Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My recent journeys......................

I have finally settled down into some sort of routine after my recent travels and found time to go through pictures and catch up with my news.
As mentioned in my previous blog I recently visited Dinan and here are some of the pictures I took of another beautiful city. The ramparts which form an integral part of the old section are still in excellent condition and the city is full of timber frame buildings in various shapes, sizes and condition. On exploring the city we found a very tall clock tower with a walkway at the top giving a wonderful view of the entire city. Not thinking too clearly I paid my 3 Euro and started up the stone circular stairs. So far so good until
as I climbed higher the stairs became a sort of wooden ladder which was built over a totally open area. Not having much of a head for heights (in fact I am totally terrified just ask my children about my attempt to climb Table Mountain from Skeleton Gorge but that is another story altogether) and starting to sort of hyperventilate, I left poor Mervyn to continue to the top. He kindly took some pictures of the panoramic view of the city and here are two of them, like many larger French cities this one has two large cathedrals. I am sure that in earlier days both churches would have been full on Sundays, now only one holds Sunday mass and attendance seems small.

There is a lot to view in this city and we both were quite exhausted after wandering around for most of the morning and into the afternoon. I just loved this carving on the church and the carved saint was on the wall of an old building down a narrow street.

I have already related my experience of driving down narrow cobbled streets at the end of what was quite an eventful day! Driving to Dinard to collect Megan was quite tame in comparison.
Megan and I drove to London leaving early in the morning to get to Calais about lunchtime. We stopped for the requisite fuel stop and to have our picnic lunch. An elderly lady frantically stopped in front of our car as we were leaving the service station. She and her husband had been on a tour of France and their car had broken down. They were both in a state as they could not raise the insurance company to get help. So we did our good samaritan bit and then rushed off to catch the Eurotunnel train to London.
My trip was fairly uneventful 'tho we still have not found a house to rent in the UK. I am having to leave Megan to solve this problem but might have to make the long journey yet again to help her. Having pets seems to be a problem as so many rentals do not allow animals and even some of them will not have children! Another learning curve.
We returned to France on a Saturday thinking that it would be fairly quiet. Well as this is now summer holiday time in Europe the shuttle was full, no getting on an earlier one. Travelling on France's well designed highways is a pleasure but traffic was heavy as everyone seemed to be out and off somewhere. We saw two spectacular accidents, one in the UK and then another in France. Fortunately everyone seemed to be travelling north and not in the our direction. One of the queues at a toll stretched for some 10 km. The weather became worse as we progressed south and we drove for several hours in absolutely pouring rain, not fun as I could hardly see the road. An eventful journey and we were both relieved to eventually arrive back home.
I have discovered that this part of France was a major producer of linen fabric at one stage. There is a museum not too far from Pontivy as well as a shop selling linen products and fabric for embroidery and clothing. Old pieces of linen are on sale at most of the markets and I found a three metre piece of brand new fine linen at the local charity shop, great for embroidery. The hydrangea flowers in this picture were growing outside the linen shop, don't think I have managed to actually capture the amazing colour, this plant had flowers that were the darkest purple I have ever seen, almost black in tone.

There is an enormous buddleia plant in our front garden and I have been delighted to discover just why it is also known as 'butterfly' plant. It is constantly covered in amazing butterflies.

Well that is my blog up to date for the moment I think, so much has happened in the past week. Bronwen is thrilled to have her precious dog out of quarantine at last.
Now bears to make and I have an order for a meerkat for the Hugglets show so lots of work to get done.

Each year it seems to take less time to fly across the ocean and longer to drive to work. ~Author Unknown

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