Shearwin's in Europe 2015 travel blog

Our adopted Patisserie at the bottom of our street

La Notre Dame church in Combourg

Combourg Castle - four similar turrets

Treelined road within the gardens of Combourg Castle

Hotel De Ville ( Mayor's Office in Combourg

The dinner restaurant was nice; duck questionable

This morning was no different to the last three except our adopted Patisserie was closed and we were required to withdraw across the road to a cafe where we had two coffees and two coissants for 5€. We were the only ones in the cafe.

We had decided earlier to visit Combourg Castle ( 42 km) on the way to Dinan and were at the castle at 1215hrs. We parked near the castle and walked to the ticket office where we met a less than helpful attendant. Our english probably turned her off and her abruptness challenged our decision to visit. Eventually, we decided to tour the town and to return at 1400hrs for the French language tour.

We walked the town and visited the Catholic Church, La Notre Dame, noting the renovations to the roof to remove the heavy damp smell permeating the building. We also noted the confessionals had not been used for quite sometime; obviously there are no sinners in town. The church and the Hotel De Ville were the two most prominent buildings in the town, besides the castle.

We walked to the town centre and had a chicken sandwich with chips - shared, plus a rose wine each; we were determined to remain " good" for dinner.

We returned to the Castle at 1400hrs to find the French tour of the house was to start at 1445hrs. We therefore decided to walk the gardens which could best be described as a park garden. It was large, full of beautiful big trees, open mowed grass areas and a large tree lined lake; very few shrubs or flowers were seen.

We joined the tour on time which lasted 45 mins and was quite enjoyable, despite not understanding the french descriptions. The castle is presently occupied by descendants of the Chateaubriand family and many of the decorations and items of furniture are original. While the castle was not the best we have seen this four towered structure was worth the visit.

It was 1600hrs when we set off for Dinan (26 kms), expecting a small village which we could browse in a relatively short period of time. This idea was soon dispelled as it showed sufficient areas of interest for us to return while visiting Rennes next week. We continued on to St Malo (33kms) to prepare for dinner.

We arrived back at 1700hrs, had a drink in the hotel bar and returned to our room to rest.

On our walk to dinner along the spectacular promenade, we noted over a dozen kite surfers riding the incoming tide on a strong breeze. All seemed to handle the blustery conditions well with several surfers riding well off the shoreline unconcerned of any possible problems.

We had great expectations of our restaurant and at 1900hrs we were one of the first couples to arrive. This early start was to our advantage as service became very slow as the restaurant quickly filled. We had the three course meal again with duck as the main - unfortunately, the duck was under cooked and the crispy skin side was served upside down in the sauce, losing whatever crispness was there. We left at 2100hrs feeling a little deflated and disappointed.

We returned to our hotel via the Grand Hotel which was well above the standard of your average hotel. It overlooked the sea and was positioned alongside narrow streets of attractively designed old homes which we had not seen before. We were in bed soon after.

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