Sunday, July 10, 2011

8. Paris to Dinan

Friday night was our last fling in Paris: we went walking in search of sidewalk Crepes Nutella, and found our crepe guy at Pompidou Center. Made our way to the Stravinski Fountain to eat them, and people-watched the night crowd. Good way to end our visit.

We spent Saturday on the journey to Dinan, which Lynn had researched and carefully planned. It was an involved process: drag our luggage on the Metro, connect with the RER train to the TGV station at Charles DeGaulle Airport, then locate the correct gate for our TGV to Rennes, then retrieve my bicycle-in-a-suitcase from storage at “Baggage du Monde” CDG, then get on the correct train with all this stuff, then get off at Rennes and find the bus to Dinan, then get tickets and store the luggage under the bus, then get in and ride to Dinan, then find our apartment and haul the luggage up the stairs to our new home. We figured there were about a dozen things that could go wrong…but nothing did! If we ever go to war, I’d trust Lynn to plan all our troop movements and operations!

We were travelling on the Paris metro early Saturday morning, so no crowds. We developed a good system for carrying bags down the long stairs. Escalators were helpful and a little scary for some changes. We were good at rolling our stuff onto the metro and train quickly, so as not to get caught in the doors, and made it to CDG with no problems. Once at the TGV station, we found the tickets Lynn had printed out at home were all we needed, so I went searching for my bike…which was just two floors up from the TGV waiting area. Recovered it from storage, rolled it to the escalators, and voila, no problem, we were all assembled.
The TGV ride was as nice as I remembered. Nicer seating than many airlines, lots of people to watch and pretty scenery flying by (this thing is really FAST for a train), and we even bought a passable sandwich and snacks from the dining car. The official came by and scanned our home-printed tickets with a laser. Three hours later we arrived in Rennes. Fast unload of all our stuff, then we rolled everything across the street to the bus station. Lynn bought the tickets, we found the gate and waited for the bus…which was perfectly on time. Big storage under the bus held all our stuff, we rode up top, and the trip went fast, about an hour.

What a great surprise when we got off the bus at Dinan: Our internet friends for over a year (whom we’d never actually met) came down to greet us at the bus and escort us to our apartment! Kim Archer and her son Finn are from Tampa, FL, and lived in our apartment for 6 months during their extended stay in Dinan this school year. What a delight! Lynn and Kim had been corresponding all year, plus we’d shared each other’s websites and blogs, etc. for so long, it felt like we were old friends right away.

After we found the apartment, Finn gave us a fast tour of the premises, pointing out the important features (or lack thereof). I walked back down the hill with Kim and Finn, as they showed me where to get the best bread, pastry, chocolate, toys, and some other stuff I forgot! I spent some time wandering around a CAR event: A PANHARD car club was making a tour of the region, and had their cars on display near the center of town! Later that evening, we met up with Kim and Finn at the local pub for a drink, then headed out for an early dinner. Various kinds of “gallettes” were the fare: a thicker type of crepe, with delicious toppings or contents inside. Kim and I tried the wine, while Lynn stuck to kirs (including the local Kir Breton). Finn and I played, while Kim and Lynn visited, and our time together went all too quickly.

Kim and Finn had to go finish packing, as they leave Dinan Sunday…the day after helping orient us to this neat town. We all said goodbyes, and plan to meet again sometime, in France or Florida…or the Pacific Northwest which we all mutually love. Lynn and I made it back to our apartment, CAREFULLY up the three flights of winding old stairs, and closed out one of the busiest days of our trip so far.

Sunday plans: sleep late, catch up on news, blog, photos and family, maybe assemble the bike and definitely find a way to walk to ancient ramparts of the walled part of Dinan. 

PIC captions: Lynn guards our stuff at CDG TGV Station waiting for train.
                      Walk up this street and turn right for our apt.
                      John, Kim and Finn apres dinner.
                      Lynn on the stairs to our apt.
CLICK here for all photos and vids:
2011 Dinan and Paris French Adventure

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. Dinan is a super place to visit.