Monday, May 9, 2011

Dinan~ The prettiest Medieval town of Brittany



Just a hop, skip and about a 4-hour train ride west of Paris
is one of the most beautiful, and well-preserved, medieval cities in Brittany. 


Dinan, filled with 15th century half-timbered houses
and cobbled streets,


one of our first stops in Bretagne,
is also a tourist mecca of creperies, bars and restaurants
(under the watchful eye of ancient figurines). 


I am seriously just a fool for those waddle-and-daub houses
and their mingled energy of centuries past.


Only a very few left in Paris 
(thanks to Haussmann),
this town is so well-preserved as it luckily missed the bombing of WWII. 


A quick stop here on our way to St. Brieuc where we spent the night
before exploring the coast the next day. 
The weather graced us with summer-like temperatures over Easter weekend,
allowing us to sip our drinks in late afternoon sunshine
surrounded by towers and spires, 
named after the Duchesse Anne,
ruler of Breton until forced to marry French kings. 


The doors and windows of these fairytale cities
always make me want to climb through
to another time; 
a simpler (albeit 'slightly' more barbaric) time 
without cell phones and computers,
neon signs and Wall Street. 


A window in time~
I've always had a 'thing' for doors and windows,
incorporating them into my artwork
and basing an entire collection and art show
on their themes of passage, opportunity,
visual and spiritual bridges.

But as I stare at this time portal, wishing for it to speak to me, tell me its secrets,
where we'd travel to and when, who looked out and stared at this very space I'm sitting in,
what might have been cooking centuries ago behind those walls,
it's the smell of a savory crepe that brings me back.
Voila!
C'est la vie... dans cette siecle.  

6 comments:

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

Kirsten,
What a beautiful time you must have had in France. I traveled there for the first time in the month of May and it was glorious. Stepping out of the present and into the past is such a joy.

And, I'm so glad you liked your hat!
Best,
Catherine

donna baker said...

Thank you so much Kirsten, for the trip to the Brittany coast. I so want to go there. I wonder what the locals do for a living there? Guess like any other small towns; baker and candlestick maker etc.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I WANT THAT TOWN!!!! I have never been up north that far, but the more medieval, the better. THANK YOU KIRSTEN FOR THIS LOVELY TOUR! Anita

Val in Paris said...

Oh, I'm ready to go! I love the idea of feeling like you've gone back in time. What a sweet, lovely town. So glad you got to go. xxoo

DolceDreams said...

It looks so charming, thank you for taking me! I know you had a fabulous time, can't wait to see all of the photos ~
Have a great weekend, wherever you are!
Nathalie

Carole said...

Nice post. Dinan is a super place to visit. http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2011/12/vieux-dinan.html