Artnextdoor's Blog

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Holiday Blues

We returned from our annual holiday last night, well very early this morning really.  We arrived in the UK an hour earlier than expected thanks to Eurotunnel allowing us to travel on a train sooner than we had expected.  We travelled from the centre of Brittany to just outside Calais in heavy rain, along with all the other returning holiday makers so the traffic was horrible, the queues at the tolls were long but not quite as long as on the way down when all of Europe was out to break some type of speed limit, especially the Dutch.

The weather cheered up in Calais and continued until we approached the M25.  Drizzle set in along with the news that there where 3 hour tail backs as the motorway had been closed due to a fuel spillage.  The decision was made to travel across London to reach the M40 – which took us much longer than anticipated, so a 3 and half hour journey turned into a 6 hour trip home and that was just this side of the channel as we had already driven for 8 hours to get to the tunnel.  My poor old husband!

This morning we have all felt that Christmas morning feeling of anticlimax!  I think my little son experienced his first holiday romance at the tender age of 10 as he had a good cry on the way home and again this morning as he had made friends with a couple of girls whilst we were away and hadn’t thought to get their addresses so he could keep in touch.  My oldest son was eager to return as he had a cricket match arranged but this was cancelled at the last minute because the opposition could not raise a team – scared or what!  Husband is just very tired from all the driving so is chilling in front of the test match whilst I have the washing to do, well maybe!

We usually go away for at least 2 weeks but this year it has only been a week which is definitely not long enough but the cottages where we stay could only do the one week, I left it too late to book. Helene and Michael are great hosts, the cottages are well equipped, everyone has full use of the pool.  Bikes are available for a quick trip to the local butcher, baker or bar, or a longer cycle should you like, especially along the river bank, which is also an excellent place for a walk, as the wildlife is abundant with plenty to see.  There is a boat, including lifejackets, for the river as well as fishing (?!).  Helene and Michael have extensive gardens including an area for children which has swings, a small slide, a sandpit and a trampoline.  There is access to a washing machine and tumble drier but most of the time the weather is so good the washing dries very quickly on the rotary line provided.

The area is good for walking or just chilling.  A short drive away is Redon a large town at the mergence of two rivers so has a port area.  The city of Rennes is not far.  The area is littered with Chateau’s, Chateaubriand and Blain to name just two.  The fairy tale Chateau at Messiac, on the way to La Roche St Bernard is well worth a look, Helene will be able to let you know when it is open.  Part of this chateau has been given over to a hotel and restaurant but even a look from the road is spectacular. La Baule  is the Brittany equivalent of St Tropez, it is very French but has a wonderful stretch of sandy beach. Near by is Le Grand Blockhaus a museum dedicated to all things second world war.   St Nazaire,  home of French ship building is to the south of La Baule, the last German pocket to be liberated in Europe.  Driving a little further south there are the sandy coves, with rock pools at St Michel Chef Chef, where we spent a very pleasant day.  There are many areas of interest which we have visited in the past closer to La Briquerie which Helene and Michael are more than pleased to let you know about, like the motor museum which houses some famous formula one cars.

And a very big plus is Helene’s cooking, she cooks all her own food using local ingredients and includes many home grown vegetables.

Go on visit their website – you know you want to, then visit them but leave room for us too!