A Day in Rennes

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May 4th 2019
Published: May 4th 2019
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Friday 3rd May

Today I headed off on the train to have a look around Rennes, about 35 minutes away by train, and the capital of the Region of Brittany. I was impressed. There are a number of significant buildings, beautiful parks, interesting medieval streetscapes and historic locations. I saw the Parc & Palais St Georges, Parlement de Bretagne, l'Opéra, Hotel de Ville, Basilique St-Saveur, Place des Lices, Cathédrale St Pierre, and my favourite, Parc du Thabor.

I was surprised by the number of medieval buildings in the streets, many of which have been beautifully restored or are under restoration. The wooden frames and the way the first and second floors tend to be wider than the floor below are very interesting characteristics. Parc du Thabor was magnificent – the rhododendrons and azaleas, tulips and other bulbs, and many other flowers putting on a brilliant show. The park also features a formal French garden, an English style informal garden with sweeping lawn and large trees, a beautiful aviary housing many birds (including a lot of budgies) and a water cascade. I spent quite some time enjoying the garden, and will definitely return again as the spring season progresses.

For lunch I enjoyed a savoury and a sweet galette, specialties of the region, and delicious. There are many crêperies in Rennes, some offering very modern ingredient combinations. I, however, prefer the more traditional ingredients.

I walked back to the station for the return trip. The train follows the river Vilaine, so the trip to and from Rennes is very scenic as well, with pretty villages, farmhouses and river scenes.

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