Thursday, 9 June 2011

Rennes

Last week we had a public holiday and then took Friday off to give Mr E and I a glorious 4 day weekend! Where to go?! What to do?! We settled on heading to north-western France! Mostly because you need a decent amount of time to get there, and as Mr E had been wanting to go to Mont Saint Michel for a while. Turns out, it's no so straight forward to get to said mont! First we took the high speed train to the nearest possible destination, Rennes. This, from Amsterdam, required 4 trains; Amsterdam to Brussels, then to some small Belgium city, then to Lille, then to Rennes. But actually it's quite relaxing traveling by train. I much prefer it, in general, to flying. More relaxing and nice to see the landscape changing as you go.
As I said, first stop, Rennes. This is a funny town, seems to be more of a transport interchange town than an actual destination. But it's actually quite nice.
It's got a fancy old French palace.
Complete with lovely gardens and a whole series of fun little dog signs.
Heading up into the city you come across some wonderfully preserved houses from the middle ages.
The streets are quite narrow, hence the crazy angles of these shots. Lots of interlaced wood beams that make for quite striking facades.
In the middle of the old town, so Hermés window displays with cotton spools. Ooh la la.
More stunning medieval houses.
Came across some lovely weathered typography.
And took a look in a church, which I generally don't find that interesting to photograph, but the light was streaming through the stained glass and making beautiful patterns everywhere so I took a few.

You must not pass up taking a stroll around the magnificent Parc Thabor, which is a formal French garden, orangerie, rose garden, and aviary, on 10 hectares of land, built between 1860 and 1867. It contains the Jardin botanique du Thabor, and a botanical garden.
Lovely big space, I think half of Rennes were there out enjoying the gorgeous settings and views over the city.
Standard rose bushes my mother would kill for. They were 6ft tall, kid you not!
Beautiful concentric circle garden beds.
After all that sight seeing it was time for a demi-peche or two! Food wise, you can't pass up a crepe, the local delicacy. Especially the desert ones, go for the salty caramel crepes! My-oh-my...so so good.
Grand old building which our hotel was in. Great golden mosaic on the facade.
His and Hers gates. Even the gates are too too pretty.
So, the adventure is just beginning! But our first taste of Brittany was great.

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