Thursday, June 25, 2015

Excursion #1 and Breton Dancing!!

Friday,  June 19 we had our first excursion to the cities of Dinan, Dinard and Saint-Malo.  In Dinan, our first stop was the Place de Duguesclin where we admired the statue of Bertrand de Duguesclin who defended the city of Dinan from the Normands in the 14th century.  We then made our way over to the Saint Sauveur Basilica where his heart is interred.

The Statue of Bertrand du Duguesclin

After the visiting the Basilica, we hustled our way over to the Château of Dinan for a personalized guided visit.  We visited the crypt, the tower of the Duchesse Anne and other parts of the château used for defending the city from invaders and also from a potential revolt from its residents.

Following our visit of the château, we took a scenic walk across the ramparts of the ancient walled city and eventually made our way down a cobble-stoned street lined with Timber-framed houses from the Middle Ages to the port of Dinan to meet our bus.

The Chateau of Dinan
Our visit continued with our next stop in the small city of Dinard for lunch on the beach.  The city has been a hot spot for English tourists for decades, as well as some notable celebrities.  It's biggest claim to fame is being the possible inspiration for the Alfred Hitchcock films "Pyscho" and "The Birds".  The students frolicked on the beach and enjoyed the sun after finishing their lunch. And staying true to its legendary history, more than one student lost a snack or a half of a sandwich to the seagulls perched nearby observing inattentive tourists.

After lunch, ice cream and the beach, we climbed back on the bus to head to the walled port city of Saint-Malo.  We strolled along the ramparts and enjoyed the seaside view and the fresh ocean breeze. We lucked out on this trip and arrived during low tide, and were thus able to make our way over to Grand Bey Island  where the tomb of the 18th century French writer Chateaubriand is located.

Below you'll see a picture of the students in front of a statue of Jacques Cartier, who was a Breton explorer known for his discovery and claim of Canada for France.  We finished up our trip to Saint-Malo with some shopping and ice cream at the delicious Sanchez Artisan Glacier in the center of town.

The Statue of Jacques Cartier
Pictures from this excursion can be found at the links below:

Monday, June 22, we tasted some homemade French desserts prepared by students in the Blue group and their host families.  As you can tell from the photos in the link below, they were delicious.  :)

Wednesday, June 24 we had our Soirée Danse Bretonne where we welcomed a group of traditional Breton Dancers who played traditional Breton folk music and taught the dances to the students and their host families.  Everyone danced and danced and danced for nearly two hours.  Many a dancer was left with worn out pinkie fingers and calves by the end of the night, but with big smiles across their faces.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the great photos and information on what you've been up to! It looks like everyone is learning tons and having great fun! Merci!