Normandy & Britany - Our first road trip
We decided to make our first road trip. We borrowed a Routard from a colleague, bought a GPS and we departed in September for our adventure towards Normandy and Brittany. Nothing planned and nothing booked. Just a big adventure with the goal to reach Brittany and see where we would end up. We slept in Table d’hôtes (French B&B) varying from a lovely vintage cottage, a farm, a modern place to three mansions. We met friendly people, had great weather and I think here our love for road trips started to grow. The freedom to move in any direction, as slow or as fast as you want. Being guided by the advice of the locals, and trying to avoid the most crowded places without bypassing the must visit places.
This small mountain is really impressive. You can drive and park close to the mountain, but you should be very careful with the tides. When the water rises you might not find back your car. For the rest it’s rather small and for the church you have to pay extra, but still there are some small shops, ice cream salons, bars and restaurants. If you are close to this area it’s a must visit.
This Eco museum and the area around has a bit of everything. Mills, some old churches and marvelous views.
We went to the harbor to look at the mussel banks. The two pictures below are taken approximately on the same place, but one in the morning around 10 am and the second one in the afternoon around 2 pm. You can see that the tide makes it completely different. For the rest of the day we went to the cliffs where we enjoyed the sun. Later in the evening we went back to have dinner on the cliffs with some cheese and red wine looking the sunset. We can strongly recommend this beautiful environment. In the afternoon we also made a bike tour with the bikes which were available by the hosts of our table d’hotes.
Dinan is a walled Breton town which is very cosy with its half-timbered houses and small cobble stone streets. There is also the Chateau de Dinan where we passed by and saw the main central tower, but we did not visit the museum.
In the late afternoon we went to the old city center of Dinan. Worth a visit and by accident we ended up for dinner in Creperie des Artisans. This is a must do when you are in the area. The place is world famous for it’s pancakes. You can have a 3 course pancake meal where your main course is a salted pancake. Your dessert is a normal sweet pancake with the topping you want. We didn’t realize we were in such a famous place, only later, when googling on Tripadvisor to know where we ended up, we saw it was such a famous place. As we were early we still had place without reservation and it was not yet too crowded. We had a great dinner.
While heading back towards Belgium we passed in Jumièges where you have again a must visit, the Jumièges Abbey. The ruins are impressive and while wandering around we got a good impression of how big this place really is.
One cannot visit Normandy without stopping over in Etretat and visit the cliffs. They are as beautiful as impressive. You can see them from the water edge or from above. On top you have quite some walking paths which brings magnificent views on the area. We advise to take the necessary time to enjoy this marvelous place.
While heading back to Belgium we pulled over in Veules-les-Roses, a small town where you find the smallest river of France with a total length of 1100 meters. You can walk next to the river and see several water mills.