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just a mom who plays hockey and knits

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Walking trip in France

I was doing some planning for a walking trip in France last night, and getting more and more excited. I looked at some hostels in various places, and they are located everywhere! One drawback is the lack of security; another one, at a well-located hostel in Paris, is overbooking and poor service. One gal was moved at 2:30AM to another bed! Talk about insupportable.

At least the reviews are online, so I can get an idea ahead of time. And at least with the reservation I made stateside, the deposit is so small that if we have to cancel, it's not a huge deal.

So far, I've decided we'll go for about 3 weeks. One week in Paris--so one week at a hostel or a nicer place with a kitchen that we'll share with my mom, if she wants to join us--and then 2 weeks in the countryside, mostly in Brittany.

I had G go through a touristy book on France and mark the pages he thought looked interesting. Many of the coastal photos got marked, which is why I'm concentrating on hikes/walks on the coast of Brittany for that part of our trip. I found a Grande Randonnée that goes right along the coast from Mont St. Michel toCancale and then St-Malo, and then one that goes south from there to a town called Dinan. Mom and I visited all of these when we were there before G appeared on the scene, and I'd love to show him these areas.

From Dinan, we'd take 3 trains (!) to Vannes (through Rennes, which seems like a good place to stop for a bit and tour), pick up another GR trail and walk to Quiberon, the "Presqu'ile" (nearly an island--a very narrow peninsula), and then take a ferry over to Belle
Île, which was highly recommended by a former French coworker. Mom and I tried to visit Belle Île when we were there, but the ferry could take us but not our car, and we didn't want to tour on foot (Mom's knees were very painful at the time). We settled for a nice dinner in Quiberon. This trail goes through Carnac, which includes a lot of standing stones (in which G has expressed an interest), and another site said there's an enchanted forest that would be fun for kids.

From Belle Île, we'll return to Paris and then home.

What I'd love to also do is to visit the beaches at Normandy for the historical aspect, to show G the Dordogne area (he did mark a Dordogne photo), and to show him the Loire Valley that I was fortunate to see with my French teacher in 1981 on a class tour. Perhaps for a future visit.


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