Shearwin's in Europe 2015 travel blog

We were away from Rennes ( Ren ) just after 0800hrs and our first stop was Fougeres (52 km). We entered via the centre of town and were initially disappointed not to be confronted in this old historic area by the castle. A Saturday market was in progress and appeared quite substantial with the usual wide array of produce. We wandered the market and consumed a coffee and pastry before finding the tourist information office.

Armed with directions we walked via the public gardens which were very nice and through the medieval village to the Castle. It sits lower than the town centre hidden from our point of entry. We arrived just after 1000hrs but still had to wait for it to open. We spent just on an hour watching audio visual presentations, listening to our audio guides and walking the designated walking path. The castle has a rich history dating back to the 10th century and was one of the more significant fortress towns built as a defensive line on Brittany's border with France. The fortress was sacked several times and its structure under went many changes over its life time. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and consider it one of the best preserved castles, of its type, that we have visited and consider the presentations of a very high technical standard. Many photo's later we returned to the car via the gardens to depart the town for the 195km trip to Barfleur on the northern cost of Normandy.

The trip had just started when GeePS threw a wobbly and failed to perform. Thankfully the Michelin map we purchased yesterday was available and after a number of discussions, Kaye stepped in to navigate. Overall, the trip went well and we made Banfleur just after 1400hrs. We decided previously to visit this seaside village in the understanding that it was one of the "best in France". We drove around the village, noted the Marina, coastline and several cafes and restaurants. As we are staying in Brix a small village and unsure of the dining arrangements, we elected to have lunch at one of the restaurants. One had stopped serving at 1400hrs, however, we found another small and appealing restaurant that we ordered mussels to share with frites and a wine.

Our young waitress spoke no English but was friendly and tolerant enough to help us out. The lunch was enjoyable and we left quite contented. I continued to explore the wharf area and the local church before we departed for the 36 km drive to our "own castle" at Brix. In hindsight, we could not agree with the rating given this seaside village.

Finding Brix was not difficult using the Michelin map; thankfully, I had taken a screen capture from Google maps of Brix and Castle Craig's location on my iPad last night and we were able to navigate the streets. Our accommodation, is in a lovely old chateau set in a well developed and maintained garden. It is temporarily being used as a B&B as the elderly owners are in aged care. The house still has that homely lived in feel and the furnishings are antique and exceptional. Our hostess has been very welcoming.

We have walked the gardens and the small township; purchased a buy one get one free eclair from another friendly girl; toured the local church only to be turfed out by the lovely old lady who appears responsible for its security, she was sweet as well.

We know we have eaten too much for the trip and have elected to stay in and go without dinner this evening. The early night will do us good.

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