Europe | France – April Break-Part Two

Europe | France – April Break-Part Two

AVRANCHE: pronounced ? la Texane (I have a ranch = I’v ah raaaaaaanch)
Charming lil place for some shuteye and a dreamy night view of Mont Saint Michel in the distance. The town of Avaranche actually safeguards the manuscripts of the monastery of Mont Saint Michel. I can’t tell you how fabulous they are because the archives were closed when I tried to visit. Figures!

MONT SAINT MICHEL :
Seems liket he majority of my visits this time around were made at night. (I wish I had paid more attention during my night photography course, damn me.)
So…The Mont.
Again, an angel messenger…this time it is the big cheese himself Michael the Archangel coming to tell a bishop, not once, not twice, but 3 TIMES to build a place of worship!
Geez, how hard headed can you be? And just for that, I quote “the frustrated Michael pointed a fiery finger at Aubert (bishop) that drilled a hole in his cranium.” Ouch.
And of course, if you like, you can visit they lovely cranium on display inside the church. Eeeewww, I, personally, skipped it.

RENNES:
Rennes was a nice place to stop for lunch. The Vilaine river cuts through the middle of town making it a little reminiscent of Paris. The stop here involved me snapping a couple of photos of the charming “vielle ville” or old town and then trying to decide upon the abundant cr?peries, where to fuel up. I found one with quite a picturesque interior and an interesting looking french boy…hmmm. One day I am gonna get my rear kicked for putting my camera in people’s faces I know, I know. But you know, if you ask people for their pic, and then say “act natural” or “act French” “be yourself”…you get pics of people in goofy poses or forced smiles. If you are lucky of course. If not you get hollered at for being a disrespectful American tourist! Ha! Just kidding. I must say that I have had nothing but warm receptions everywhere I go.
It was a rainy Sunday and everything was closed so my visit here was quiet and quick. I’m sure there are tons of cool things I failed to mention but oh well. Maybe next time.

I was in a hurry to get to the Magical Mythical Forest of Brocéliande!!!
Gigga-where?

BROCéLIANDE:
Have you ever heard of Merlin the Wizard?
He’s buried there.
Have you ever heard of the Fountain of Youth?
It’s still flowing.
What about the Valley of No Return, Imps, Fairies and numerous legends of King Arthur and his Nights of the Round Table?
Check! Check! Check!
Yup, I think that the stories and our vivid imaginations are more fabulous than the markers and monuments set up to represent them (the stories).
Don’t get me wrong, it was still nice to hike through the lush green and over-gown forest…there was a mysterious ambience, quite enchanting really and perhaps I didn’t see them but I swear I heard the childish giggles of mischievous fairies that afternoon!
PS
Thank you for my Brian Froud book of Illustration Stevie!

VANNES:
Everything here has two names. One in French and the other in Breton. No kind of similarity what-so-ever. Vannes = Gwened. Yeah, that’s what I said!

Quite interesting though because this town has strong Celtic roots, something I really know nothing about…Cyno? Dare I say that all I know is “Slainte!”, credit Bennigan’s. Yes, quite pitiful I know.

So I found yet another church that houses the cranium of Saint Vincent Ferrier. (I swear, Catholics save EVERYTHING! Joke.) Aside from the religious establishments, the architectural pride in this town is again, “les maisons ? colombage” or the houses with the exposed wooden beams. An exception to the average old colombage house is that the beams ‘round here are brightly painted ? la RGB/CMYK. Uh, colors. Me likey.
So the story goes that the colors served as addresses before Louis XII mandated a numbering system. It only makes more sense, don’t you think? But then again it is French and they have a preference and flair for aesthetics, non? Figures.

In addition to the cheery housing, the über manicured gardens along the 17th Century ramparts were just as admirable. Tulip heaven man! This is supposed to be a port town, but there are lots of other things to see as well.

CHARTRES:
It’s a cathedral.
I feel I have to mention it because I saw it.
(The Catholic church’s presence is forever dominant, I know. Please read on.)
The town has some amazing medieval architecture…big and small stones all piled and glued together somehow, for centuries now that show slight evidence of any major crumbling. Or maybe I missed it. I was there at night too.
The town itself is quite. Very quite, practically sedated. I went out looking for a heartbeat that evening…I had better luck checking my own pulse.

No pics here really, I already posted enough cathedrals. If you really want to see it, write to me and I will send you a pic. Voila. But seriously, the sacred relic here is the cloth that the Virgin Mary wore when she gave birth to Jesus. “Sancta Camisia”. (I told you we saved everything!) There is also an interesting labyrinth carved into the floor of the cathedral that served as a substitute pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I can see the commercial on TV for it now…
“You too ladies and gentlemen, can voyage to the Holy Land without leaving the comfort of your own home!”

I know, I know! I know where I am going in a handbasket!

Category : Europe | France , Uncategorized