|I just love these buildings—Honfleur! |
(oops, I'm getting ahead of myself)
|Our last view of Plymouth |
as seen from high atop the ferry
|Leaving the port of Plymouth |
... toot toot
A few short hours later, we awoke to Lans by Dremmwel, a tune they broadcast through the ship's speaker system every two minutes or so to wake up the snoozing passengers. You may wonder how I know the tune! Well, in my fruitless search for an answer to whether we could bring our bags into our berth, I did discover the name of the wake-up song and the helpful fact that I could purchase a CD of Dremmwel's greatest hits in the ferry's gift shop. Brilliant.
Upon leaving the ferry at 7 a.m. we discovered that EuropCar rental staff does not show up until 10 and the ferry station was not really anywhere close to the fishing village of Roscoff ... at least not close enough to encourage us to lug our wheelie bags out into the misty morning. So instead we had surprisingly lovely croissants, pain au chocolat, and cafe while waiting for time to pass. At last, the young man led us to our car and sent us on our way. After a few ground gears, we were happily cruising through the Normandy/Brittany countryside!
|The walled city of St.-Malo in the distance |
with the floating docks in the foreground
Hunger was setting in, so we made our way to equally quaint Dinan, only to find that it was between noon and 2:00, when everything pretty much shuts down. We did find one cafe-bar still open, so we had our first dejeuner of ham/cheese/mushroom galettes (like a cross between an omelet and a crepe) and salad. [Ed: I had originally said it was Sunday, but I forgot. It was Monday, which is like Sunday here, in that lots of places are closed.]
|About as close as we got |
to the abbey at St.-Michel
It truly is a spectacular site to see, but we barely made it 100 feet into the walled area before realizing if we didn't get out soon, there was a good chance we might take one of the millions of little plastic souvenir swords and disembowel, behead, stab, and generally wreak havoc on the mobs of people all around us. It was like a combination of Epcot, Disneyworld, the Grand Canyon overlook, and every other tourist destination—all on their busiest day and all crammed into narrow, cobblestoned alleyways. And not to stereotype, but it seemed that very few had an iota of interest in where they were. They were just intent on buying as much Made in China crap as they could and take as many pictures as possible before heading back on another sweaty bus to the next tourist stop.
|Karen washing her shoes |
in our ultra-posh "loo" in Honfleur
|Karen at Vieux Bassin in Honfleur|
We fell asleep to the sounds of cars filing out of the crowded streets, kids laughing, more cherry bombs, and disco music. We then awoke to a muted, misty morning. From my bed, I watched the village slowly wake up, with fresh fruit deliveries to the cafe down the street, a man hosing off the remnants of last night's revelries, a crew of men taking apart the firework mortars and cakes across the river, and a few people wandering the now-quiet streets.
C'est la vie, vraiment!
[ED: We also took a walking tour of the village center, where we saw many beautiful and ancient buildings, including the salt warehouses and the cathedral of St. Leonard and his gardens.]
|The ceiling of the salt warehouse is constructed |
using the same techniques to build a ship ... just upside down
|The gardens of Saint Leonard in Honfleur|