Driving Trip thru Bretagne was an exciting adventure.

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.

View from the rooftop of the car garage, home of Enterprise. Train station to the right.
We spend our complete two days in this area. B&B was very close to the Place Marechal Foch. We learned that La Rochelle along with Bordeaux were the too largest slave trading cities in France prior to the mid 1800’s being on the route from The New World to Europe and back.
Lantern Tower early morning from the parking area
Lantern Tower from the Ramparts. This area is known as the Rue Sur Les Murs ( road on the walls, ) Built from 1352 to 1387. The area below the walls were slowly filled with Silt over the years so finally it was cleaned up and to day is a large parking area for the city.
Tour St. Nicolas guards the entrance to the inner harbor along the the Tour de la Chaine.
Tour de la Chaine
Inner Harbor entrance
Clock Tower over a “Porte” to the city..
Commercial fishing is important in this area, this store only sells different types of Sardines.
Just a few of the different sardines being sold
Again, a sea faring city. Notice the nautical theme in this church
Just part of the inner harbor, notice the light house is located inside the harbor.
The French are very serious about the navy/white sailors shirt. This group had over 20 members enjoying lunch

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.

One of the many very beautiful buildings in the city.
Each of the foot bridges were covered in flowers.
Each one was different.
I have never seen schools of fish like this, hundreds. Actually like this in several locations. I was told this type of fish does not taste very good.
WE could never find the reason but all the trees along his street next to the river were wrapped in knitted materials.
Each one was quite ornate.

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.

This cathedral is exceptionally tall and considering how close the other buildings are, it must have been a major gathering place.
This cathedral was of regional importance, so note the wall and buildings surrounding the rear, forming a wonderful garden area and housing for the priests.
All the inner city streets are lined with half-timbered buildings.
These two are the tallest buildings of this vintage I have seen in any city in Europe, 4-5 stories.
This village had many of the shops adorned with special signage, such as this lady
We bought place settings from this store years ago and still use daily ( hand wash only, no dishwasher)
This store is world famous for its selection. Fun for us to visit.
Some of the small side streets reveal a few secrets.
Loved this place for an authentic crepe and cider lunch
could not pass up.. road stop along the way to Rennes

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.

Loved watching this old vessel set sail out of the harbor
The Fisherman’s Chapel
Marinaium, one of the oldest in France, still dedicated to studying the oceans and the effects of climate change
Tide is out, walled city behind the boats
Jan waiting for me to return from feeding the parking meter
Only entrance to the city across a stone bridge, thru a small “porte” or well defended door
Today some residents in the city but actually several dining places and bars along with retail shops. Some of the shops actually interesting.
Looking out one of the small openings in the ramparts
Commercial fishing vessel being repaired

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.

Our room had one of the extended glass enclosed balconies
Indoor/outdoor lounge in the hotel
View over the city

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.

Conch starter
Three different filets for the main course.

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.

The interior walls of this church were completely white. Seems the building sustained some damage during WWII and it was the easiest way to repair. Luckily the altar was saved.
Close up of the altar.
The front of the church did not receive any severe damage from the bombing.
The entrance of this church as badly damaged but rebuilt in a short time.
Loved these stairs up to the Organ.
Could not find any information on this altar if old or rebuilt after the war.W

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.

Regional Parliament building in Rennes
The opera building across from city hall
We entered thru a side door and felt this was the Cathedral in that it was so beautiful. Turned out we were wrong, but very happy we discovered this church
The Cathedral St. Pierre de Rennes
So when we did find the Cathedral it was from the back door, the first photo was taken after we visited. Most of the work is inlaid painted wood tiles.
Really impressive Altar and ceiling. Lots of gold gild.
The organ is one of the largest in France
Half Timbered houses were everywhere
Loved the patterns on this building.
Seems most of the graffiti was concentrated in one small area
On the way back to the hotel, we discovered one more church, except this one was converted to a small hospital early in it’s life.

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.

Top floor corner room so windows on two sides.
Loved the decor of the dining room, plus the food was great.

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.

Just happened on this small square with the carousel.
Really intricate work.
Tree carved into the corner of the house.
Cathedral from the side.
Front entrance with some repair work being done on the entrance.
One of the most ornate pulpits I have seen
side view of the pulpit.
The organ was amazing and the sculptures surrounding it were more than unique.
This tower was originally some sort of “keep” . Today, the second and third floors are occasionally used for exhibits.
First view of the Chateau of Angers. Built overlooking the Loire River. The Chateau was never taken in war.
Easy to see how from the town side the Chateau was well defended. Only one small bridge for the entrance. On the lower side again just a small entrance with all types of defensive traps built into the walls.
I believe the moat is a bit more decorative than originally planned, beautiful garden area
The interior of the Duke’s chapel had several interesting sculptures. The interesting part of the Chapel, the Duke actually worshipped in a small side room overlooking the main room. Reason, his was heated. Plus he was to next to the hundreds of unbathed citizens.
Exterior fo the chapel, next to one of the many interior Gates in the Chateau.
The new addition built inside the Chateau to house and display the Tapestry.
The Chateau was divided into several areas once on the interior. I feel it was to be able to fall back and defend smaller areas should the main area be breached by invaders.
The Tapestry is built from many panels, it stretches for nearly two hundred yards. At one time in history it was nearly destroyed. Found by accident in a barn, restored and returned to Angers.
Each panel depicts a story from the Bible.
Exterior of the Fine Arts Museum
I guess if you change the spelling you can call them “Authentic French Takos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.