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Monday, July 8, 2013

Paris In July: Tour de France Destinations

I hope you love the Tour de France as much as I do.
Even if you're not a fan of bicycle racing, how can you not enjoy the beautiful vistas and overhead views of France's sites?
On Tuesday (July 9) and Wednesday, the tour will be in Brittany and Normandy. So, as part of Paris In July I thought I'd take you OUT of Paris and to the area of the Tour.
Here is St. Malo -- a charming walled city in Brittany. You can see it best from the Marina outside the walls.
I posted in depth about St. Malo HERE. It's a sea town, with links to Chateaubriand and Cartier. Pirates abounded and is surrounded by ramparts.
In World War II, the town, including its beautiful church, were seriously damaged when the U.S. bombed the city, which was a Nazi stronghold.
Here in America, they would be likely to view the bombed out site as a potential shopping mall or village of houses made of ticky-tack that all look just the same.
Not in France. Proud of its heritage, it rebuilt St. Malo as it was before.
The tour will ride through the Brittany countryside.
They will find twisting roads and charming villages and towns.
Perhaps they will see sites such as this beautiful windmill amidst a field of rapeseed.
And take a look at that little spot in the distance!
On Wednesday, the Tour will arrive .at the famed Mont Saint Michel, which I wrote about HERE.
This is another "walled city" in its way. There are people who actually live in this mountain of rock that is also the home of an abbey.
In its time, it has been not only abbey but prison.
And you can see how it would be a mighty fortress. When the tide comes in, you are there, whether you want to be or not! The views were dazzling!
Lots of rocks. LOTS of steps. (Let's just say, I sent my PT a postcard from here, thanking her for getting my knees in shape to handle it!)
 
I especially loved the potager. I could envision monks growing their veggies and preparing them.
 
Of course we saw it on a mostly rainy day -- but the sun did shine...
...and we did play.
Please visit other blogs focusing on France this month as part of Paris In July. You can find links at Thyme for Tea or Bookbath.
Enjoy!

23 comments:

Joanne Huffman said...

It's fun to return to France with you.

Annie said...

I loved seeing the MSM and St. Malo pictures again. My memories of that time are like a beautiful dream that I will never forget.

shoreacres said...

Mont Saint-Michel would be a destinatino for me. No question about that. It took me a minute to figure out the photo - were you there in winter? It must be - that's too white for sand! But again, it's the spaciousness that appeals, and the horizon. I've always wanted to live in a light-keeper's house. Failing that, M S-M would do!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I had forgotten that you had visited this region. Wow - how gorgeous. And it has so much history! Besides the Lyon region and the Beaches of Normandy, I have not seen much outside of Paris. I'd like to visit another region of France on my next trip, but don't think I can squeeze anything in on my November trip since I only have 5 full days - but we'll see! I am still developing my must see/do list! :)

Arti said...

Again, every photo is wonderful. You're a very talented photographer, Jeanie. Also, I'm always impressed by how Europe reconstructed and rebuilt after the war. How they could turn ruins back into gorgeous historic buildings once again. You're right, we in NA would have another mega mall. What a difference in values and culture!

Friko said...

I’ve ‘done’ the places you mention here too. Brittany is so close to the UK that it’s the Britishers favoured holiday place abroad.

I love France anyway, all of it, even the French, whom the Britishers don’t like so much.

We went to Mont St Michel on a scorching hot summer’s day and had to take refuge in a roadside hotel during the afternoon; we simply couldn’t continue our journey.

anno said...

So lovely to see some of my favorite places again (and with one of my favorite people) -- gorgeous!

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Oh Jeanie,
What a wonderful tour... Thank you so much for taking me along.. Loved the countryside!
blessings,
Penny

Retired English Teacher said...

I may never make it to this part of France, but at least I will now know what is there. I love France. These photos are just awesome.

Marilyn said...

Love your reminiscences of France. I would love to be standing along that windy road watching the bicycles whizzing by.

Bella Rum said...

More beautiful pix of France. Love it. I've never watched the Tour de France. I usually just catch snippets of it. You are such a wonderful ambassador for France. I want to get on a plane right now.

Willow said...

Beautiful sroll !

Willow said...

Oops no not a new word ... I meant "stroll " lol

Shelia Williamson said...

What beautiful pictures! I love it. We were in Paris one time and the Tour de France was starting the next day! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

~*~Patty S said...

Lovely
Lovely
post dear Jeanie

I was especially taken with your Mont St Michel portion...
I have a dream of returning there one day...this time with my Mr Magpie

I am off to the land of nod (a wee bit late) and will surely dream French dreams tonight thanks to you!
oxo

Leann said...

Beautiful and such history! You're right about us putting up a shopping mall - unfortunately.

Love the shot of you and Rick playing peek-a-boo.

xo

Bellezza said...

Such beautiful pictures! I love cycling, and I love France, and my girlfriend and I always laugh how when we were in our 20s, and in Paris, we were so cross that they were closing the Champs Elysses for "some silly race." So glad I'm not 23 any more! Thanks for visiting my blog; I love your spirit which comes through yours.

Introverted Art said...

you guys always look like you have so much fun together!

Barb said...

You must especially love the Tour because you've visited all these places Jeanie. Your photos do justice to the countryside and the architecture. Still haven't sent you that E-mail. Summer!

Vagabonde said...

Your pictures are outstanding. I have been watching the Tour de France live on TV every morning since the beginning. I really like to see all the beautiful landscape but at the same time it makes me so homesick to go back home – when my mother was still alive and living in Paris I used to go back twice a year, but now not so much. I also feel so upset when I see how France keeps up all the monuments (including chateaux and churches) and all the cities looking so coherent together why here in the US there are so many strip malls, suburban sprawl and so little interest in historic preservation – it also makes me sad for future generations.

Jennifer Richardson said...

soooo beautiful, Jeanie:)
thanks for sharing the stroll,
Jennifer

paris parfait said...

D is watching the Tour on Dutch television, a bit sad that he's not able to see it in person this year. But I'm keeping him busy refinishing the stairs. :)

Louise said...

I do love the tour, although didn't get to see too much of it this year as I was in France! It was on during the day and we were out and about loving Paris during the day. I did get to go see the very end of the final stage in Paris though, so am not complaining too much.... Great post. I've been to some of those places too- Mont St Michel is incredible, it's always great seeing places you've been come up on the tour, and seeing new places that you then really want to visit.

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