France - Dinan

Dinan - Dinner

We went to a little local bar 2 doors down from our house (Au Bistrot Den Bas) – pretty quiet but quite pleasant.

Au Bistrot Den Bas

Pam’s sardines were a bit of a no show as they were dry and overcooked.

Pam having a cider  Inside Au Bistrot Den Bas  What happens with too much alcohol

Cheese, Smoked Duck and Potatoes  Sardines  Rice Pudding

Dinner :

  • Leffe Beer – 2.75 Euro
  • Cider – 3 Euro
  • Sardines – 9.50 Euro
  • Bruschetta with Cheese and Smoked Duck, and Rice Pudding + Coffee – 9.95 Euro

Dinan–Around the churches

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Basilica Saint Sauveur

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Life in the old days, and the new (best photo I could get because of trees now growing)

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Bertrand du Guesclin (c. 1320 – 13 July 1380), known as the Eagle of Brittany was a Breton knight and French military commander during the Hundred Year’s War. His heart is kept at the basilica of Saint-Sauveur at Dinan.

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Some nice stained glass windows in the church (as always you can click for a larger image)

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Church of St Malo

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A walk down to the Dinan Port on the River Ronce

We are staying high up in the historic part of town so you have to go down to the port. It has cobbled stone streets all the way with lots of galleries and a few shops along the way.

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Dinan–Off to Mont Saint Michel

I woke early and decided to go for a walk around while most people were still sleeping, about 6:30am (it was Easter Monday)

It was real cold, far too cold so I went back to the house and lit the gas fire.

We checked the weather and it looks like today was going to be the best weather over the next few days so we decided to head to Mont Saint Michel about 58km away.

Dinan to Mont Saint Michel

Click the above to open Google Maps

MontSaintMichael

Mont Saint-Michel is an island commune in Normandy, France. It is located approximately one kilometer off the country's northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. 100 hectares in size, the island has a population of 44, and 100s of shops and restaurants.

The original parking area has been flooded and damaged and now you must park quite a way away and catch a free bus to drop you off closer to the mount. The new car park is located at 2.5 km from the Mount on the continent. The shuttles getting to Mont-Saint-Michel leave directly from the parking lot. You get off at 400 meters from the entrance of Mont Saint-Michel

The cost for parking was 12.3 Euro for 2+ hours, I think this covers your for almost 24 hours but can’t quite remember.

We arrived at 9:15am and it was not too busy but even then our bus was chocka full of people.

The bus to take you out to the mont

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The bus drops you off 400 meters away from the entrance.

We walked up to the entrance and then wanted some food since we did not have much to start the day with. We found a little restaurant La Vielle Auberge and sat outside and had a coffee and a crepe.

FoodInMonStMichel

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Crepe with Honey – 4.2 Euro, Coffee 2.50 Euro – prices here are a bit more expensive than in other places.

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After a few hours we decided to leave and go back to the car and head to Cancale – about 50km away.  It was also getting really busy then with almost continuous streams of people entering the mount.

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We drove to cancale and were looking for the port but I think we got a slightly different place in the GPS, just beyond Cancale so we just kept going since we were almost at the end of the peninsula.

The view from the peninsula at Pointe du Grouin

Click for a larger picture

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We parked up in a car park and walked along to see if there was somewhere to eat, if not we would drive back to cancale.

There were two restaurants there and we chose the cheaper one and ate outside, Pam was cold as there was a cool breeze.

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We ordered a coke and some cider, 2 different oyster dishes and a grande salad

Oysters with Garlic and Butter  Oysters with Cream  Grande Salad

The first oyster dish was Butter and Garlic (YUM), the 2nd is with Cream (YUM) and the grande salad had:

  • Prawns
  • Terrine
  • Ham
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Whelks
  • and Foie Gras

The salad dish was huge and it also comes with a couple of sauces and bread.

Foie Gras

The big slab in the photo is Foie Gras and I had never tried it before. Pam refused to try it on principal of how they force feed the Goose…

It was very rich but also very nice, sort of hard to explain but I liked it a lot.

Lunch bill:

  • Coke – 4 Euro
  • Cider – 6 Euro
  • Oysters – 8 Euro & 9 Euro
  • Grande Salad – 17 Euro

After lunch we went for a walk around the peninsula and then drove back to Dinan.

A great day out….

Dinan–a simple dinner

After our feast of a lunch we decided to have something simple for dinner – just a crêpe.

We went out looking for somewhere to eat and most were closed since it was Easter Monday night but there were a few Crêperies open.

We went to one that was full of people called crêperie ahna, recommended by Routard since 1996 – http://creperie-ahna.blogspot.com

The outside of the crêperie.

 Crepe Peche Melba which was Peaches and Ice Cream with a Raspberry Coulis, Chantilly Cream and Almonds 

Chris had the Crepe Peche Melba which was Peaches and Ice Cream with a Raspberry Coulis, Chantilly Cream and Almonds

Crepe Belle Helene which was Chocolate and Pears with Ice Cream, Chantilly Cream and Almonds

Pam had the Crepe Belle Helene which was Chocolate and Pears with Ice Cream, Chantilly Cream and Almonds

Busy inside

I had a beer and Pam just had some water

Le Chat Beer

Le Chat beer

Costs:

  • Le Chat Beer – 3.95 Euro
  • Crepes – 7.40 Euro Each

Dinner in Dinan

Pam & I were quite hungry and while walking around the streets we found a restaurant that she tried to book into and supposedly we were booked in “tonight”

No sign of life even though it was after 4pm and I noticed their bookings were in a diary on todays date through the window.

No sign of our names on there so we decided to flag this restaurant and find something else later.

We decided on a restaurant called Auberge de Pelican just down the street from us.

Pretty quiet with really only us in the restaurant but is was only about 7pm.

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We both ordered the Duck Leg with vegetables.

Just prior to our meal arriving we were given a bread roll, no butter or anything else with it!

The duck was lovely but the vegetables (potatoes, bacon and mushrooms) were over cooked and pretty sad (ok the mushrooms were good)

The cost was 17 Euro each.

A tour of our house in Dinan

The house we are staying in while in Dinan is called La Vielle Auverge, it is quite small and 3 stories high in the historic part of Dinan.

La Vielle Auverge

 

La Vielle Auverge

Below is a quick video tour of our house in Dinan.

Leaving Honfleur and off to Dinan

We left Honfleur on Sunday at about 11am for the drive to Dinan – about 230 km.

Driving from Honfleur to Dinan (233km)

The trip started out with fine weather in Honfleur but as we got closer to Dinan the rain started and we had to slow down to 110km/h from 130km/h.

We decided to not use the toll roads so we ended up going through some small villages and lots of areas that forced us to drop speed down to 90km/h, 70km/h, and 50km/h.

We arrived at Dinan about 2:30pm and called the person (Carl) to meet us at the house.

Our little home for 4 nights

Our house is thought to have been built in 1386 or thereabouts. Amazing to think how many people have lived in it over the years.

The kitchen, dining room and downstairs lounge

So far looks pretty normal…..

Where we are staying – Dinan

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La Vieille Auberge
http://www.visitdinan.co.uk/

La Vieille Auberge is believed to have been built in 1386, and is reputedly one of the oldest houses in Dinan.

The Master bedroom door has “1792” burnt into the top third. Although we cannot be sure of the significance, this was the year the Bretons joined forces with the Marsaillaise on their march to Paris. On the stone window sill in the upstairs sitting room, the name “Louis” is carved in what looks like 17th century script.

During the 1800’s to early 1900’s, the house functioned as a Cider House, and iron rings on the side wall of the Rue du Coignet were used by patrons to tie-up their horses.

La Vieille Auberge is listed as an Historic Building of the 14th Century, and escaped not only a major fire which swept through the city in the 1600’s (and explains why this house looks so much older than the other houses on the street), but also the events of WW II. Happily for Dinan, the US Army felt that the town was of enough historical importance to negotiate for its protection with the occupying German forces, thus preventing what would have been significant destruction of the town.

Dinan itself has a long and fascinating history.  First settled by monks in the 9th century, it had by the 12th century become an important centre for trade.  The river Rance was key to trading, and its elevated position, accessible only via the steep and well protected Rue du Petit Port made the town difficult to attack.

However, attacks were inevitable in the Middle Ages and Dinan was no exception.  During the siege of 1357 the brother of an important knight, Bertrand Du Guesclin, was captured by the Englishman Thomas Canterbury.  Negotiations to release his brother resulted in a man-to-man fight between Thomas and Bertrand.  Bertrand came out on top, and was thereafter fêted as the hero of the town.  His statue still stands in the town’s main square, and his heart is entombed in the church of St Sauveur.

Copyright © Chris & Pam - 2020