The first part of our stay in the Pays de la Loire, it’s this way
Today, we continue to criss-cross France, discovering the most beautiful landscapes of our beloved country
We finally arrive in Angers, where Jb’s uncle and his family live. It’s a city I’ve wanted to visit for a long time, but the opportunity has never presented itself until now
We have lunch near the art museum. It is Saturday but this district is almost empty, we hardly find some shopkeepers open between noon and two. Even the restaurants are closed. It should be said that we are July 14, day of the French national holiday
Then we visit the castle of Angers (9€ entrance fee). There are very nice restaurants with terraces in front of the castle
The French garden, in the duves, it’s a bit weird as a location. But it’s pretty (to be admired from afar only, you can’t visit it).
If we knew that, we would have had lunch instead at the restaurant inside the castle, which has a beautiful garden.
Inside the castle, there are several gardens, there are even at the level of the ramparts, there is even a vineyard !
The main building consists of a simple but spacious chapel, and to the right are the apartments, converted into an exhibition on the orders of knights.
We were advised to visit the large room which shelters the Tapestry of the Apocalypse (100m long). The room is air-conditioned, sheltered from the light, there is a small film which explains the history of this tapestry and the details which it is necessary to look at. I confess that in spite of my love for the craft industry, this visit did not convince me at all
I prefer to relax on the deckchairs in the garden. Moreover, it is so pleasant that the castle even sells an annual subscription for those who are lucky enough to live next door (16€/year)
Barbecue in the garden
The next day, we go to pick up our grills, reserved at the local butcher’s shop. And we did well to reserve them because they were sold very very very quickly
Our friends Caro and Mathieu come to lunch with us in the garden, and they prepare us such a delicious fruit salad with homemade whipped cream (miaaamm – I forgot to take a picture of the dessert, because I ate too fast)
Visits become optional when you have your cat next door. Rosalie’s presence fills me with joy and every time she shows us that she loves us, I tell myself that happiness is so simple. Rosalie is now making the house her own, which she considers her own. The house is so big that she has a lot to choose from: one day she will sleep on the sofa, another day on one of the many cushions at her disposal. In a few weeks, we were able to set up a routine: when she meows in the bathroom, I’ll fill her bowl with water (the lady likes very fresh water), and she waits for me in the laundry room if she feels like swill. She follows me everywhere and we watch series together on Netflix/Canal+, Rosalie is often on my legs, sleeping/running
Rosalie has the right to go in the garden, under supervision. She mainly goes there to follow the trail of the owner’s other cat (who is never there but who squats in the garden from time to time), and to eat catnip
The two cats had a few clashes but fortunately the window was secure enough so that nobody hit anybody
It’s really a heartbreaker to part with your cat. With our trip around the world, we had to place her at my sister ‘s house – but by giving us a few “visits” like that, squatting at my sister’s house during her vacation, or renting a house to spend a month’s vacation with Rosalie. I’ve already considered the “nomadic” option for Rosalie, but the long trips are hard on her, and we can’t afford to change cities 2 hours away by car each time. At this rate, it would take 20 years to reach Asia 😀 With Rosalie, we communicate a lot and I am sure that she understands us because despite my long absences (up to 1 year in a row), she always remembers me. I don’t think she considers moving to my sister’s house as an abandonment
Batz sur Mer
Today, Caro and Mathieu (who live in Nantes) pick me up at home and take me to Batz sur Mer, for a delicious seafood lunch at L’aporrhais. I forgot how good oysters could be, how much I loved to eat them. If you go to the same restaurant, remember to book on the terrace, it’s in the shade and there will be less noise
The water is icy, but some brave people manage to swim. The wind alone already gives me goose bumps, let’s not talk about swimming!
We then go to the pier, where several fishermen fill their buckets with small fish (whose name I have forgotten)
We see two huge jellyfish that must be at least 40cm in diameter. I think that if I saw them while swimming, I would have had a heart attack
We then walk to the port to do a little shopping, discover small stores too nice, pretty houses with garden … With this blue ocean, this sun, the happy people next door, it’s too much vacations!
We then go to La Baule. I didn’t know this place at all and it frightens me to see a Croissette bis
There are so many people! The buildings on the waterfront aren’t very beautiful I find
At the same time, we see the French patrol above our heads: blue, white, red … it’s too beautiful!
We eat a delicious ice cream at the Strawberry Grove. Originally a strawberry producer, but they have diversified and now sell Italian ice cream and sorbets to fall. This too many shops (we’re in a period of sales too), Parisians on vacation, hubbub, CRS, policemen… remind me too much of Paris
Too many people
During our 3 months in Japan and South Korea, it was so safe that I could walk around with a half-open bag, a $20 bill sticking out of my pocket – without anyone stealing it from me. But the return to France also means the return of my reflexes to protect my belongings. That’s when I realized the impact of this vigilance that one must constantly impose on oneself. Already, as a woman, this vigilance never leaves me
But when you have to be vigilant about your business all the time, it’s like having an application that’s open and always running in the background. Unconsciously, the mind doesn’t take 100% advantage of the present moment because it must constantly devote 10% to 20% of its energy to detecting the slightest suspicious movement. This creates negative thoughts, which are a bit of a drag on morale
It is therefore natural that we flee from the crowd as soon as possible. We’re just wondering why Parisians are all rushing here when there are much nicer places between 10 and 20 minutes by car? More beautiful beaches, calmer … certainly there will be fewer shopkeepers, but the prices will be softer too
- Restaurant at the Museum of Arts in Angers: 19€ brunch menu
- Entrance to the castle of Angers: 9€ (audio guide option for a fee if needed)
- Restaurant L’Aporrhais in Batz sur Mer : from 12€ the dish
- La Fraiseraie in La Baule: from 3,5€ the Italian ice cream