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  • Day39

    France, Dinan

    July 16, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    We left Amiens in plenty of time to have a nicely paced drive to Dinan to meet the host at our cottage between 2.30 and 3.30. What we got was an absolutely bloody nightmare of a drive, not realising that with Bastille Day on Friday everyone, and I mean everyone, in France had decided to hit the road for a long weekend and they all heading in the same direction as us. Every other autobahn and autostrada we have driven on have a very modern and efficient approach to collecting tolls - you either buy a toll pass and stick it on your windscreen and get zapped as you through under a camera or, as in Germany they're free. Not so in France. Apparently, and i don't know how true this is, the different departments in France couldn't agree on a national system as they were all fearful of loosing money so there are tolls booths at the beginning and end of small stretches of autostrada. You have to pay, or get a ticket for the next stretch at each of these points. An extra two hours was added to our trip. We finally arrived in Dinan and after a bit of confusion (sometimes the GPS is really bloody unreliable) we found the cottage and it is delightful. Right by the edge of the river and close to the Port of Dinan. There is quite a bit of history to this town and we made the decision to sleep in and just explore Dinan on our first full day. Dinan was originally a trade village and an important strategic and defensive post back in the 1500's. It is known for its half timbered houses, well preserved castle wall and castle and keep, abbey and medieval town. It is quite steep (very) leading up from the port through narrow little cobbled streets. It is also very heavily tourist -y here, most from over the water in England. Man they can whinge, but enough of that, I could go for ages on conversations I've overheard and then I'd start to sound whingey. We walked up to the castle, walked the wall, went into the castle, and were lucky enough to be here for the annual Harp Festival. I can see why it never really took off as an instrument. I'm pretty sure there wouldn't have been much heading banging or mosh pits going on back in the day. Had a great lunch at a restaurant serving sea food given we're only about 10k's from the coast just about everyone serves moules (mussels) at the least. Tomorrow we are off to the second most visited attraction in France - the Mont St Michel. We have been advised to get there early to avoid the hordes. Can't wait - this is on my bucket list.Read more