Our plan for today was to make Majella’s special delivery near St-Brieuc at 9:30 am and then work our way eastward along the coast toward Erquy before returning via Lamballe to do some shopping at a supermarket. As happens with plans we did some, but not all, of that and a few more things as well.
We needed to be away by about 8:45 am to make our 9:30 am rendezvous so I set an alarm for 7:00 am but we woke a bit before 6:30 am and went about our morning routines. After breakfast we had some time to relax. Majella finished the drawing she had worked on last night and I finished processing my photos of the Bastille Day fireworks.
It was Majella’s day to drive. We set off at 8:45, drove into Trébry and, at the direction of the GPS, headed out by a different road toward the north west. The GPS led us to Trégomeur but was uncertain about the house. Majella pulled into the drive of the first house she saw in the street but was unable to raise anybody at the front door. When she checked against the photo that her Sweet Pea Embroidery friend had sent she realised that we had the wrong house. She backed out of the drive and went further up the street where she recognised the house in her photo.
This time the door was answered quickly and Sylvie welcomed us in, complete with French style kisses on two cheeks. Those who follow Majella on Facebook will be familiar with the story. Others who want to know more may need to petition Majella to make her own explanatory contribution here. Suffice to say that it was about delivering the Sweet Pea fairy doll bag that Majella had made for Sylvie. Coincidentally they discovered that we would be in the area and able to deliver. Sylvie and her husband, Jean Yves, made all four of us welcome over coffee and little cakes. Jean Yves had retired a month ago from his work as transport controller for the local authority and made me a gift of a bottle of 2010 Bordeaux to celebrate my retirement. We shared conversation for almost an hour before taking our leave with advice about how to spend the day.
As Majella drove away I tinkered with the GPS using the POI facility to find a tourist information site. The GPS led us via Binic to Saint Quay Portrieux. We found a parking spot near to the beach which had swimmers despite the weather being overcast and cooler than would have suited us for swimming. There were also sailing boats enjoying the light breezes.
We walked across the street to the tourist information building. A young man there was very helpful and provided us with maps and other material in English and suggestions for what we might do. We set off walking along the shore via Semaphore Point to the port area where there was a market. Along the way we enjoyed the views across the water and the houses on the cliff tops. We enjoyed the variety of flowers in the gardens, especially the hydrangeas with their intense colours.
Eventually we reached the markets in the next bay and strolled through, checking out the stalls. Majella bought some sausage that will contribute to our dinner one evening. Pauline bought a lightweight outfit that should travel well. We tried cheese, olives and a few other items as we walked through. Majella looked closely at a woollen top but was persuaded not to buy it. She did acquire a new silver case for her iPhone, which should help to distinguish it from mine in its black leather case.
Once we had enough of the markets we started looking for lunch and did not have to walk far past the beginning of the markets strip to find Crêperie du Portrieux. We enjoyed galettes with varying trimmings. I had simple jambon and fromage (ham and cheese). Majella had ham with tomato. Pauline had camembert and more. John had scallops and trimmings with white wine but the rest of us drank cider. We all enjoyed lunch but were too full to consider ice cream on our walk back over the hill to our car.
From Saint Quay Portrieux we drove to Saint Brieuc where we parked near the cathedral of Saint Etienne. We spent some time exploring the cathedral. I was taken by the combination of old and new. The foundations are from Roman times and the major building dates from around 1180 but the altar area and the stations of the cross are very modern. Overall the impression is of a building that is bedded in tradition but evolving as times change.
We spent some time wandering the streets of the city which is also an interesting mix of old and new. There are new stores in buildings that have stood for centuries and a new shopping mall on the edge of the city area. We stopped along the way for ice cream and later Majella and I had orange juice and coffee in Le Nelson. I wondered, but never found out, why a cafe in a French city on the Atlantic coast was named after an English admiral who defeated the French navy in a famous battle.
From Saint Brieuc we headed for Lamballe where we were hoping to shop in a supermarket. The GPS took us to Lamballe but once there I used the POI to look for the Hyper U Majella had mentioned and it eventually took us back up the highway to Yffiniac where we picked up the supplies we needed before driving back to Trébry.
For dinner we enjoyed some of the wine John had selected with a selection of cheeses, meat, bread, and other nibbles. We topped that off with nougat from the markets at Saint Quay Portrieux before retiring for a well earned rest. The day had begun overcast with mist and near 100% humidity but ended with clear blue sky so I slipped out to see what I might capture of sunset. It was not spectacular but it was better than the uniform dull grey skies of the morning.