I love France so very much. How is it I’ve never been here before? I only have one day left until I leave for Spain, then it’s a whole new language barrier! Yikes!
So today I had to check out of my hotel at 10:00, but my train didn’t leave until 2:15. I fretted about what to do with the albatross (my bag!) because the sight I wanted to see was halfway between my hotel and the station (and it’s a good 35 minute walk), so I didn’t want to have to walk back and get it. So in the end I decided to take it with me. I went and had a cafe au lait at a cute little smoothie place called The Fruity Cafe. I was sitting there and took out my laptop to check something out. The kid working there came out and told me they had free wifi and gave me the code. We started chatting, and on a whim I just asked him if I could store my bag in their back room if they had one? I know, it sounds like a stupid move, but it was one of those cases where I went with my gut… and I really didn’t want to drag that bag around a fortress! So I went and did my thing, and went and bought him a chocolate fish at this beautiful chocolate shop across the street (look at the foodie tab to see what Easter treat I bought for myself!) to say thank you. I can now say I’ve had the french kiss! No, not that kind of kiss, but the one where you kiss each cheek. It’s a greeting, it’s a thank you, it’s so French and tres adorable! The people in Caen are super friendly. They don’t speak a lot of English, but it just doesn’t matter. Between a little English, a little French and whole lot of gestures you can get your message across!
This is the Porte Staint-Pierre barbican. It was built by the English in the mid 1400’s to protect them from the hostile locals.
The castle was built in 1060 by William the Conqueror. That is almost 1000 years ago! Mind blowing!
The lookout walkway to watch for invaders and shoot arrows or cannons at whatever it is they used to kill each other back then.
This is called Exchequer Hall, built in the 12th century. It was a sort of meeting place for dukes and knights.
View from the side.
What remains of the castle itself within the walls of the fortress.
The moat. It was pretty darn steep!
View from the highest point.
A church in the center of the enclosure, now The Museum of Normandy.
View from outside the fortress.
The barbican again.
On a completely unrelated note… do they have this at home, or is it just in France? WTF?
So, I’m now in Dinan. I took a train, it had a change in Dol de Bretagne and I made it, yay for me! Plus, the hotel in Deauville emailed and told me that they found someone to take my room, so I don’t have to pay, so double yay for me! I am here because of a certain Karyne M?!? You told me, and I came. It is a stunning medieval town. Much smaller than Rouen and Caen. I just got here tonight at 6:00, so I have all day tomorrow to explore, but in just 2 hours I had a pretty good walk around some of the old town, and THE BEST dinner I’ve had so far on this trip. I have a problem when it comes to eating while traveling. If I’m going to eat in a restaurant, I want it to be good, so I wander around looking for that particular place that sticks out, looks special. Hard to do, especially when you are hungry. So what normally happens is I look and look, can’t decide and just wind up eating at a boring blah place. Or worse, McDonald’s. I have a story on that subject, but I’ll tell it in another post…
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This kind of reminds me of the houses in the old Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory movie from the 70’s.
I miss my dog.
So here it is, Creperie du Roy. I found that perfect place, with the most incredible crepes I’ve ever consumed in my entire life. There are crepe places all over this town, so I’m assuming they are a local specialty. My first bite was like a taste of pure heaven. Honestly. It was crispy on the outside. Not just around the edges, but all over. It was a buckwheat flour crepe filled with the perfect amount of Ementhal cheese and local Breton Andouille sausage. It was wafer thin (my sister’s will get the reference!) so I just couldn’t say no to a dessert crepe! I chose the plain and simple chocolate one made with wheat flour and homemade chocolate sauce. Best meal of the trip so far, bar none. (Well, not including the lunch in London, but that was a totally different ball game!) I think I might go back tomorrow…