Monday, September 19, 2016

French River Cruising. Final Part.

 Cruising down the Seine.
 Next port of call Montoir-de - Bretagne.  This was somewhat of a concrete jungle.  I was told submarines were stored here during the war and once ashore it had a dreadful wasteland feel to it.  I was with a passenger with mobility problems so it was difficult to get away from the concrete.
 We persevered and at last found a sea shore and a café and then slowly returned to the ferry bus for our ship

 A lovely tree in beautiful Bordeaux.
 We spent 2 nights here and I was able to wander round the streets which reminded me of Paris.

 A lovely little church near a delightful square for coffee.  Such a relief to have Braemar in my sights.  Impossible to get lost.  Here we were cruising the Garonne and Gironde rivers.
On board alone it is very easy to get the days confused and as a result I missed one of my excursions.
It was 'leisurely Rochelle' in a pony and trap.  Friends tod me it was very bumpy so I gave myself a talking to and won't do that again.  Two of the best excursions I had already done and two were booked up by the time I had decided.  However Trevarez Castle  was a treat.
 We drove through pleasant countryside from Lorient.  There are really beautiful gardens in France but as the main plants here are rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas and hydrangeas it was mainly the beauty of the woodland and surroundings that attracted.  There are various exhibitions in the outbuildings
 Here is our guide leading us up the garden path.
 Trevarez Castle was built in the early 20th century and looks down over the scenic Aulne Valley
 You can see why it is named the Pink castle.  Alas on Sunday 30th July it was bombed by the RAF and subsequently partly destroyed.  It was bought by the Finistere council and buildings and gardens have been beautifully restored.  It is very much a work in progress and inside much of it is like an immaculate bomb site.  One dreads to think how much it is costing and who is to pay?  Not the RAF I'm fairly sure.
 There is a fantastic drop from the castle to the Aulne Valley.  These shots were taken from the terrace

 Part of the ongoing restoration.  Its going to be divine one day.
 Finally we repaired to the Orangery and had tea or coffee with a cake which appeared a little dry but had a delicious filling of prune puree which saved its bacon.
Au revoir France.  A bientot.


rosneath said...

It sounds a lovely cruise and wonderful, interesting ports of call. Glad to hear it was only navy blue shins you suffered. Naughty RAF, though!

AndrewM said...

Actually the 30th July was a Saturday this year. :)

Pat said...

Roseneath: I'm glad I did it and came home feeling rejuvenated- which lasted about two days :-)

Andrew M: can't work out the relevance of that but I expect you will explain.

kenju said...

Lovely photos. We did the Paris barge on the Seine. I enjoyed it very much.

angryparsnip said...

Oh Pat what a lovely cruise and Thank You for taking us along.
I am afraid I would be the one with mobility problems. le sigh. But I am hoping I could take a river cruise one day, maybe with a friend or a daughter. Who knows.
The photo from the last part of your trip the Lorient countryside and Trevarez Castle and the views of Aulne Valley were so beautiful.

cheers, parsnip

Kim Ayres said...

You often write about the people you befriend on your cruises, Pat. Was there less social interaction on this one?

LL Cool Joe said...

It's a shame you missed one of the excursions, but it's looks like you did and saw many other beautiful places anyway. The pink castle looks fascinating and I had to grin when you said "It is very much a work in progress and inside much of it is like an immaculate bomb site." Sounds like our house. :D

Pat said...

Judy; I'd love to do the Seine in a proper river boat. It's not possible with the ocean going ships.

Parsmip; one of my friends with mobility problems is hoping to take a river cruise but he needs to discover if there is a lift or stair lift first.

Kim: it took me all my time to get the photos posted and to remember what I saw. The people at our table were lovely and I'd be happy to see them again as well as the 2 ladies from Taunton and Ann, Sue and Eve.

Ms Scarlet said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time, Pat, and made new friends!

Mage said...

Oh, glorious stuff. I'm even interested in the sub pens.

Granny Annie said...

I would take one of these cruises if they could guarantee I would encounter people as wonderful as you:-) I am guessing you are the life of every party when it comes to graciousness and friendship.

Pat said...

Scarlet: I did enjoy it although it wasn't my favourite cruise and I did make some new friends. Sometimes the highlight of the day is when one knows the maid has done one's cabin by the time one has had breakfast and one needn't do anything except go for meals. Or have room service if one prefers.

Mage: I'm thinking you are rarely - if ever - bored.

Granny Annie: you overrate me. I can be deeply boring but one does try :-)

DUTA said...

The only serious river cruise I had was last year - the Moskva river in Moscow. There were boats of various degrees of luxury, and prices accordingly. I booked my trip on a modest boat and it was lovely.

Pat said...

Duta: I would love to do a real river cruise but it means flying to the country and I don't think I could pack for flying without having a nervous breakdown.

Vagabonde said...

That river cruise looks so interesting with wonderful towns to visit. I went to Rouen a couple of times and loved its architecture. My husband did not want to go on cruises until I almost forced him to go with me after I retired in 2008. Then he loved it and we went on over a dozen cruises I think, pretty quickly. He kept saying we can’t wait – maybe he already knew or felt he was coming down with Alzheimer. I don’t think I could take him anymore on a cruise, such a pity. We never did a river cruise though, and now it’s too late.

Pat said...

Vagabonde: I'm so glad you didn't waste the precious time you had together. As Alastair's health weakened the horizons got closer but even if it was only to the next county we kept up our jaunts to the end and I'm so grateful we did serious travelling whilst we were able.

rashbre said...

I realise I'm a belated visitor to this tour, but it all looks very interesting and a clever way to get around France.

First reading I thought you might have transferred to a different vessel once in France to get along the Seine, but now I've realised that you must have hopped along the coast to get to some of the spots?

Quite an adventure!