Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Canal and Dinan in the Rain

The day dawned gray and drizzly—and stayed that way all day; indeed it is still raining now, near 7pm. (But the forecast for tomorrow and onward is better!) The only two things left on the Dinan plan were a scenic drive and walk, and to walk around the walls of Dinan. Today was the only day left to do them, so: up the parapluies and en avant!

First up was a walk along a section of canal. France has many canals, their construction initiated by Napoleon around 1805, to encourage internal water transport safe from the British who controlled the Mediterranean and the Channel. This particular piece of canal is well-known because it has eleven locks in a little over a kilometer. Here are four of the lower ones.

Here are four of them above the road bridge.

Every lock has a lock-keeper's cottage.

There were a lot of these mooring posts.

But there were also quite modern electrical and water outlets for boat campers. This boat is named "Hobbit" and there were two people inside enjoying a morning cuppa.

We then drove along several designated scenic byways with views over the valley of the River Rance (which flows via Dinan and St-Malo to the sea). However the clouds and mist prevented our actually seeing any of these views. We lunched in the car alongside a wide, dammed section of the Rance, watching fishermen casting.

Back in Dinan we had a nap and then determinedly set out to walk on the walls that surround old Dinan despite the rain.

Here is the city gate just down the block from our hotel. Just inside, turn left and go up on the wall.

Dinan sits on a cliff above a river valley, as we now start to realize.

We were not the only determined tourists on the wall.

These two were just awwwwwwww cute.

Inside the wall, nice gardens.

Wait, is that a palm tree?

Further along, a view up a steep street we decided to name "Rue des Parapluies"

Then you get to the part of town that overlooks the river Rance.

Spectacular viaduct was once a railway bridge.

Just upriver, the old bridge and what was, when Dinan handled commercial traffic, the Port of Dinan.

We started the steep descent down to the river bank...

...but about 1/3 of the way down, thought better of it and came back up. Resumed the walk around the ramparts to the front gate.

Back into town center, everything seemed dead and we despaired of refreshment, but then found a café that was open on a late Sunday afternoon and had a restorative chocolat chaud et crêpe au sucre. Refreshed, we shot some of the fine old half-timbered buildings in the center of Dinan.

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