Brittany, Monday October 12, 2009

Mike was up early to call Europcar to try to straighten out our lack of rental car.  Finally he was able to negotiate picking up the car in Auray and dropping it off at Vannes on Saturday when we leave.  The next obstacle was how to get to Auray, a town on our list to visit anyway.  Called a taxi and he picked us up and took us to the Europcar rental office for 25 euros.  Picked up our car, without a hassle, and drove toward the center of town and its Monday morning market.

Found a place to park near the hospital and walked the market and the town.  At the market, we bought three different cheeses, after being thoroughly entertained by the cheesemaker and his wife; we brought home a Tommes de Montagne  and Gruyere (cow) and a Bleu de Brebis (sheep).  The cheesemaker knew only one word of English YES, and the rest of our communication was in poor French and sign language or sounds like MOO and BAA to signify cow or sheep’s cheese.  Unfortunately, Mike and Glenn missed all the fun and entertainment.

Next we found some great strawberries (last of the season) and strawberry preserves from a vendor whose table had only strawberries and preserves.  Just across the way, Glenn and Kimberly found the perfect fabric to make pillows for the cottage’s porch.  Glenn handed the vendor money for the fabric, the vendor handed Glenn back the extra, and Kimberly took it from Glenn.  The vendor laughed and told Glenn in English – it’s the same in France.

Auray is built on a hill overlooking the Loch River and boasts old houses and a cute little harbor reached by crossing a stone bridge dating to the 17th century.  This is where Ben Franklin arrived to seek aid from the French during the US’ Revolutionary War.  Just across the bridge, we found L’Armoric, 1& 3 Place St Sauveur, to sit in the sun and eat lunch. Kimberly and I had a lunch special of a ½ pizza with a salad.  Glenn and Mike tried to have the plat du jour – but it was sold out.  The waitress offered to see if the chef would substitute cod in the special and serve it with sweet potato puree and a celeric charcroute.

After lunch we explored the St Goustan area, known for galleries and old residences.  We visited the old church on the top of the hill named for St Goustan, the patron saint of mariners and fisherman. Back down the hill toward the harbor and back across the bridge to the center of town, past the town hall built in 1776 where the market has broken down and there is no trace of its existence.  On the way back to the car, we visited the Church of St-Gildas with a Renaissance doorway and a baroque altarpiece.

We found the car and set out through the countryside for La-Trinite-sur-Mer.  The bright, sunny day was perfect for a ride through the countryside.  La Trinite is the sailing center and the harbor was chock full of boats of all kinds – it can hold 1200 boats.  There were several large racing trimarans moored on which maintenance and improvements were being executed. We strolled along the harbor and its shops.  Back to the car, we drove down to the Pointe de Keribahn, where the river joins the bay de Quiberon.  The views were spectacular.

We found our way back to Carnac and stopped by the Super U to pick up some necessities, like paper towels, wine, fruit, etc.  Back home we unpacked the supplies and sat down to enjoy our food purchases.  We started out with a white Sauvignon, one of the cheeses, an apple (La Reine des Reinettes), those fabulous Plougastel strawberries, salmon pate, and a spicy sausage and ended up with a Les Gravelles Bordeaux, as we made plans for dinner.

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