The Day Before the Josselin Medieval Festival

The town was getting ready for the big day – the Josselin Medieval Festival on Saturday, 14 July. Booths were getting set up on Friday and the task was finished by evening, so there was already some buzzing in the air. We took a stroll through town, and ate at the best restaurant in town, ‘Le Prieure de Clisson‘, a Tapas restaurant (they also serve Paella).

Josselin is a quaint little town or better yet, a village, with a population of close to 2500 residents.

This was one of the seven dinners I had. This was at ‘Le Guéthenoc’, and I would call their selection and taste average fare.

Salade du Berger

The Breton version of the crêpe is a galette, a pancake made with buckwheat flour, and usually with a savory filling.

galette

When I saw this worn out mailbox, it reminded me of Germany’s red gumball machines, which, if any left, are in the same condition. I wonder if people still use this mailbox…

Mailbox in Josselin

We left town the next morning, the day of the festival, to head back to Germany.

One Week in Josselin, France

After having spent our first holiday week in the coastal town of Cancale, we drove on to our next rental home in Josselin (about a two-hour drive from the coast).

Josselin is closer to the Atlantic coast, so during that week, we also took a day trip to Carnac (about 1:20 hr).

The highlight of Josselin is the castle, but there are also many other attractions: restaurants, the canal, bike rental, pubs where we watched a couple of the World cup games, you hear a lot of English (due to the many British tourists), etc.

Unfortunately, some of the town center stores are no longer occupied. There are quite a few ‘For Sale’ signs in the windows of both shops and real estate agencies.

Josselin Castle and the Aust River

We took a tour of the castle (available only in French), and also got extra tickets for its puppet museum. That was quite interesting.

Josselin Castle – the garden front

Almost every day, we walked along the canal. We saw plenty of fish in the water, dragon flies hovering, birds trying to catch fish, boats passing by, and … not so many tourists (we were there from 7 – 14 July).

Canal promenade

We also watched a canal worker work the dam manually. She had to use quite a bit of muscle strength to work this machinery, and also had to take quite a few trips back and forth –  to let two boats up the canal.

Wherever we walked, the streets and walk ways were clean and decorated with flowers.

When we booked the place for a week, the rental owner suggested to stay an extra day to enjoy their annual Medieval Festival on 14 July. No thanks. When the crowds move in, I move out.

We saw some of the early activities on Friday evening, and we enjoyed the preparations they had taken, such stringing flag lines across, etc. We pulled out Saturday morning just in time before the masses of tourists would arrive.

I like Josselin, when it is a quiet little town.

An Afternoon Visit to St. Malo, France

While vacationing in Cancale, we drove over to St. Malo. It was well worth it! I’ll let the photos speak for themselves this time.

Emerald Coast of St. Malo

St. Malo, France

Walled part of St. Malo

Charly’s Bar in St. Malo

We would like to spend a few days here next time.

Sea Food Heaven in Cancale, France

There is an abundance of good sea food restaurants by the shore. Some of them specialize in ‘Moules & Frites’ (mussels and fries), some in sea food platters, and others in oysters.

My husband spent a week in sea food heaven.

This sea food platter was served at the restaurant Au Pied D’Cheval (address: 10 Quai Gambetta)

The restaurant ‘Le Phare’ (6 Quai Administrateur Thomas) served this one. The going price for a sea food platter this size is € 29,00 (one person).

The assistant shucking oysters at ‘Au Pied d’Cheval’.

Restaurant ‘Au Pied d’Cheval’ in Cancale

Shucking oyster equipment and work place at Au Pied d’Cheval.

We also bought oysters directly from the market vendors by the shore. There are only about six booths, so it is a small marché. My husband got a dozen oysters for € 6. You can eat them right there or take them home (which we did). If I remember correctly, the lady vendor even threw in an extra one for my husband. There is a big heap of shells on the sand next to the marché area. They came from the sea, they will go back to the sea.

Oysters in Cancale

Every evening, we had dinner at one of the restaurants by the shore. My husband loves sea food, I don’t. I usually rotated my choice of dinner between steak one evening, and omelet the next evening. The selection of non-sea food dishes is limited, understandably so.

 

Pretty Weeds in Cancale, France

I found this beautiful weed flower in our vacation rental’s courtyard in Cancale. Wi-fi was a bit spotty at times, so I turned to one source only: my friends on FB and here are their responses to my inquiry for its name. 🙂

Agapanthus African

Well, depending on my friends’ locations, I got various answers.

Virginia/USA: Lily of the Nile

Denmark: Agapanthus africanus

U.K: agapanthus

Germany: Schmucklilie

Australia: Agapatha  – They are extremely hardy. Root system is almost impossible to remove. They spread. Flower pretty. Need to cut off the dead heads after the flowers have died, otherwise all your complex and your surrounding neighbours will have them too.

Germany: They grow like weed. Be careful, or your ‘Beer Balcony’ will turn into an ‘Agapanthus Balkon’!

A similar weed is the ‘Canna Rouge’, that was the name given by the Brocante shop owner in Cancale, where I bought some seeds.

Canna Rouge

In the same courtyard in Cancale, it was my first time to see a banana plant outside the Frankfurt Palmengarten.

Banana plant

Well, I have returned with seeds for both weeds. Since I only have a balcony, they will be safe from spreading.

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