… and by everyone I mean my family, my boyfriend, some friends from home and a couple lucky bloggers who happen to stumble onto my site! Please leave a quirky comment if you happen to read this… for scientific purposes, of course.
Last weekend I finally spread my wings and made another trip to France, more specifically: Rennes, Mont Saint-Michel and St-Malo. Last year I visited Paris, Chaumont (and all its glory), Lyon and Annecy (La Clusaz)… so now it was time to explore the northwest France. As usual, the 6:30 am flight by AirMalta made for a good two hour nap and a view of the sunrise and with two more trains I was in Rennes in no time. My Dad met me in Rennes as well, as he also wanted to explore a new part of France and to see Bry’s second home game of the year with Rennes 35.
Rennes was our home base for the weekend and it was the perfect combination of relaxing and touristing. Rennes is an university city, which makes it such an easy and fun city to explore; with plenty of pubs and restaurants around it’s hard to go hungry or thirty! Our visit to Rennes consisted of walking the old streets, having beers in front of old quaint, crooked buildings, visiting the large Park, having our Galettes (and dessert too!), eating seafood (I am a sucker for oysters) and watching Bry play against Ajaccio on the Friday evening.
After a short 5 minute metro ride into the city, we walked around the old town and found an open square to try the local beer! I think we hit quite a popular watering hole – the bar was full with young students within the hour for their happiest hour or two of the day! That evening, we had dinner at La Nabuchodonosor, recommended by our Handy Tour Guide Bry. Dinner consisted of a cheese and meat platter, boeuf bourguignon and beer and we were not disappointed nor hungry afterwards!
The following day, my dad and I explored the city more.. finally visiting the Cathedral and the Port Mordelaises, a castle entrance gate with two towers which has a drawbridge. Our next stop was lunch at Le Iode because Rennes and the surrounding areas is known for its seafood, and more importantly: oysters. I always think about my old oceanography professor, Paul Hill, when I see oysters. One of my first memories of him was when he described oysters to his first year oceanography 101 class:
“Oysters taste like low tide”
– Dr. Paul Hill
After an extended lunch of seafood and wine, we slowly made our way to Park du Thabor for a digestive walk. It was another beautiful day, we were very spoilt with the weather on all days. The park was filled with people of all ages: university students studying and avid bird watcher or plant enthusiasts… it was a busy day in the park on such a beautiful day. Before the evening volleyball match, we grabbed a BIO Pizza at BIO Pizza and ate it on a park bench like the classy people we are! Delicious veggie pizza and it was Dad approved – Hurray!!
After the game we enjoyed an aperitif in the VIP room with some small finger food, but we made it home at a sensible hour to save our energy for the adventure the next day: Mont Saint Michel. This visit deserves its own blog post… so stay tuned!
As usual a quick recap of our visit to Rennes:
- Port Mordelaises
- Park du Thabor
- Mairie de Rennes + all the small quirky streets
- Le iode – Oysters and more seafood, very reasonable price and great service!
- Le Nabuchodonosor – cheese and meat platter + Boeuf Bourguignon + beer
- l’Instant crêperie – Galettes + drank cidre from a bowl (traditional of the area)
French ‘Cidre’ is a trademarked term for cider from Normandy and Brittany, and contained a lower alcohol percentages than your regular cider from the UK and other countries. Traditionally enjoyed in a bowl-type cup!
- Pizza BIO
- Rue Vasselot – street filled with veggie-friendly cafes and shops, very cool area
- Local beer: Lancelot * Only beer I had, but there are plenty more!
Anyways, that is all for Rennes. Definitely a cute French city to explore for your day in Brittany… with easy access to beautiful coastal towns and delicious seafood! I will be back in Rennes over the Christmas holidays and cannot wait to try the markets and explore a bit more. In the meantime, I need to improve my French!