Going Coastal in Brittany, France
June 18-21, 2016:
We went on a trip to Auray France to visit our friends. On this trip we used Google Flights to find the cheapest days to travel around the dates that we were considering. Google Flights is really useful to find cheap flights. Once we found the flight through Google Flights, they informed us that it was cheaper to book on the EasyJet website so we did that. Our friends were nice enough to let us stay at their place and pick us up from the airport in Nantes so we didn't have to book accommodations or a train in France. Nantes was the closest flight that we could find. We flew out of London Gatwick so the only train we had to book was Birmingham to London Gatwick. We booked the trains through trainline.com We considered using the Eurostar but the train would have taken about 20 hours to get to Auray. Flights to Paris were reasonable as well but the train to Auray was pretty long compared to what we did.
We've been trying to plan a trip to France for awhile now but nothing seemed to work. Every time we are planning a trip we start by looking at France but end up going somewhere else instead. We've looked into taking flights, ferries, coach bus, and trains. France is such a huge country with many great places to see that it is a bit overwhelming. Where do you start?
Also France is not known for being vegan friendly. In fact it is known as one of the most un-vegan friendly countries in Europe. They love their animal products in France for sure. The only city we really heard was vegan friendly in France is Paris with 24 vegan restaurants according to Happy Cow
There are a few cities in France that we've heard of before such as Paris, Marseille, Nice, Cannes, Bordeaux, and Lyon. We definitely want to see Paris since it is such a famous city.
We were briefly in Cannes, France on cruise excursion to Monaco but that hardly counts as a trip to France.
We started our train journey very early in England with a packed breakfast of fruit.
Check out our video on what we eat while we travel:
We had to go through London to get to Gatwick but it was fairly painless because of how early in the morning we were traveling on a Saturday.
After a scare at the gate where they told us that they oversold the flight because they replaced our plane with a smaller one. They were asking for volunteers to stay behind and get the next flight which was the following morning. Luckily enough people volunteered for that because of the compensation EasyJet was offering so we were able to board our flight.
We kept our friends up to speed on our situation by using facebook messenger as they had about an hour and 30 minute drive from Auray to Nantes.
Nantes is the Capital of the Pays de la Loire region of France so it is not actually in Brittany but it is close by and historically it has been associated with the Brittany region.
In Nantes we went to a cool area with carnival stuff and a gigantic mechanical elephant. Katie and Gwen also arranged a meeting with one of their friends on instagram, Corinne.
|Les Machines de l'île|
We had fun walking around the area as there was lots of cool stuff going on. The elephant was made by La Machine Association.
|Les Manèges d'Andrea|
Along the water there were all sorts of cafe's, restaurants, art galleries, and a couple carousels. Some of the attractions in the area included: Carrousel des Mondes Marins, La cantine du Voyage à Nantes, and a bunch of restaurants in Hangar à bananes.
After our walk we went to a cafe called Cafe De La Rotonde for a quick drink and then on to a vegetarian restaurant, called Le Bistrot de L'Ile, that had lots of vegan options.
That night they were having a benefit for an animal charity so they had a set menu. The food was well worth it. It can be a bit tricky finding vegan food in restaurants in France but this place was decent.
This is our entree which we learned means the first course in France rather than the main dish as it is called in Canada for some reason.
The had hot chocolate. They served it in a DIY style.
This was our main course. There was a lot of really nice flavours.
For dessert we had a brownie with apple sauce and some whipped coconut cream.
We had many courses.
We headed back to our friends place for the night.
The next day Gwen and Katie ran a half marathon which started in Erdeven. We went for a walk around the area and to the beach, pointe de porh lineneu, while they were running and met them back at the finish line.
The houses in the area were very nice.
It was pretty much a straight path from the park where the race started to the ocean so we didn't think we'd get lost.
We were starting to wonder if we heading the right direction to the beach. Eventually we caught a glimpse of the ocean on the horizon.
The landscape looked pretty different.
There were nice flowers everywhere and signs making sure you didn't pick them.
No riding bikes or picking flowers but you may walk.
We got lots of sand in our shoes from walking on the beach. After our walk and our friends marathon we headed to the bakery for some authentic French bread.
Our friends had some dark chocolate spread that was vegan so we ate the bread with chocolate and bananas.
There was a bit of an instagram photo shoot of our snack.
Next we took a walk around Auray.
We made a short vlog on Auray:
|Huge Bridge in the distance.|
The downtown area was pretty small but nice. It has all the necessities. We walked to a park with a track and climbed a tower there to see the view.
This is the touristy area of Auray.
We did some wandering around the tourist area of Auray.
We looked around the market stalls for a little bit.
The town is very old and some of the streets are very narrow.
We stopped at a cafe and had some tea and coffee.
After our day out we went back to Gwen's place and had some dinner. Then after dinner we watched a French movie called 36 Quai des Orfèvres. It was a cop movie. Pretty good.
|Gwen's mom's adorable dog!|
We bought a postcard of Auray!
The next day the weather wasn't the greatest but we went for a run around the track. Katie and Gwen did some serious training for their big race coming up while we started the C25K program.
The weather wasn't really cooperating so we got pretty soaked but we didn't mind too much. The only downside was that we had to borrow some jackets for when we went out later.
We went for a drive to see some more of the sights of Brittany. We checked out a little town that has a building that kind of resembles a castle.
The tide was out and you could really smell the salty ocean air.
Gwen and Katie took us to a cool beach where you can surf. Pointe du percho. The weather wasn't right for surfing at the time being. It was really fun to see though as the waves were crashing in and it was very windy.
The rocks made for some great pictures.
The ocean is beautiful.
There was a little house of the top of a hill.
We had fun climbing on the rocks.
Next we drove to the town with the castle. Quiberon is the name of the town.
The wind really messed up our hair.
Gwen's haircut was more suitable for these conditions.
We headed toward the castle.
Tourists like us take pictures of it but it's still someone's home so you can't go up to it or inside.
It started to rain but luckily we had some stylish umbrellas. Also, "En Bretagne, il pleut que sur les cons." Google translate that saying.
We stopped at a grocery store to look around and we found some vegan caramel pudding.
Pointe du Conguel, Quiberon.
Gwen told us that in France people get some bread and make sandwiches with butter and ham. We picked up some bread and some vegan meats and made our own sandwiches.
We bought some of this stuff called wheaty. There was a ham looking one and we also bought a chorizo and a salami one which aren't very french but they were pretty good.
Check out our video of what we ate during our trip to France. We were being wined and dined like royalty.
Aww what a nice picture. It was hard to get the dog to look at the camera.
Gwen and Katie picked up their friend Fred from the airport. We all ate dinner together. Gwen and Katie made Galette which is a typical dish in Brittany. Galette is typically filled with cheese and stuff but our had lots of veggies and houmous. It was really good. I think we might have a hard time finding any Galettes in England or Canada. I would describe them as savoury buckwheat crepes.
We had some rice pudding for dessert.
We had an early night because Katie and Fred were training for a big race coming up.
The next morning we made some smoothies for breakfast and we drove to Carnac to see the famous rocks they have there.
The rocks were pretty interesting to see. Kind of like Stone Henge in England.
We walked around staring at rocks. There were lots of other tourists there as well. I don't think I heard a single person speaking English aside from us during the entire trip until we got to Les
Pointe de kerbihan la trinité-sur-mer.
Port de la Trinité-sur-Mer.
After we were done exploring we got more bread, had some lunch, then headed to the airport.
This is where we bought most of our bread from. We got a couple baguettes to go on our way to the airport.
|Oh, also, get some french bread.|
We had a wonderful time in France visiting our friends and we hope to see them again soon.
Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this post and want to see more of the coastal sights that we have seen, check out our post "The Day We Hit The Coast. Isle of Wight and Portsmouth"