Brittany, France - Summer 2006

In 2006, we returned to Brittany, as we'd had a pleasant holiday there some years before.

As in 2005, we kept a holiday diary of our trip.

Friday :Not too early start, to take the Channel Tunnel over to France.

Drove down autoroute most of way, taking in the impressive Pont Normandie as we neared Brittany.

We arrived about 4pm - Caravan quite spacious and in a quiet spot - Always a plus...

The site had a reasonably sized pool with slides, a lake with pedallos, crazy golf, a pitch and putt, even a full sized golf course.

On site there was also a stable for hacks and even a fully equipped riding school.

We stayed in a caravan, but there were also gites, cabins, a hotel and some terrifyingly high set of tree houses, some 15m above the ground.

Saturday :Went to Combourg, a nearby town. Visited the chateau home of writer Chateaubriand, which is right in the town.

Chateaubriand's home in Combourg

It's a large, impressive building, but rather half heartedly presented - Not up to National Trust levels, although they did make an attempt for English speaking visitors, which is always appreciated - My French is up to ordering drinks, but not to the intricacies of 17th Century French history...

The mumified cat was a bit ghoulish.

Built in the 10th century and updated between 15th and 19th.

Still it's worth a visit if you're in the area and the grounds are very impressive, too.

Sunday : Visited St Leonard market bought some cheapo watches, fruit and gifts - Everyone else had a temporary tatoo (I hate tatoos)

Later in the day, Ryan went to Tiger Club (kids entertainment at Haven campsites) and Lauren went riding on the horses from the stable on the site.

Monday :Visited Alligator Bay reptile centre with a huge collection of Alligators and Crocodiles as well as other smaller reptiles, including some giant Tortoises.

Alligators and LOTS of them!

A Python comes face to face with Ryan - Must've been a shock!

After that we went onto Mt. St Michel, about a mile down the road from Alligator Bay.

Imposing and magical Mont St Michel

The tide was out so we walked around the island. Walked up the Mont but there were long-ish queues for the Abbey and only I (Mark) wanted to go in so we didn't go in (again... maybe one day...).

The abbey atop the Mont dominates the ancient streets below

We stayed to eat dinner to avoid the long queues on the causeway, as the tide came in.

Tiny cobbled streets echo to the sounds of ancient footsteps.

It's a magical and unique place (It might sound a bit cliched, but even with the hordes of Tourists, you can imagine the streets thronged with middle ages traders and pilgrims) and we agreed it would be lovely to visit in the winter, in the hope of smaller crowds - It was certainly worth hanging around until the evening to see the streets less crowded.

Weather sweeps in across the bay

Tuesday : In the morning, Ryan wanted to go Tiger Club, so the rest of us had a quick go at Archery - Very difficult, but surprisingly compelling - You just get one arrow in near the target centre and then the next one flies way left or high...

Later in the day, we went to beach near St Columb.

Lovely little bay with boats bobbing in the water, sandy beach, with rocky outcrops and rock pools.

Lovely blue skies - sea quite warm.

One of those days when everything seems right in the world.

Wednesday : Stayed on site for a bit of a rest, we're not the kind to spend a week on a sun lounger, but even we need a break.

Lauren and Mark did treetop adventure trail, with wire walks, rocking bridge over a river. Zip wire over river was fun, too, but Lauren froze on the cargo nets and Mark had a panicky moment on the bridge over the river.

Tower on Mont Dol

In the evening, we drove the nearby town of Mont Dol, which was holding a market (although most of the traders were the same as at St. Leonard on Sunday) and then drove up to the top of the Mont and climbed the tower at the top, which rewarded us with a wonderful view of the flat land around, and then walked around to the windmill.

Mont Dol's windmill

We stopped in Dol De Bretagne to have dinner, with the kids eating Pizza, while I had a Moules et Frites and Mandy had pasta. I can't recall the restaurants name, but it was unpromising looking Italian cafe at the top of the high street.

Thursday : Took a drive to Medreac for a visit to the velo-rail, where you can cycle a contraption along a disused railway line (one bike on each rail) - A bit of fun and a different pace to view the scenery.

The kids on a velo-rail

We picniced in the shade of some woods part way along the track.

Friday : Visited Fourgere, home of the largest medieaval castle in europe.

Fourgere's impressive ramparts

The castle was certainly impressive in its size and grandeur, but without a guide it was hard to learn much about it, which was a shame. Sadly, too, most of the castle is in ruins.

Steep town streets and parks afford excellent views of the castle.

We took the walk around the old town's steep gardens and streets. The walk affords some wonderful views over the castle and town.

Saturday : Drove to St Malo, with the weather overcast, but it brightened during the day, although it remained windy on the sea, especially.

St Malo's narrow walled streets.

walked from Alect to walled old town - ate in restaurant - crab for me.

St Malo's walls from the sea.

After lunch we took a boat ride around the bay - could've done with a brief description of sites in English for the many english tourists (they advertise BOAT TRIPS in English...if it'd said "Voyages Bateaux" I'd not have minded so much!) Very choppy, too!

A windy day meant a choppy sea!

Sunday :Lauren had another hack on the site horses while Ryan went to Tiger Club again.

We went down to the local village market and bought some fruit and gifts.

With another overcast day, we decided to visit the car museum at Loheac.

Loheac has a modest chateau

If you're interested in cars, this is a very good museum with many impressive rare and unusual cars, including many french cars and supercars, including f40, eb110 and 20 f1 cars.

Impressive F1 car collection only a tiny part of the museum.

I'm a bit of a car fan and I saw a number of cars there that'd I had only seen in car magazines before.

Monday :Up early for return.

The weather remained overcast and windy, but the drive back to the Channel Tunnel was fast and trouble free (although it became very wet near Calais).

Actually got on early train and were back home around 4:30.

Total mileage was around 1250, most on first and last days with long run to and from Channel Tunnel.