Showing posts from June, 2019

St. Malo, France

St. Malo is one those often talked about cities when you mention Brittany. Reasonably so, as it is essentially an island connected to the mainland by a harbor and some streets. The city is completely walled in with ramparts which are unique in that you can walk their entirety.  Upon arriving we immediately ascended them to walk the periphery.  An inviting natural pool that is refreshed by the ever changing ocean tides. In the distance, yet another island accessible by foot rewarding you with more stunning views.  It was a beautiful stroll on the ramparts, but my mind couldn't help but wander off to St. Malos' dark history. More than 80% of the city was destroyed in WWII by the Americans and British in a two week battle. 10,000 Germans were taken prisoner. It took 12 years to restore and rebuild this city. Farther back in time, beneath the ramparts were kennels for over 20 Mastiffs guard dogs. They were purposely not fed during the day so they would

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.