France
Auray

Here you’ll find travel reports about Auray. Discover travel destinations in France of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

2 travelers at this place:

  • Day116

    Signs of the Camino are Everywhere

    October 9, 2017 in France

    Although I have been to France many times and have ridden and driven many thousands of kilometres all around the country, I have to admit that there is one feature that I had never noticed before. Next year I will be bringing a group 16 Ghostriders (Ghostwalkers ?) to Europe to walk the famous pilgrim trail from Roncesvalles in the Pyrenees to Santiago.

    Although this route (the so called "Spanish Camino") is the most well known version of the walk, there are in fact dozens of different routes scattered all over Europe. The word Camino simply means "The Way" and the true pilgrim started their pilgrimage from their own front door and then walked all the way to Santiago. The cathedral there is supposed to contain the body of St James and this is the reason why tens of thousands of people still complete this pilgrimage every year.

    The symbol of the Camino is the scallop shell. The radiating lines of the shell indicate that there are many possible starting points but only one destination. Scattered all over France are numerous camino paths and these are most commonly marked with brass scallop shells on the footpaths. Sometimes the way is marked with a green arrow or some other symbol.

    Because we will be completing our own "Camino" in 2018 I have been more alert to these symbols and have been amazed at how often they appear, especially near the locations of famous cathedrals or abbeys. I have attached some images as well as a map showing some of the versions of the French Camino
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  • Day116

    Market Day in Auray

    October 9, 2017 in France

    Day 50 - Market Day in Auray

    According to Trip Advisor, the top 2 things to enjoy in Auray are (1) The Port and (2) The Weekly Market. Since we arrived here two days ago we have made regular walks from our hotel to the Port and have become quite familiar with the sights along the way.

    This morning we began the day with a walk through the quiet forest that adjoins our hotel. The paths were covered with a thick layer of brightly coloured autumn leaves that crunched loudly as we walked. This is another reminder that winter is rapidly approaching, although we will be long gone by the time it really arrives.

    We emerged from the forest and followed a new route into the centre of town and were thrilled to see all the little streets and laneways were filled with traders. It was obviously market day and we had a wonderful time wandering up and down the long lines of merchants. Markets are an integral part of life in most French towns and they give a wonderful insight into the French passion with food and fresh produce.

    Near our hotel we have noticed an "A Vendre" (To Sell) sign on a lovely small home. Each time we have passed by we have stopped to daydream about what it would be like to buy such a place. Sure it would be impulsive, but just about everything else worthwhile we have ever done has been the result of an impulse. We have never been ones to spend months deliberating over all the details. It certainly would be a beautiful place of the world to live in.

    When we got back to the hotel we searched out the property on the internet and it looks like our plans will have to go on hold for a little while. With a price tag of close to a million Australian dollars, it would be a tad high to justify as a holiday home (or even our main home for that matter). We will have to keep on dreaming.

    Tomorrow we will be catching the high speed train to Paris and we will be departing Auray with our luggage a little bit heavier after our purchases from the market. Our minds will also be loaded with happy memories of the short time we have spent here. It really is one of the many treasures of Brittany.
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  • Day114

    Return to Auray

    October 7, 2017 in France

    Day 47 and 48 - Oct 6 & 7

    I have to admit that the more we see of Brittany, we more we fall in love with it. After spending several days in Vannes we thought we had discovered a city that was just about perfect. Not too big and not too small and with a fantastic assortment of restaurants, tea houses, shops, parks, gardens and an amazing medieval city centre dating back to the 1500s. It was just the sort of place that we could imagine spending a year in if only we had the opportunity.

    Although we were sorry to finally leave Vannes, our train tickets and hotel had already been booked for our next stop. We packed our bags once again (why do they always seem to be getting heavier ?) and wheeled them the 1.3 km back to the railway station. We were both relieved that we seem to have settled in to a prolonged period of fine and sunny weather, so the walk was more of a pleasure than a chore.

    We arrived at the station just in time for a succession of announcements about train cancellations. It was just as well that our French has improved enough for us to now be able to understand quite a bit of what was being said. Dozens of passengers (most with luggage) started to file off the waiting train. This did not auger well for our trip. When we asked at the ticket office whether our train would be affected, we were met with a polite "je ne sais pas". We sat down in the station and waited.

    The same passengers that had filed past us some time ago filed back in the opposite direction, and then once again for good measure back outside again. It was obvious that no one had any idea what was going on. As I have said many times before, life in France is NEVER boring.

    When we finally boarded our train we were relieved to find that it was almost empty. We sat down with our luggage for the short trip to nearby Auray Le Loch. On arrival we caught a taxi to take us the 2.4 km to our hotel ( a little too far to walk with luggage). We were thrilled to find our hotel was situated right on the edge of town, in the middle of a forest. It was like being in a marvellous tree house. And that is one of the most delightful aspects of travel in Europe - you never know just what to expect of your next hotel until you are actually there.

    After dropping off our luggage we walked through the forest to the old port. If we loved Vannes, we quickly adored Auray. It is a beautiful town with a lovely city centre and a beautiful port. The streets are quiet and clean and the many city bells are a regular reminder that we really are in France.

    We had briefly visited here 4 years ago and had a rather traumatic experience when I accidentally drove our rental car right into the middle of the port (not knowing that I was driving the wrong way up a one way street). At that time I did not take much notice of the surroundings, I just wanted to escape with ourselves and the rental car intact. This time we have allowed 3 days to explore the town. We then catch the train back to Paris where we will be staying for 4 nights before the long flight back to Melbourne.
    C'est la vie.
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