Holy crepe!

Trip Start Jul 23, 2012
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Trip End Aug 15, 2012


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Where I stayed
Hotel Manoir de Rigourdaine
What I did
Dinan
St. Malo
Alet
Lehon

Flag of France  , Brittany,
Monday, August 6, 2012

Currently I'm sitting in the lobby of our beautiful hotel, Manoir de Rigourdaine, overlooking the Rance River that feeds into the English Channel in Brittany.  Classical music is playing in the background and a couple is having a quiet conversation in French just a few feet away.  It has rained on and off today, but that did not deter us from exploring Dinan and the surrounding area the past 2 days. 
We made the looonnnggg drive (6+ hours) from Bordeaux yesterday and arrived in Brittany last night in time to check into the hotel and drive into Dinan for dinner.  The place we are staying is lovely, with a view from our window out to the water.  It's a renovated farmhouse, so not fancy, but stately.  It's where much of Great Britain comes to vacation, as I've noticed listening around to conversations. 
We had a nice dinner last night in Lehon, a charming village ('Of Character' says the sign welcoming you) just outside of Dinan.  If any of you have seen the movie "Hot Fuzz," Lehon looks just like that town.  It's so picturesque it's unbelievable.  Every cottage has red flowers in baskets on their shuttered windows, and all the homes are made of stone.  Lehon sits on the Rance River as well, with plenty of cute benches perfect for photo ops.  We had dinner at Marmite d'la Abbaye, a small restaurant near the town's abbey (duh).  Another husband and wife run business-how do the French do it?  We chatted it up with an English gentleman who was dining alone.  Well, he chatted and we listened.  Lucky guy owns a cottage in the village, and travels to Lehon every few months for a short holiday.  Times is rough, as Laurie would say.  :)
Today we got an early start and headed back into Dinan to walk the old town.  Walk is subjective, because the cobblestone streets and sidewalks really cause you to hobble, stumble or trip.  But that's why this town was so adorable!  The timbered houses and cobblestone streets were just so, so cute.  Sorry, I can't think of another word that I haven't already overused (charming, sweet, adorable, quaint).  We strolled the streets, following a short walking tour of some historic sites and a meandering walk through the ramparts above the city.  We stopped for lunch at Creperie Artisanale.  Galettes and cider are on the menu and they are to die for.  Galettes are essentially buckwheat crepes with savory filling (ham, cheese, eggs, etc.).  Our lunch?  2 galettes to start and a sweet crepe each for dessert, along with a liter of housemade cider.  God help us, we ate every bite, and practically licked the plates clean.  Dinan makes a big deal out of a few of their dishes, and salted butter-caramel crepes are one of them.  Delish!
We walked a little bit down by Dinan's tiny port and then hopped back in the car to explore a bit more of the coast.  About 30 minutes away is a small village called Alet, just outside of St. Malo.  We walked the windswept ramparts there (cue swelling music), and saw a gazillion dead gigantic crabs in the water beneath us.  Mark was itching to dive in and grab some, but I put the kibosh on that. 
Tonight we're heading out for a seafood dinner (and probably more crepes), and then tomorrow we get an early start for Normandy.  Enjoy the pictures!
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