path along the side of the river and the locks. The weather was perfect, boat ride was nice, walk down was long, and we were hungry!! SO, went back to our riverfront restaurant from last week and had supper again. It was about perfect.

Today (Friday) we “returned to the scene of the crime”. We caught a bus to Plancoet, the town we stayed a few days in during a student trip Lynn led in March, 2010. This started our whole love affair with Brittany, as the area was so clean and pretty, and everyone was so friendly and open to having the kids speak French with them.  Lynn liked it so much that when we returned home in 2010, she researched the possibility of renting an apartment in Brittany for summer 2011…and here we are.

Anyhow, the bus service to Plancoet went without a hitch (love the French transportation system so far), we arrived about 10:45 a.m….and pretty much finished all our sightseeing at Plancoet in 2 hours! The town center is smaller than Dinan, and we walked all over. 

Main problem with Plancoet is, unfortunately, they don’t really have any sights or sites for tourists to see! We checked out their wonderful park in the center of town, so we could “promenade” as it’s called, but after that it was pretty much over for us! So, we changed plans and decided to take the commuter train back to Dinan rather than wait another 4 hours for the bus. We ate a great café lunch at a local tabac, met a Belgian family who were fun companions to talk with while waiting at the station, then saw the cool little train arrive right on time. It’s styled like a mini-TGV, only 2 cars long, and more comfortable inside than a plane, bus, or station wagon. We loved it, and made it “home” in ½ hour. 

Had a great stroll back from the Dinan Gare; visited our boulangerie for a baguette and our friendly boucherie for some ham, so now we have ingredients for a supper sandwich. We also got a great picture of all three waitresses we have gotten to know at "our" pub down the street, Pub St. Sauveur. These are folks who have made us feel  so at home, like "regulars" living here for a month, instead of like "tourists".

We spent the rest of the afternoon reading in the English Garden.  Lynn made friends with an elegant French lady who has lived in Dinan most of her life, and was a delightful conversation partner (great French-speaking practice!). That’s it for now. We may try to find some other places to go on that cool commuter train next!

Pic captions: Part of our loot from the market.
                          Lynn in Plancoet, main street.
                          Commuter train arrives in Plancoet.
                          Our waitresses at Pub St. Sauveur.
                           Lynn with our buchier.
CLICK here for all photos and vids:
2011 Dinan and Paris French Adventure

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