France- May half term 2013 (5) Concarneau – Carnac – Vannes – Sarzou – Rochefort en terre – Guerande

Bluebell the motorhome is parked on the aire on the outskirts of Guerande, a very pretty walled town which is famous for it salt marshes. The salt collected on the marshes here is highly prized by chefs world wide, and we have a large bag in Bluebell to take home to use in our kitchen too!

We had an enjoyable Wednesday evening on the aire at Concarneu and set off early for us (9am!) on Thurs ready to travel the hour to Carnac to see the standing stones. On the approach into Carnac you drive right next the field that is home to all of the stones. On first glance, we weren’t too impressed- it looked to us like an old derelict graveyard, however we parked up and had a look from the viewing platform, then wandered down the footpath that runs next to the field (you can’t get in to the actual fields unless you visit during oct- march). Once you are stood next to the field, you get a much better prospective, and it is hard not to be impressed- especially when you imagine, these stones have been there 4000 before Christ- over 6000 years today. One theory that I particularly like as to why the stones were erected in the first place, is that it was a Roman army that was turned to stone. I know that it’s far fetched, but when you see the stones, and the formation that they are lined in, you can easily imagine an army there! Keith has just realised a problem with that theory- the Romans were not around in 4000BC. Hmm. Back to the drawing board…!

After a bite to eat in Bluebell, we carried on towards Vannes. When we arrived, we struggled to find parking, for some reason this was another French town that didn’t seem to accommodate larger vehicles, and we almost ended up in a pickle when we followed signs for a car park and almost ended up taking the roof of the van off on a very low barrier that was very well hidden (again- search Rouen 2011 on blog)

After a bit of too-ing and fro-ing and a bit of stress, we ended up finding some free street parking which was only 5 mins or so walk into the old town. We enjoyed a pleasant hour or so looking round, and managed to book Jazz into the local vet for his return to England tablet and stamp in his passport. We know for a fact, because we’ve researched it extensively, that the new rules from DEFRA state dogs have to see a vet 5 days to 24 hours before departure. So when the vet told me (with the assistance of the tourist info man) that he couldn’t do it until 48 hours beforehand I was a bit confused. Anyway, we ended up having to cancel the appointment and have been looking for a vets since (more about this later!)

We couldn’t find anywhere suitable to overnight in Vannes, so we travelled about 10 miles out on a lovely peninsula towards Sarzeau. We knew there was a France passion site on a cheese farm, so thought that looked like a good option. Unfortunately we didn’t think too much to their cheese, however we bought a small block just to take with us, we always like to buy something to say thank you for putting us up for the night. The pitch was really nice, it was on their paddock- on one side we had cows (much to Jazz’s annoyance!) and the other side was greenery and trees. Through the cow field we saw a tower that looked like a castle, and so after tea, we took Jazz on a walk to see if we could find it. 10 mins later we discovered the most romantic, well looked after, magical castle- called Chateau de Scicillion. It was fantastic to look at and we arrived at a great time- the sun was just setting and the light was fab.

We had a great night sleep and had a bit of a lay in this morning. We headed for Rochefort en terre first, which is a little village in land from Vannes, and has been voted one of France’s most beautiful villages. We can see why, it really is lovely- there were lots of little narrow streets to explore, and all of the houses and restaurants had lovely floral displays. I attempted to make another vets appointment at the local vet- but unfortunately they couldn’t fit us in until 4pm- by which time we were hoping to be in Guerande, 30 miles south.

We arrived at Guerande at lunchtime, and was impressed at the access for motorhomes, as soon as we came off the main road, there were numerous signs directing us to the aire. It’s free to stay here for up to 3 days! If we wanted water or electric ( which we don’t) we could pay 6€ for 100 litres of water and 55 mins of electric. It’s 10 mins walk into town, and we explored it this afternoon. It’s another really pretty walled town. Brittany really does do walled towns well. We also stumbled across a vets, so we went in to enquire- I’ve now got pretty good at asking in French what we require to get the pooch home! I’d already called the vets in Honfleur and succeeded to book him in tomorrow afternoon at 1:30pm, we wanted to check the price comparison here, and to see of we could get it done this afternoon. It was all a bit vague, not helped by the fact there is a language barrier, so we decided to keep our appointment in Honfleur tomorrow, and then it also gives us the opportunity to try some moules et frites on the harbour side tomorrow night. 🙂

Until next time

Lx

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