Saturday, March 28, 1998
We take a little trip up the Emerald Coast of Brittany. It’s absolutely quaint. Many little coastal villages. We also found Fort la Latte, which is frequently used as a film set. There was a movie being filmed while we were there. I see a windmill – excited!!
Sunday, March 29, 1998
Off to the Loire Valley. We go on a tour of a wine cave, which is very neat – we see the whole process and then get free wine later. We both bought bottles of this wine – in Canadian $ it cost us $7.50 a bottle – in Canada we would pay $40-50 a bottle. Then we moved on to the Mushroom Museum. This was the absolute worst thing I have ever dealt with. There was supposed to be a tour, but it turns out that the English Tour consists of a $7 book that you read as you go through the museum, which you already paid $10 to get into. Stay away from the Mushroom Museum. I drive home and end up taking a detour through Nantes, the town Bluebeard lived in. At a traffic circle, the car stalls (because I don’t drive a standard well) and I am ready to leave the car where it is, get out, and go away crying – thank god Heather is used to teaching people how to fly planes – she talked me through it and we were on our way, once again.
Monday, March 30, 1998
We are ready for another local day, so we walk around town. Today, we visit the castle across the street from us. We are in the centre of town when the Clock Tower chimes 3 o’clock. We look at our watches and find that we only have 2:00. We (think) ask the girls at the Tourist Bureau if the clocks turned forward this past weekend – they give us a weird look and say no. It is not until 3 hours later that I realize that I have confused the word clock (horloge) with bell (cloche) – I asked them if the bells turned forward!! And I wonder why we received a weird look. After all the confusion, the clocks did go ahead on Saturday night – we have been working on the wrong clock for close to 48 hours!!
Tuesday, March 31, 1998
We head back to the Loire Valley. This time we are on a chateau-a-thon. Our first stop is at Montgeoffrey. It was protected during the French Revolution and many of the furnishings are original 18th century. We have a personal tour guide take us through the house, where the family still lives today, the chapel, and the stables. She explains that they no longer keep horses, but they do have sheep. She also attempts to explain that they have another animal – they live in the forest, we have them in Canada, it’s like a donkey, ooo, ooo, Bumbi!! Ah, yes, Bumbi – the forest dwelling donkey, a.k.a. DEER!! Montgeoffrey will go down in history as Bumbi’s house. The second chateau we went into was Usse – the castle that inspired Sleeping Beauty. I found it quite tacky, with mannequins dressed up in wedding dresses and Sleeping Beauty/Wicked Witch attire. Also, the tour was very rushed.
Wednesday, April 1, 1998
We return the car to St. Malo, and drive through Dinard on the way home. Dinard is a big thallasotherapy area – they put mud and stuff on you, sort of like a spa – and is home to a lot of people with just too much money. St. Malo is a pirate area – I guess they lived out of St. Malo when they were on dry land – and has lots of connections to the beaudoins, who are attached to the Quebecois. It’s a nice place, but if you’ve seen one walled city, you’ve seen ‘em all. And I’m getting really tired of the cobblestones now. My feet hurt and I just want to go back home now.
Thursday, April 2, 1998
Do the last minute stuff in Dinan – pick up souvenirs, do a laundry, and start to pack.