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And now for something completely different [Oct. 20th, 2017|09:20 pm]
Executive summary: we left a grey and rainy England; we woke up this morning to Breton sunshine.

View from the ramparts

Various constraints decreed that if we were to attach a few days in France to our trip to London - which we thought was a very good idea - we would have to set off very soon after our return from Kendal. Less than ideal, we thought, but worth it. And then the weather got complicated, but that, too, couldn't be helped. And at least it meant that we cancelled our detour to visit friends in Northumberland (bad) and reached home earlier than we had expected (good).

On Tuesday we went to the doctor and had our flu jabs; and I filled (most of) my prescription. Wednesday was supposed to be devoted to packing, but what with work (where I am quite pleased to have cleared several things off my pop-up list) and cooking (I baked a loaf, because it seemed like the best way to deal with the starter; also, I had a couple of quinces) it barely happened. I contemplated missing the pub quiz, but [personal profile] durham_rambler talked me out of it.

The bulk of the packing therefore had to be done before we left home on Thursday morning. We were aiming for an overnight crossing, and didn't have to be in Portsmouth until seven, so leaving at eleven was probably safe, provided the traffic wasn't too bad, but this was stressful - and I'm astonished that I haven't yet discovered that anything essential has been left behind! It wasn't a pleasant drive. There was fog, and there was heavy rain, and then there was more fog. Beyond Sheffield the traffic was heavy, and getting round Oxford was laborious - despite all of which, we pulled up at the booth at five to seven. And learned that there was a technical problem with the ferry, and our sailing was delayed by an hour. So we sat in the car, in the rain and the dark, for an hour. And then learned that it was delayed for another hour... Now, look, Brittany Ferries, if you have a technical problem, I'm all in favour of you fixing it. (They couldn't open the doors to the car deck, apparently, and if we were fed up sitting in cars on the quayside, I bet the passengers stuck in their cars on the car deck were even more so). But couldn't you have told us to go away and come back in an hour? Or even found us somewhere to wait?

Anyway, so the crossing was less fun than it might have been, and we were late to bed. Despite the threats of high winds, the crossing wasn't terrible - a little choppy, but I'm fine with that. And by 7.30 British time we were sailing into Saint Malo and the sky was blue with fluffy clouds.

We didn't try to breakfast on board, but headed into Saint Malo, and breakfasted at the Café de l'Ouest, just within the walls, and I recommend it: proper French breakfast of good bread and good butter, an excellent croissant and serious coffee - and I added a grapefruit juice, which had only just left the grapefruit. A walk around town, where they are gearing up for the Quai des Bulles comics festival next weekend, a walk along the ramparts, and then back on the road for the drive to Roscoff. We broke for lunch at Guingamp, because it was in the right place. It turned out to have the substantial remains of a castle, some attractive old buildings, and a demonstration whose precise demands I haven't yet worked out, but it was anti-pesticide and anti-GM (and there's a website here). By the time we reached Roscoff we were ready for a rest, but we revived enough to go out and check out the local restaurants (we settled on La Moussaillonne, which was fun and also very close to the hotel) because the sun was shining and it wouldn't last.

The forecast for tomorrow is terrible. And it is already raining.

This entry cross-posted from Dreamwidth: comments always welcome, at either location.