Sunday 30 April 2023

The château de la Hunaudaye

The château de la Hunaudaye is a genuine medieval defensive fortress, a château fort, complete with thick walls, a drawbridge and a moat.   It's now owned by the Conseil Général of the Côtes d'Armor, and you can visit it.

It's not been restored, but there has been a neat project of computer modelling, based on surveillance of the ruins using a drone, that has resulted in a detailed presentation (and physical model) that you can see.

There is a handy leaftlet that guides you around the castle, and explains what you are looking at, and its historical significance.  And where the old staircase was unuseable, a fancy metal one, that I rather liked, has been installed.

Well worth the visit.

Saturday 29 April 2023

The coast

I do like rugged coasts, and the north Brittany coast is a good example.   Little bays and beaches, some only accessible at low tide or by boat; cliffs, often covered in flowers, that fall down to the sea; little pools in the rocks.  We had a couple of days before we went to St Malo, so we did some exploring.   Here are some random pics taken on various walks.   They don't convey the calm silence, but perhaps they might give you a feeling for the place.

Friday 28 April 2023

The windmill

There it was, on a grassy knoll, not far from our hotel where we stayed for the plant fest.   No information panels told you anything about it, it was just there.  There was also a seat where you could sit and look at it.   And a guy mowing the grass.

Wednesday 26 April 2023

Fête des jardins

In search of a short break, we found the Garden Festival at Tréveneuc in Brittany, so we went.   The event is held in the grounds of the local château, and features plants from nurseries in France and farther afield.  The range of trees, shrubs and other plants was impressive, and we bought some Dahlia tubers and begonia corms from a Dutch guy who was there.    We will go again if we need to plan a garden from scratch.

There was a talk (indoors) in the afternoon by Fergus Garrett, the head gardener at Great Dixter in SE England.   He's a world-class gardener for sure, but somewhat lacking in presentation skills, I felt; it was hard to know what point(s) he was wanting to make during his pitch, that was a bit random.  There's no doubt however, that his garden is most impressive, and at all seasons.

The weather wasn't too kind.   We had had several days of fine Spring weather, with daily highs of 18°C or so, and sunny spells.  But on the day of the fête we got 14° high, and in the afternoon it chucked down while we were inside at Fergus Garrett's  talk.   The car park was in a series of fields, so the rain made getting out quite interesting for people who stayed to the end of the day.   It only takes an inch or so of mud on a grassy field and all those cars without 4WD exhibit a decided reluctance to go anywhere.

Tips for future visits:  bring sarnies, park where you can access a tarmac road easily from the grassy field car park in case it rains, come early.

After the show we explored the Brittany coastline for a bit, before going on to St Malo to meet my sister and her hubby on a day trip.

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