Thursday, June 24, 2010

France - bits of it anyway

This is a picture of a heron which I took when we were having a picnic. It got in by mistake and now is refusing to go away! It was meant to be a photo of Brian and me having the picnic.

We have been to France, as some will know, and had a lovely, but very busy time. Brian is toying with the idea of investing his savings into a (to be done up) French property as an investment/holiday home. So we unexpectedly - not having planned to go abroad at all this year, especially as we have a holiday booked in the Scilly Isles in September- went to France. We had a 2 centre holiday.
This being blogger here is Brian outside the second gite which was in the Morbihan area of Brittany, near a town called Josselin and about half an hour from Vannes. From here we explored an amazing amount of Brittany, but also had a day at the beach at Carnac.
This is me outside the first gite - a basic, but very cheap and perfectly adequate apartment in Normandy, a few miles outside Domfront. You will notice that the glass of wine was already being put to good use
Here I am again in Bagnoles sur l'Orne which is a spa town and very pretty. It reminded us both of Uriage, though I think Uriage is prettier.
This is the remains of supper on day 1. If you ever travel to France on a Sunday REMEMBER to take two days worth of food with you. Everything between Le Havre and Domfront was shut except one boulangerie somewhere or other. It had this pizza. I do use the word pizza with some reservations because no Italian would have recognised it as one. It was a pizza base, with tomato puree and then what looked like all the onions left after you have drained the soup from a french onion soup. Only hunger made us eat half of it, the other half went into the bin. Thankfully we also got bread, and the welcome pack from the gite contained cheese and wine, so we survived. We did have tea, coffee, sugar, biscuits etc, but not meals.

No more pics because I can't be bothered to fight with blogger to get them in. We had a good time. The weather was mixed in week one but fab in week two. We saw a fair few houses round the south of Normandy, and although the would probably be affordable the area didn't really appeal. It has some lovely places, but the area is clearly suffering a bit and we didn't feel there would be enough to do there in some ways. We went off to the coast near Mont St Michel which was about an hour away and instantly felt happier, so came to the conclusion that Normandy is just too far inland for us and we need to be nearer the sea.

Brittany was more us. We were staying in the Morbihan area which we both really liked, but which was perhaps a bit more genteel than we are - more Cowbridge than Llantwit. We loved Dinan, and so many of the towns round there are just lovely. So much mediaeval housing is retained in the town centres, and they have lots and lots of flowers everywhere, with parks, walks, no litter and no grafitti. It was lovely. We went to a town called Heulgoat in finistere for the day, and saw some houses there, and that area is now heading the popularity stakes for a few reasons. One is cost - it is cheaper there than the rest of Brittany, but the coast is half an hour away, the area is lovely, and Brian seems to have a tendency to go to nearly the end of a peninsula, not quite fall off, and feel he likes it there!

It was great fun, and we have lots of information now to think about whether it is sensible or worth doing, whether it would be too much work (we are talking cheap renovation projects here) etc etc.

We are now back in Pembs for the last few days of my hols (back to work on Monday!) with lots of food for thought, and a much,much nicer pizza for lunch!!!


oreneta said...

I have to confess to being utterly delighted that you got lousy food in France....that sounds horrid. Not that YOU got lousy food, but that lousy food exists in France. Something about that seems so right. I am sorry it was you though.

In the midst of renos....and I know B would do the vast majority of the work himself....the headaches will be endlessly worse than you think. Just sayin'. Not saying it wouldn't be worth it in the end.....just that the hassles...

Boo and Trev said...

That pizza is quite frightening. Did you go to Cancale for the sea food?

Helen said...

We didn't actually get round to eating out other than coffees. We did go into a McDonalds to use the wifi that they are all supposed to have, and after we had ordered some chicken nuggets discovered that they didn't have wifi!!!!

Joanne - why do the McD signs in France appear in green sometimes and red others? It is puzzling us.