European Escapades

Dinan, The Walled City




The timber framed houses of Dinan The timber framed houses of Dinan

Well after visiting ‘Le Mont Saint Michael’ it seems anything else would be pale and one dimensional. But we move on and our thoughts move to other places we can find beauty in many things, not just the spectacular. So to write about Dinan after ‘Le Mont’ does not detract from the beauty and wonderment of this walled city. The medieval town on the hilltop overlooking the river Rance the first impressions are one of age. Frances felt like it was walking through the familiar, with the traditional wooden framed wattle and daub buildings, reminiscent of the old towns and villages we so often see in England. It has many fine old buildings some as early as 13th century nestled within the still intact sections of the city walls, part of which we walked around as we admired the architecture and looked for a place for lunch. The establishment we chose was an odd one for the name and its connotations, but the lunch menu was light fare and they served a local bottled beer. The aspect was also on one of the old squares facing west, so we had the sun on our faces, warming us through as we supped the cold beer.

Lunch at the Pub Saint Sauveur Lunch at the Pub Saint Sauveur

The lunch we decided on was a Potato gratin covered with a generous helping of thinly sliced ham and Frances had the Tuna and sweet corn salad. It seems it’s my new dish of the day in France as I am now going through nearly a Kilo of Emmental cheese and Parmesan as I cook my own version of Gratin most nights. The Beer ‘Brasserie Artisanale des Ramparts’ was quite a dark amber beer and in the sun made a nice accompaniment to the Gratin salad. The owner of the ‘Hôtel-Pub Saint Sauveur’ was very proud of the beer and whilst I wanted to say something nice about it all I could think was that it would have been a middle of the road bitter in the UK. But for France, a very welcome find.

The imposing walls and towers of Dinan The imposing walls and towers of Dinan

Unfortunately as we took our Stroll along the walls after lunch heading back to the campervan, we found the view somewhat blocked by the large Fair that was situated just outside the old town. A welcome diversion for the local people but made the taking of a photo of the walls impractical. Below us and the fair was a small park, which seemed to offer a number of different activities for the local children and hosted various small animals, of which a few deer and a Peacock were amongst them. As we watched the deer nibbling at the stack of hay, the peacock decided to give us an impromptu display, as it tried valiantly to impress one of the chickens scratching about in the pen. There is still little to surpass a peacock with its plumage on show, and I wonder how it manages to keep upright, with the huge weight of its tail feathers on show, in comparison to the small body of the bird itself. As we leave the park we look up above us, we finally get a sense of history of Dinan, as the walls and one of the corner towers loom imposingly above us. Dinan is a beautiful town and port, and a worthwhile trip for anyone looking to travel a little further afield from St Malo. Our Lunch and short tour of Dinan completed, we head to our next campsite for the night at Plemy.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 19th, 2010 at 5:24 pm and is filed under Travel Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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