Leaving Bordeaux by car is quite easy. We can pick up Enterprise cars at the airport or at the Gare St. Jean. For this trip it was the train station. This trip was from Bordeaux, to La Rochelle, then Quimper, Rennes and finally Angers before returning to Bordeaux. Traveling North toward La Rochelle is a nice drive, some of it along the river, and other places with a peek at the Atlantic. The GPS worked great until we reached the interior of La Rochelle, where due to market day street closures, we had some difficulty finally called the B&B and got some alternate directions. Once settled in, we found ourselves right in the middle of the old town area, Perfect.
From here we drove to Quimper, and used this city as a base for several local excursions. The trip took a bit longer than planned in that we had to leave the major highway and our speed was limited, this was the longest leg of the trip and Quimper was a welcome site. There is a small river running thru the middle of the city that has several foot bridges for pedestrian traffic. Several one way streets for auto traffic again messing a bit with the GPS. This city was mostly spared during WWII so several old buildings and many very nice public buildings.
The old town is quite small, but again Quimper is not a very large city. The old town centers around the Cathedral and the square (Place) next to it. Most of the place right on the square are aimed at tourists, but just going a few blocks or less off the square one finds really great local places. Like much of France, the Half-timbered house was prevalent at the time of building the old city.
We did not spend an evening in Concarneau, but it is well worth a drive to see while in the area. The old city was developed by Vaubon, the historically famous fortification designer from the time. He developed the “star shaped” forts that became a major part of history. This particular city was a major fishing city, some military importance due to the river it sets on, but not a major target. Regardless, today it is a nice place to visit. We enjoyed a nice visit to the Marinaquarium (targeted more to scientific research, than just a Fish show) the main part of the new town ( lots of guys in the traditional french striped shirt, and the old town ) Overall a nice day trip from Quimper.
The next stop after Quimpar was Rennes. This city did suffer much during WWII with a lot of damage. Today there is a real mix of ancient buildings along with some from the 50’s/60’s and then very modern. Our hotel offered wonderful views over the city. I believe it is recent construction, Parking garage quite unique. A staff member joins you in a car sized elevator and then directs you to your designated spot depending on the size of your car. He must also escort you out.. must be an insurance thing with the elevator.
We had several really good meals in Rennes, but the best was the seafood place just down the street from the hotel. Check my TripAdvisor for the name.
So as we explored the old town Rennes, we discovered a large number of Catholic churches all within a very small area. Explored four different places including the Cathedral which was really special.
We were searching to find the Cathedral which survived the war with no damage and as we traveled deeper into old town, we discovered the parliament building and the opera.
Our last stop was to be Angers ( An Jay) to see the Apocalypse Tapestry of Angers. Again a nice hotel, in a more modern part of the city, but close to the old town. Parking again a bit strange, in that one had to park in a guarded building, ( code for the car entrance and street entrance when you retrieved your car) but I guess this insures nothing happens to your vehicle. Just that the entrance was so narrow it was difficult to drive the car thru the door. Regardless, we enjoyed our stay wandering around the narrow crooked streets of old town.
As we explored the old town came upon a very famous half -timbered house due to all the carvings built into the exterior. One is supposedly of a guy dropping trousers, but we never found him.