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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Wednesday 9th‏ July 2014 - Vannes

Took about one and half hours to get to Vannes this morning, should only take about forty minutes. Had to keep stopping because of the car overheating. Laura kept telling me she could smell burning. I think she probably wonders why I don't buy a new car!
Laura decided we should look inside the Cathedrale St Pierre. The doorway is interesting, built in the 16th century in the Gothic style, it's lined with niches containing statues of the apostles which, apparently, is a Breton tradition. The interior of the Cathedral is also in a Gothic style. 

Walked around Place Henri IV, a square in the centre of the old town surrounded by 15th and 16th century half-timbered houses. 

Laura wanted to find a particular house covered with animal carvings. I had to ask a couple of people before we finally discovered it in the next street, Rue Salomon

I suggested walking the city ramparts but first Laura wanted to look for a skirt. She seemed disappointed at the lack of large clothes stores and kept asking if there were any like Next or Monsoon (I said I didn't think so, but really didn't have a clue what she meant). She followed me into one shop. Four women were standing at the counter talking. They stared at Laura blankly as she attempted a few words of French. She then she gave up and asked if they spoke English. They exchanged smug glances before the youngest one sauntered idly over to a rail and pointed. Laura smiled gratefully, grabbed several skirts and fled into the changing room. (Her French is worse than mine! It's just her pronunciation. But, of course, she doesn't live here). She emerged wearing one of the skirts and I assured her she looked nice in it. However, the assistants smirked. Laura retreated back to the changing room and we finally escaped the shop ten minutes later.
When she mentioned looking for fridge magnets I suggested it might be better to wait until we visit Carnac where there are plenty of souvenir shops. However she seemed determined to carry on searching, so we arranged to meet outside the Cathedral an hour later.
I enjoyed sitting outside in the old part of the town watching all the tourists go by. Got to the Cathedrale to meet Laura five minutes early. After fifteen minutes with no sign of her I phoned her mobile. She said she was lost and didn't have a clue where she was. I asked her to find out the name of the street but she couldn't see it nor any landmarks. I was still talking to her on the phone when I glanced behind and there she was, coming towards me. She had got completely lost.
She said she was in desperate need of a coffee. (It was another twenty minutes before we finally made it to the ramparts). 

Vannes was once totally surrounded by these walls, two thirds of which remain intact today.
Part of our walk overlooked the gardens, laid out in what used to be the moat, and a group of old wash-houses which were still in use after WWII. We passed several towers, including the Tour de Connetable, built in the 16th century, which is the highest in Vannes. 

This evening we went through more of our interview. Laura told me about some of the authors who send her manuscripts, one who always writes the same stories and gives her characters ridiculous names like Teddy Faunterleroy-Huntingdon Frobisher for example.

Gave the garden a good watering. 

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