Dinan, France



Dinan is the most intriguing Medieval town we have visited to date living in Europe. The town is filled with old colorful half timber houses, historic cobblestone streets, an original gate to the city and ramparts overlooking the charming Chance river. 




From the ramparts and English gardens there were wonderful sweeping views of the port and its' several restaurants overlooking the water. 




You could walk the ramparts and descend onto a little trail leading to the port, or take the winding cobblestones through the old city leading you past many restaurants, shops and art galleries. 




These homes were built back in the late middle ages, 13th and 14th centuries using mainly wood. Wood was abundant and economical, and much easier to move before canals and railways were established. Another popular building material at the time was cob, a mixture of sand and straw.




The impressive gate leading up to the city or downward to the port. 




Wisteria was in full bloom, an enjoyable walk down and a little workout coming back up. 




Gallettes originate from Brittany and are a must have when visiting. They are found in crêperies located on every block all over the region similar to us seeing a nail salon or dry cleaner on every corner. What is the difference between a crêpe and a gallette? A crêpe is normally made with white flour using sweet ingredients, whereas a gallette is made with savory ingredients and buckwheat flour. The Bretons eat gallettes paired with apple cider. It is normally served brut (dry) or demic sec (slightly sweet), is effervescent, and low in alcohol. 




This is the traditional gallette, egg, ham, and cheese. It is a nice combination that I tried several times. Our favorite spot for gallettes was in Dinan at Harmonika, nothing else compared after eating there. I highly recommend stopping there for lunch if in town. 


 


The port was a neat place to stroll around, have a drink, or rent an electric boat with the old aqueduct dominating the port. 




This is one of the best pastries we have ever had, a Kouign Amann. In the Breton language kouign means dough and amann means butter. Brittany has some of the best butter in the world so that makes this supple, caramelized treat even more special. The New York Times called it "the fattiest pastry in all of Europe". Let me tell you it was worth every bite!!!  

Dinan is unique in its history and cuisine. It is frequently overshadowed by the nearby coastal towns or bigger cities so it doesn't see as many tourists which only adds to the charm. It was worth spending three nights here and easy to use it as a jumping off point as well. 

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