Monday, June 13, 2011

Rennes - Capital of Brittany

June 11 - Rennes

The drive south from Dinan to Rennes was a quick one. Meredith had an appointment to check out wedding gowns in Rennes and also it was the place she would leave us to return home to Rotterdam.

From my readings, Rennes did not have the flair of other cities. Yet once there, we really appreciated the layout and architecture of the city. It had broad boulevards as well as narrow cobble stoned streets with half-timbered buildings. Being the capital of Brittany, it has a grand palace of parliament, theaters and a  majestic cathedral.

We walked to the Place des Lices, where there was a huge open market with vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, cheeses and lots of other stuff. We had samples of jams, cheese and salamis and grabbed a quick bite to eat. It was then time for Meredith's wedding gown appointment, so she and Diane trudged off while I went on to reconnoiter possibilities for dinner.

Garlic anyone?

A huge pot of chicken being cooked up at the market

A basket of salamis at the market 

Diane and Meredith came back on an upbeat note - the gown designer had sketched some of his ideas and they had hit if off quite well. Meredith had tried on several wedding gowns and was excited at how close they came to what she liked. It definitely had been a successful adventure.

In the evening, we had what was our best meal of the trip. It was at Chez Paul, a local restaurant that I had spotted earlier. We took a chance - we were their only customers when we walked in. The waiter was friendly and helpful - he had lived in New Zealand and spoke good English. We each had delightful meals - duck, beef and fish capped off with a dessert of rhubarb tart and a heavy dark chocolate mousse. It was the perfect dinner to end our time together with Meredith.

The chef of Chez Paul - Paul

Rhubarb tart

In the morning, while Diane stayed back to nurse a sore foot, Meredith and I took one last walk around Rennes and stopped to see a beautiful city park. In spite of the damp weather conditions, we were impressed with Rennes medieval architecture, its majestic theater and parliament buildings and comfortable squares. We found it to be a very livable city, one we wouldn‘t mind returning to some time in the future. 

Early in the afternoon we took Meredith to the train station. After she left, we drove to our next destination - Vannes.
Entrance to the gardens

Definitely the smallest elevator we've seen

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