|Home via the shops
||[Nov. 14th, 2017|08:48 pm]
We dragged ourselves away from Paimpol's market having bought nothing more perishable than a jar of honey, and headed east along the coast towards Saint Malo. No hurry, though: we were booked on an evening ferry, which gave us time to take the scenic route (and parts of it were very scenic, and the map in the guide book was just about adequate, but it didn't warn us that we were about to be skirting a wooded estuary, or whatever, so there were pleasant surprises), find somewhere pleasant for lunch and visit the cluster of shops on the Dinan ring road.
Somewhere pleasant turned out to be a little port called Dahouët. Since we came home, I think I've worked out that the marina is part of a larger resort called Pléneuf-Val André, but by following the water rather than the main road we came to a quieter, quirkier area. This is the point at which I demanded we stop:
First and only secondhand bookshop of the trip, and a good one, with quotations pasted along the edges of the shelves. I didn't find much that I wanted to buy, but eventually I found a couple of albums of comics, and as we carried them back to the car I saw the proprietor locking up behind us, and heading off to his lunch. We explored on foot, right down to the end of the road, and a little way beyond, up the footpath to where Notre Dame de la Garde gazes out to sea, and we had a fine view back the way we had come:
The Sentier des Douaniers carried on along the coast. (The French coastal paths always seem to be Customs Officers' paths, just as English ones are always Smugglers' paths; this must say something about our two nations*.) But we returned to a large shed, painted bright yellow, which turned out to be Les Halles de Dahouët, a 'market hall' sheltering a number of small and organic businesses, including a café. The €10.50 lunch gave us quiche and salad, a glass of wine, pear and almond cake and coffee, and the smug sensation of having, for once, made the right choice.
The shop seemed to be deserted, or I'd have done more of my shopping there, but instead er pressed on to Dinan. There's a junction on the ring road where three corners are occupied by a Leclerc hypermarket, an organic supermarket and a wine shop, which covers all our basic shopping needs. Since our last visit all three seemed to have grown bigger, smarter, glitzier - yes, even Leclerc - and as a result harder to navigate. But we shopped, and then, finally, called it a day and headed for the ferry...
Of course, the holidays weren't over yet - we weren't coming home, we were going to London for more jollity. But you knew that already!
*ETA: In another place, desperance asks: "Did anyone ever smuggle anything from England into France? (Excepting wartime, that is: were there commercial goods worth dodging the douaniers for? And if so, what...?)"
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