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

76 travelers at this place:

  • Day44


    May 14 in France ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Überfahrt von Dinard nach Saint-Malo mit dem Schiff. Riesige Stadtmauern umgeben das ehemalige Piratenstädtlein. Die Altstadt wurde während des 2. Weltkrieg fast komplett zerstört aber dann umgehend wieder originalgetreu aufgebaut.

    Die kalte Bise bläst auch hier. Grüsse in die Schweiz

  • Day10

    Saint Malo/ Pointe du Grouin/ Cancale

    August 24, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Heute waren wir in St.Malo. Das frühere Aufstehen hat sich bewährt, denn wir haben noch locker einen Parkplatz bekommen. Zuerst ging es ein Stück am Hafen entlang, dann weiter auf der Stadtmauer. Da mal wieder Ebbe war (ich glaub das mit der Flut ist ein Märchen) hätte man sogar zu Fuss zu einigen der vorgelagerten Inseln gehen können. Die Stadtmauer ist noch gut erhalten, die Innenstadt dagegen wurde im 2. Weltkrieg komplett zerstört und wieder aufgebaut. Obwohl das Wetter nicht optimal war konnten wir bis Cap Frehel und in die andere Richtung bis Mt. Saint Michel schauen. Die Innenstadt war voller Tourist, aber wir haben eine super Kneipe gefunden, eher eine Beachbar, mit Sand am Boden und urig eingerichtet. Es
    gab Café und Pastis.
    Wir sind dann weiter an die felsige Küste und von dort nach Cancale zum Austernessen. Dort kann man an kleinen Buden direkt am Strand Austern kaufen, schon geöffnet und mit Zitrone. Die Schalen darf man einfach an den Strand werfen. Die Kinder wollten nicht probieren, Christian und ich haben jeder 4 Stück gegessen.
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  • Day20


    September 24, 2017 in France ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

    A full day tour of Juno Beach and surrounding area focused on Canadian involvement in D-Day...the beginning of the end of WW II.

    Was a beautiful day, so hard to imagine the ships, bombardments, artillery, equipment, troops, killing, confusion on the beaches 73 years ago. Quite the strategy and coordinated effort among the Allies. Saw Juno beach (where the Canadians landed), German bunkers, Abbatiale St. Etienne in Caen where William the conqueror is buried, Canadian cemetery (very beautiful and well-kept), museum...all very good. The Canadians and the Brits brought bicycles with them to cover ground quickly and quietly once on shore!

    Back in Bayeux we wandered thru a little market, people-watched while we had a biere at a cafe, then picked up stuff for supper. For the first time we had dinner at our chambres-hotes that had a common kitchen area. Nice to have a break from going out.

    And a very cool coincidence today. Got talking to a woman on the tour. Her husband was in the forces... so was my Dad.

    Woman: Were you ever in Centralia?
    Me: Yes, for 2 years.
    Woman: I went to Exeter for high school.
    Me: I was in elementary school at the time.
    Woman: We lived in Mt. Carmel.
    Me: Really? Us too!

    (Mt. Carmel is a farming hamlet with just 13 houses on the main street).

    Woman: What's your name?
    Me: Majocha
    Woman: My sister used to babysit you! You had twins in the family.

    Unbelievable!! It was sooooo cool talking to her about the village and the people there...she knew them all. Including the 'spooky' house we used to run past 😯. Her father farmed and also drove machinery on the base and Dad remembers him too! Such a small world!
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  • Day107

    Back in Beautiful St Malo

    September 30, 2017 in France ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    Our team is now safely back in St Malo after completing a memorable 5 week ride around Germany, France, Switzerland, Jersey, Guernsey and Sark. Now that the riding section is officially over I can report that all the prior arrangements, complicated as they were, all went exactly as planned. That is always a relief when so many hotels, restaurants, bike hire companies, ferry crossings, etc are involved.

    We did have several minor crashes, but nothing of any great significance. The only major incident occurred 4 days ago in ST Helier. I have refrained from mentioning the details as I wanted to respect the privacy of those who were involved.

    After breakfast on our third day in Jersey, Andrea Doherty complained of feeling unwell and her husband decided to take her to the nearest medical centre. They were concerned about her condition and she was transferred by ambulance to the General Hospital where tests later showed that she had suffered a minor heart attack. This was completely unexpected and was a huge shock to all of the team. Of course it also meant that Andrea and Greg, who had endeared themselves greatly to everyone could both take no further part in our adventure.
    Since medical facilities in Jersey are quite limited she was later transferred by air ambulance to Oxford in the UK for further treatment. The great news we received just a couple of hours ago, is that her arteries are actually in very good condition and she will not require a stent as originally thought. She is expected to now make a full recovery with medication alone.

    Yesterday we had two trips on the huge Condor ferries to travel from Guernsey back to St Malo. This place now feels like a wonderful familiar home away from home, and we were all so happy to be back in the land of the beautiful baguette. We stayed overnight at a lovely hotel, right in the middle of the old town (The Citadel) and during breakfast we were able to follow the AFL Grand Final. It was a fantastic way to complete our trip (especially for Bob Andrews) who has been a Richmond tragic for all of his extremely long life.

    I suggested that, if Richmond won, Bob should complete a streak around the old city wall to celebrate. John immediately added that Bob would win the prize for "Best Dried Arrangement" and the entire group just dissolved into fits of hysterical laughter. What an amazing group we have had on this trip and this typified the light hearted banter that accompanied every meal together.

    Our team is now disbanding and some participants will be beginning the long journey home to Australia. Six of us will be spending a few more days in St Malo to enjoy some well earned R & R.
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  • Day109

    More Free Time in St Malo

    October 2, 2017 in France ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    We have had a wonderful couple of days in beautiful St Malo. This place is very easy to fall in love with and the ever changing sea vistas keep us entertained for hours every day. The tidal variations here are enormous - up to 15 metres between high and low tide. This means that the wide sandy beaches are constantly in a state of flux. At the time of the low tide the sea retreats so far that it reveals a beautiful flat sandy expanse that stretches hundreds of metres from the sea wall.

    That flat area becomes the favourite place for the locals to partake in a myriad of activities. Each day large walking groups make their way through the water's edge, getting their exercise by walking through the chest high water.

    Any historical study of St Malo shows that over 80% of the old city was destroyed during the latter stages of WW2. The "old city" that you see now is actually a recreation that was begun in 1947 and completed around 20 years later. The builders certainly did an amazing job, however it is still somewhat artificial.

    As we wondered the streets inside the towering ramparts we noticed several with rather whimsical names - such as Rue de Chat Qui Danse (the street of the dancing cat). Of particular interest to me were the places that were featured in that incredible novel "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr. Although the novel itself is an historical fiction, many the places mentioned do actually exist. In the story Marie-Laure LeBlanc and her father escape from Paris to St Malo and live with their eccentric uncle at 4 Rue Vauborel. I can now tell you that the street does really exist, although number 4 looks nothing like the house described in the book.

    We spent some retracing the paths taken by the blind Marie-Laure as she counted her steps along the cobble stoned alleys of the war time city. When I get back to Australia I plan to reread this incredible story and I would strongly recommend it to anyone who is ready for an emotional but spellbinding read.

    After another two days here we will be heading to Vannes to re acquaint ourselves with another place we strongly wished to see again since we first visited there in 2013 .
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  • Day112

    A Surprise Attack in Dinard

    October 5, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Day 43 and 44 - Oct 2 and 3.
    October 2nd marked a rather significant day for Maggie - her 65th Birthday. She was actually thrilled to have reached such a great old age and to be able to celebrate such an event than in beautiful St Malo. We can now both be officially classed as genuine "old farts".

    This week the tides are progressively working their way towards the monthly peak. By this weekend the tides will be at their maximum and all the homes and businesses along the sea wall will be closing their shutters to help protect them against the wave damage. We took the opportunity of one of the growing low tides to walk far out to sea and look for interesting sea shells. We found a few colourful small shells to keep as a souvenir of a beautiful early autumn day.

    By this time of the year the tourist season has largely ended and the towns have reverted to their normal cycles of life. The weather is mild and the deciduous trees have just started to take on the first signs of yellow, amber and red. It is the perfect time to travel in Europe. Forget the hot and crowded months of July and August !

    In the evening we joined David and Carol and Gordon and Sue to celebrate Maggie's birthday at a nearby restaurant called the "Kidy Gwen". It seemed a somewhat mysterious name so I asked the owner what it meant. She explained that it was made from the initials of all the chefs. I guess that made perfect sense.

    Somehow the staff discovered that it was a birthday and, at the end of the meal, brought out Maggie's desert decorated with a flaming firework that seemed to go on forever. The entire restaurant sang "Happy Birthday" (in French of course) and ensured that this will be a birthday she will never forget.

    Dinard is a smaller companion city to St Malo, situated across La Rance and reached by a 10 minute water taxi ride from the citadel. We chose to spend our last full day in St Malo by spending a few hours in Dinard. The weather has settled down to provide a succession of fine and sunny early autumn days and the short ferry trip was absolutely delightful.

    Earlier in the day we had farewelled David and Carol who were heading off on the long trip back to Melbourne. After sharing so much with them over the past 6 weeks we were really sad to see them leave. This meant that our team was down to just four.

    We arrived in Dinard just as the large outdoor market was packing up. These markets are a feature of many French towns and provide a fantastic insight into the French culture.
    After wandering around the quiet streets for some time we purchased a sandwich and a couple of cakes to enjoy by the seaside. After finding a lovely spot to watch the waves gently lapping the shore I felt that there could be no place on earth where I would rather be. Maggie opened her Tarte Framboise (raspberry tart) and began to enjoy her favourite French cake. All was well with the world. But it didn't stay that way for long.

    Suddenly, out of nowhere, a huge seagull swooped out of the glare of the sun and grabbed a large portion of Maggie's tart. By itself that would not have been so bad if the bird had not also taken that very moment to completely empty its bowels over the two of us. We looked down and were shocked to find that we had been covered in a huge splatter of dark green seagull poo. It was a quick way to spoil the magic of the moment, but somehow we both laughed - what else could we do ?

    Maggie sadly had to dispose of the remnants of her prized tart and we both set about trying to clean ourselves up. It is a moment that will long live in our memories. In spite of the seagull bomb, it was still a lovely day and we had so much to be thankful for. Tomorrow we will be leaving St Malo and making our way to Vannes. We are already looking forward to our next visit to St Malo in 2019.
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  • Day94

    In Which Claire Gets Castigated

    September 17, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    One of the things I love about France is that you never really know what will happen around the next corner. Somehow the whole country is like a marvellous giant game of theatre sports where every participant is playing out an exaggerated role. This was in evidence several times today.

    After the dreary wet weather we had been suffering it was wonderful to be able to ride out of Dinan in perfectly fine and still conditions. The early morning air was chilly as we navigated the steep descent out of the city and back to the banks of La Rance. We resumed riding the delightful Chemin De Hallage bike path, right along the river bank. The recent rain had made some sections a little muddy, but we could not have cared less. We were all having fun enjoying the flat ride and the absolutely beautiful scenery.

    As we progressed further and further upstream we passed a succession of small locks, each one accompanied by an impeccably maintained lockmaster's house. Early in the ride we stopped to examine the workings of the lock. Claire took the opportunity to wander to the side of the house and into the owners private garden. This was not a great idea. The lockmaster came immediately out of his house and strode up to Claire.

    "Stop", he shouted.

    "But I was only looking at your chickens", she answered, as it that explained everything.

    The man was not convinced and continued to shout in French, presumably telling her why she should not be on his property. He obviously did not realise that Claire is a formidable person to be reckoned with and soon she was giving as good as she had received. A couple of minutes later the lockmaster was retreating back into his house in tears.

    We continued on our way and continued to see many more of these locks and we were always impressed at just how well maintained every one was. At one we stopped to watch a large pleasure boat pass through.

    AFter about 20 km we finally left the riverbank and headed inland. This of course involved a climb, but no one seemed to care. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, we are much stronger than we were 3 weeks ago, and WE ARE IN FRANCE. Life really is fantastic and how lucky are we to be able to explore this amazing country using the power of our own legs. The mainstream tourists NEVER even get near these magical country places that we were savouring every day.

    A few kilometres from Combourg we were riding through a tiny farming community when an unwelcome companion started to run alongside my bike. It was a huge dog with lots and lots of teeth. I pedalled faster. The dog ran faster. I shouted in French for the dog to go away, but it only served to make it more determined to run in front of me. The owner shouted, but the dog paid no attention. Although it did not seem overly aggressive, I had to admit that it did make me nervous. It finally lost interest in me and set off after one of our other riders. I took the opportunity to pedal faster and disappear. I later found out that the dog jumped in a dam so I guess it probably had rabies. Nevertheless we all managed to survive the experience.

    When we arrived at Combourg we decided to look for a place to eat and found a wonderful pizza shop in the main street. The pizzas truly were delicious and the warm sun was like an elixir of youth. If there was any better place on earth to be, at that moment I certainly could not think of it.

    Later in the day we set off to explore the imposing Chateau de Combourg, home of the famous Chateaubriand. Anyone who knows me would be aware that I have a travel principle that states "NEVER take any organised tours". For some unknown reason Maggie and I decided to take a tour of the castle as this was the only way to get inside. I really wish we had saved the money.

    The tour was conducted only in French, the interior was dark and depressing and after a few minutes I was looking for a way to escape. Early on Carol and I did our individual bests to knock over a priceless antique lamp and, a few minutes later the entire room was thrown into darkness when I accidentally leaned on the light switch. Everyone turned to see which idiot had been so stupid. I should have looked them all in the eye and proudly stated "Cést moi", but I just looked embarrassed and looked at the next person to pretend they were the culprit. It was not my proudest moment

    The place got even more depressing as we progressed further up to the higher levels and even the 700 year old mummified remains of the cat that was found in the castle walls did little to brighten the atmosphere. We were all glad when the dreadful tour was finally over and we were able to escape back into the sunshine and make our way back to the hotel. It was 14 Euro very poorly spent. I have learnt my lesson.

    Ah France, I really do love every frustrating bit of you.
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  • Day37

    Saint Malo, France

    September 8, 2017 in France ⋅ 🌬 63 °F

    We drove to the Bay of Mont Saint Michel and began with a restaurant stop for a gouter (pastry around chocolate) and apple cider.
    Mont Saint Michel is one of the most famous monuments in France. It was built on a rocky island and founded in the 10th century.
    The day ended with a visit to the small fishing village of Cancale, known for its oyster beds.Read more

  • Day98

    In Which we Reach St Malo

    September 21, 2017 in France ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    This afternoon we successfully completed our cycling circuit around beautiful Brittany. Although a further two punctures delayed our progress, we still successfully dodged the predicted heavy rain and managed to complete most of the day's riding in lovely sunshine.
    We chose the longer route along the coast rather than the alternate "Par Terre" route. It was certainly worth it. The views of the beautiful coastline were breathtaking and reminded me of our favourite Bunurong Coast Road from Inverloch to Cape Paterson, although I have to admit that the French coast is even more amazing.

    Our morning tea stop was at the seaside town of Cancales. This is a very popular holiday location in the European summer, but at this time of the year most of the holiday makers have returned home. The remainder of the ride to St Malo was quite hilly and sent us all looking for the good old granny gears as we worked our way up each successive climb. I kept looking over my shoulder at the growing mass of dark clouds that were starting to populate the sky. The forecast had predicted heavy rain later in the afternoon and we were determined to complete the ride before it arrived.

    We arrived on the outskirts of St Malo just as the first few spots of rain were falling. The last few hundred metres of the ride took the form of a mad sprint along the top of the sea wall to our hotel. We arrived at the hotel entrance just as the rain started to fall steadily. It was then time for heartfelt hugs and congratulations as we shared the achievement together. It really had been a group effort where everyone had contributed their own skills to help ensure a successful outcome. It was a fun way to finish an amazing adventure.

    When we first arrived here a week ago, St Malo was new to most of our riders, however it now seemed like a familiar homecoming. Over the past 4 weeks we have gained an insight into the French way of life that few tourists ever get to experience and we have all had an incredible amount of fun along the way. I really do regard France as my second country.

    France - we will miss your baguettes more than we can ever say. I am already counting the days till we return in 2019.

    We have one more full day in St Malo before we catch the early morning ferry on Saturday and head out to sea.
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  • Day99

    Free Time in St Malo

    September 22, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Day 33 - Sep 22. According to John Denver "some days are diamonds and some days are stones". If that is true then there is no doubt that today would be a diamond in anyone's language. It began the previous evening when we joined together for an unforgettable dinner at one of the finest restaurants in St Malo. The Brasserie Du Sillon is situated right on the spectacular waterfront of ST Malo, with huge windows that frame an amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean.

    By some fortunate fluke of planning we also managed to coordinate our evening meal with the exact time of high tide. This meant that our meal was punctuated by the regular crashing of the waves against the window panes. Each time this happened it was greeted with a big cheer from our group. With the setting sun highlighting the silhouette of the old citadel it would have been hard to imagine a more impressive setting to celebrate the successful completion of section three of our 2017 rides.

    The restaurant itself specialises in seafood and the food was extraordinarily good. A glance at the wine list showed bottles up to an eye watering 6000 Euros per bottle. Needless to say, I decided to stick to the much more reasonably priced mineral water.

    The following morning dawned completely clear and the early morning waterfront views from the breakfast room were enough to make everyone fall in love with this beautiful city. The wild high tide of the previous evening had now transformed into a low tide which had sent the waterline hundreds of metres from the seawall. Dotted across the shallow water were dozens of small islands which had risen dramatically as the water level had fallen. At such times the broad flat sands become the preferred location for walkers, joggers, lovers. It took me quite some time to cross the wide sand and reach the water's edge. From this point I could view St Malo from a completely different perspective.

    The temperature soon rose with the sun and some of us set off on a short ride for a picnic by the harbour. Equipped with baguettes, ham, cheese, tomatoes, pate and drinks we happily feasted like kings and queens while we basked in the warm sunshine. At that time none of us could have thought of anywhere else on earth where we would rather be. It was a day we will never forget.

    In the late afternoon we returned to our hotel and noticed that dozens of people had taken advantage of the warmth and sunshine to dine outdoors. In the distance I could hear the enchanting strains of someone singing so I decided to investigate. It turned out to be a blind black busker with an incredible voice that I could have listened to for hours. I felt that he thoroughly deserved the small amount of change I had left in my pockets. It was the perfect ending to a magic day.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Département d'Ille-et-Vilaine, Departement d'Ille-et-Vilaine, Ille-et-Vilaine, Il-ha-Gwilen, Ille y Vilaine

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