Wednesday, 8 November 2017

France - Sunday and Monday (Fougères & Ducey)

Sunday, 5 November 2017

On Sunday I finally get the chance to skype with Kevin.  It's always a bit tricky because of the time differences, be we made it.  The whole idea was to wish him a happy birthday for the 7th, but..... of course I forgot! ;-)

After we finished I did some work on the computer, because the weather was not very inviting.  It seemed to clear up after lunch though, so we decided on a short tour of Fougères.  Unfortunately the sky darkened when we approached town and it started to rain in all earnest.  We were not going to be deterred though and got our umbrellas out after I had found a decent parking spot right next to the castle.

First we walk around the castle and look at it from all sides.

It even has four working water mills, in the past used for the tanning, and linen industries and to grind flour.  Currently they provide electricity for the castle itself.

When we have done the rounds of the castle on the outside we walk around again, but this time we take in the sights of the buildings in the old part of the town.

This building is falling apart, but therefore shows
even better how they were built in the past

When we have done the first bit we walk to a geocache that we want to find.  It's part of a trompe d'oeil murals series that we want to see.  As we start looking we are approached by three French women who ask us if we are also geocachers!  Of course we go in search for the cache as a team, but in the end they are the first to find the cache, as they understood the hint (in French of course) better than we did. ;-)

I also take a picture of the group with Patricia in it:

#1785 - Trompe l'oeil #2 & fresques murales à Fougères (cache)

Next we walk a path that takes us out of town and to a higher area from where you can look down onto the old town.  The sky has been clearing for a while and the rain finally stops too.  It makes for quite a pleasant walk.  

This leads eventually back to the castle via beautiful gardens in which we also find to geocaches.  The first one was found by me, the second one by Patricia.

#1786 -  jardin public (cache)

#1787 - Chateau de Fougeres (cache)

And then we are back at the castle. We were longing for a cup of coffee, but when we walked past a little restaurant the first time we didn't know if they served pancakes only or if we could just order a coffee.  They were terribly busy anyway, so we'd walked on.  On our second try they were closed, so we kept going and discovered the entrance to the castle.  The office was now open (everything seems to close here for lunch, and restaurant in between those times of course) and we bought our tickets.

There was of course a lot of climbing involved, because castles consist of towers and high walls.  Patricia gave up and opted to wait for me at the entrance.  I made my way around, but didn't take too long, because the audio system (guide) was not working well and I didn't really need it.  I took photos and had a good look and that was enough for me too.

An example of a tower built in smaller scale.
The towers look round from the outside, but are built in horseshoe shapes,
which makes them flat on the other side.

On our way back I discovered a well-hidden coffee shop which was open, so eventually we got to sit down and enjoy a cuppa before going home.  The sun had come out long before we visited the castle, so all ended well.

Monday, 6 November 2017

On waking up we discovered that during the night our windows had frosted over.  No wonder it felt a lot colder than the day before. :-)

Frost on the slate roof as well

View from my bedroom window

As I wasn't feeling well in the morning I didn't want to go out.  I woke up with terrible ringing in my ears and very dizzy.  It happens from time to time, and doesn't worry me too much, but I don't want to go behind the wheel...

Instead Patricia and I vacuumed the living area downstairs and I did some work on the computer.  I had a lot of catching up to do again and there are a few birthdays around as well that need attention.

After lunch the weather was still okay and I felt better, so we went for a drive to Ducey, which was on our to-do list if we wanted another short drive.  Short here means half an hour or so.

This building houses the tourist information centre (when it is open!)

Le chateau "Montgommery"

This 'tree' lets you believe that chrysanthemums grow into tree sizes,
but the planter is cleverly hidden between the cut-off branches.

It's all so colourful

The river La Sélune

The old bridge across La Sélune

The town hall

And more colour....

And we wouldn't be dedicated geocachers if we didn't go and look for a cache.  We found one.  The second one had too many DNFs on it.  We tried, but to no avail.

#1788 - Le Château montgommery (cache)

On the way back we filled the car up and went into E.Leclerc for some more groceries. It was a lovely day after all.

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