Thursday, March 15, 2012

dinan & cap fréhel.


what. a. view.

Last Monday, Day 2 of the tour of Bretagne, we visited a medieval, fortified city and the ocean! We had quite beautiful weather, which made this normally drizzly and dreary region of France exceptionally picturesque.

Dinan is a fortified city that has survived much of the destruction of the two World Wars. We left mid-morning for an hour drive that got us to Dinan around 11am. Through the winding country roads, vast farmland with plenty of cows, and over sprawling green hills, we finally approached this small, yet looming city. Set mostly upon a hill, there are two main entrances to the city: from above or from below. The river that snakes around the base of Dinan is crossed by a bridge on ground-level, and a bridge on city-level.

part of the ramparts

the view from behind the basilica

Dinan is a cobble-stoned, winding, precarious little town with so much charm. It is the epitome of what you imagine a medieval French town to be, and it has stayed that way for centuries. Probably because it is still enclosed in 10 feet thick stone walls...

It's a fun little city and we spent a few meandering hours up and down the cobblestones, peering into artisan's workshops, taking little tours of the churches, walking on top of the medieval walls, and stumbling on cute little corners and streets.

basilica du saint-sauveur

the view from the city walls

hi there fat cat :)

After lunch in Dinan, we set out for the coast! To my slight disappointment, we were not going to be able to dip our feet in the water, which was really all that would satisfy me for the whole vacation, but I was reassured that I would still appreciate our destination. I was told that the Cap Fréhel (our stop for the afternoon) was a peak of beautiful cliffs. All I needed was the word "ocean" and I was ready!

it was windy.

Notice how blue the sky and the water is! The weather was just perfect, even with the crazy, untamed winds which nearly blew me over the cliffs. Multiple times. And even though I could not actually reach the water, even just seeing the ocean is always accompanied by a few moments of awe. I kept saying, with completely sincere amazement, that my house (pointing to the west) is a thousand miles that way! We walked up and down the cliff-side paths for a few hours, barely enough time to fully appreciate the true expanse of the coast. It was a good thing we'd be coming back to the ocean in a day!

pax christi.

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