Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Road Trip

Yesterday, I spent a lot of hours in the car with a friend who had family business to attend to in Brittany and desperately needed company for the four hour drive each way. Being footloose and fancy free this week with the kids away at camp, I was happy to make the trip, the reward being the time spent with her and a glance at holiday life in the seaside town of Dinard.

It was a grey day with alternately periods of drizzle and dry, but that didn't seem to deter the vacationgoers who seemed to be living by the motto that there's no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate gear. Dinard swells in size over the summer months from 10,000 to 100,000 inhabitants and there's plenty to keep the holiday crowd busy: sailing, windsurfing, swimming, playing on the wide beaches, fishing, crabbing, plus a casino, horseback riding, playgrounds, and, of course, lots of places to get ice cream, coffee, and waffles piled high with whipped cream. A walking path, built for Third Empire era promenaders and now part of the GR (grande randonnée) system that covers France, skirts the coast for miles in either direction. Grand, 19th century mansions perch on rocky cliffs above the beaches with views to nearby St. Malo and perhaps as far as the Channel Islands Jersey and Guernsey.

The changes in the tides in Dinard are dramatic. When the tide is out, there's plenty of space for everyone to do their thing, including boule for the grownups and mucking about for the kids.


Starman said...

Dinard seems to be the kind of place where I might drive through and not even think about stopping. But then, I live in a "beach town" and haven't been to the beach in years.

Nanc Twop said...

10,000 to 100,000 - wow, that's quite a population surge.

And I've never heard of the 'GR' before; do they publish maps for/about it ala the Appalachian Trail?

Anne said...

Nanc: Lots of maps and lots of guidebooks are available. A good English language overview can be found at: http://www.franceonfoot.com/overview.htm

I've written about other walks I've taken and most have been on GR trails.

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