Monday, May 21, 2012

Slow transit to Paimpol

Today we transited from Dinan to Paimpol, doing not much along the way.

The morning was gray, misty, drizzly—just like the last 48 hours. We clung to the consistent forecast of improving weather, but when we paused on the way out of town to look around the Port of Dinan, it was still gloomy.

Looking up at the viaduct and the city wall, with the old road bridge below.

Remember this picture from yesterday? The door through which Marian is about to pass in this shot...

is the little round-arched door in the city wall that you can see at the upper left center of this one (below the steeple):

From there we worked our way down a steep path and flight of stone steps to just above the level of the viaduct roadway, before deciding that we didn't need to do that, and went back. Now we see it from below, we think we were very wise.

Anyway, Dinan is a nice town and we wish we could have enjoyed it in better weather.

We went on westward, and an hour along we paused in St. Brieuc, a peculiar city that is built across a couple of deep ravines and has a complicated street pattern. The guidebook made the cathedral sound mildly interesting and the chilly wet had us craving a boisson chaud. After spending quite a bit of time circulating the core city and working the indispensable Garmin into a sweat, we finally got parked and took a brief—very brief—look at the cathedral, which has to be the ugliest one ever made. Its only saving grace is that it is smaller than average. We didn't spend a pixel on its dank dark stones. But nearby there was quite a comfy bar where we had café creme and tried to parse out news from a French newspaper.

The next planned stop was a place deemed "hard to find" by the guidebook; and indeed, the name of the place, Kermaria en Esquit, isn't known to the Garmin's French map, either. So we steered for the nearest town, St. Quay, to find a boulangerie for bread for lunch. The clouds were beginning to break up and the occasional shadow could be seen, which made us feel like this.

We found a quiet street overlooking the sea for a lunch break. Here we saw a new bird!

The Linnet, number 513!

And took a couple of flower pics. What are these? Jean? Anybody?

Very common roadside flower just now.

Next we went looking for Kermaria, and actually found it but it didn't seem to be open. Later we learned you have to knock on the door of the caretaker next door and ask to be let in. So we'll head back there another time, at which time we will say what it actually is.

We came on to Paimpol where quite a decent hotel room is only €60. Paimpol is a resort town with a small harbor jammed with pleasure craft. They are spiffing themselves up, with travaux (construction works) on seemingly every other block in preparation for an international yacht race that will start from here in about a month. We found the tourist office, got a map, located restaurant row and generally settled in.

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