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Fougères and the castle in Brittany

Saturday, October 1, 2016


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Driving to Fougères - October 1, 2016

Driving to Fougères - October 1, 2016


Packed, cleaned and checked out of our wonderful thatched cottage this morning. M. And Mme. Cochet arrived right on time as cheerful as ever. They are such nice people. We have vowed to return to the area and their gite. We bade them farewell and set our GPS for Fougères. This took us through Herbignac and around Rennes arriving at Fougères in the rain after a brief two-hour drive.

*****

Market in front of Hotel Balzac in Fougères

Market in front of Hotel Balzac in Fougères

Saturday was market day so the hotel street was closed and full of market stands and busy shoppers. We drove to Place Carnet and parked to walk up to the hotel. We arrived to discover the hotel was closed until 14:30 so we walked back to check the parking lot. A kind lady gave Ed her parking disc so we were able to look for lunch. That is the second or third parking disc we've been given on this trip. The French are a most generous people.

Fougères Saturday Market on rue Nationale

Fougères Saturday Market on rue Nationale

*****

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We walked back up near the hotel and found Tante Suzette, a creperie that had real food too. We got the magret de canard and it was very well cooked and tender. It came with sauteed potatoes and a green salad so there was plenty to eat. For dessert, Ed got ice cream and I got a Chocolate Liégeois, both good. It’s not gourmet but good food in a very friendly atmosphere. [Tante Suzette, 2 Rue de la Pinterie, 35300 Fougères; tel: +33 (0)2 9999-8830; tante.suzette@hotmail.com; Tante Suzette Creperie on the Tourist Office web site]

*****

The Medieval Belfry

The Medieval Belfry


We walked back to the hotel and it was still closed even though the market was completely gone. Oops! I poked a few buttons on the door lock which lit up. Fairly soon, a lady bustled in and opened the door. She gave us our key and a map to their parking garage. Ed took off by himself to get the car from public parking and soon appeared in front of the hotel where he jumped out of the car, pulled the luggage out, hopped back in the car which had stopped all traffic on the narrow street. No one ever seems to get upset at this. Madame’s husband came out and helped me get the luggage into the hotel and on the elevator and I wrestled it into the room. Whew, glad we pack light! [Hotel Balzac, 15 rue National 35300 Fougères; tel: +33 (0)2 9999-4246 or +33 (0)2 9999-6543; balzachotel@wanadoo.fr; Hotel Balzac Hotel web site]

*****

Public Garden beside and below St. Léonard's Church

Public Garden beside and below St. Léonard's Church

Having stowed the car, Ed soon reappeared and we set off to find the château we had come to see. The hotel owner told us to walk up to Eglise St. Léonard and enter the park beside the church. There is a beautiful, though very steep, walk through a public garden down to the château. You pass plantings and fountains and are greeted with a wonderful view of the entire château. At the bottom we passed a very well-kept laverie on the stream. As we approached the château, I heard rushing water and looked through a doorway to see a waterfall so went through the door to find four water wheels in a row beside the waterfall, the castle waterworks. Wow!

Part-way down the path from church to château

Part-way down the path from church to château

Château de Fougères from the Public Garden

Château de Fougères from the Public Garden

Laverie at the exit of the Public Garden in Fougères

Laverie at the exit of the Public Garden in Fougères

Château de Fougères

Château de Fougères

4 working water wheels at Château de Fougères

4 working water wheels at Château de Fougères

*****

The Upper Town from inside the Château de Fougères

The Upper Town from inside the Château de Fougères

Continued on to the château entrance, got our tickets and entered to discover they were having some sort of heritage days and had activities with costumed docents. There was a dance group, a game center and an archery event where they were shooting at a man in armor (and lots of padding). It was great fun. We wandered all over the castle and watched a couple excellent animations about château history. We also discovered they have goats mowing their grass, inside the fortifications and outside them by the moat. Our town uses sheep and goats to mow public grass and we think it’s a great idea. We also saw goats doing the mowing in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris a couple years ago. Great idea.

Docent activity in the Château de Fougères

Docent activity in the Château de Fougères

Docents at the Château de Fougères

Docents at the Château de Fougères

The man who got shot by the archers -- well padded

The man who got shot by the archers -- well padded

Archers taking aim at the padded knight

Archers taking aim at the padded knight

Dancing activity enjoyed by all . . .

Dancing activity enjoyed by all . . .

Eglise Saint-Léonard on the opposite hill

Eglise Saint-Léonard on the opposite hill

Eglise Saint Sulpice beside the Château

Eglise Saint Sulpice beside the Château

Château de Fougères exhibit

Château de Fougères exhibit

Some of the goats mowing the grass at the Château de Fougères

Some of the goats mowing the grass at the Château de Fougères

Story-tellers at the Château de Fougères

Story-tellers at the Château de Fougères

Castle grounds from the tower

Castle grounds from the tower

*****

Food tent near the entrance of Château de Fougères

Food tent near the entrance of Château de Fougères


As we left, they were handing out medieval food and drink near the entrance so we joined them. We had a little cake and what tasted like Hypocras to drink. They had lemonade for all the kids. There was some sort of waffle we didn’t get and a good apple cream custard. Great fun! Château de Fougères web site

*****

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The lady at the hotel had told us there was a Mass at 6:30 so we walked back to St. Sulpice and entered. It is a very old church but the altar is quiite ornate baroque, obviously a renovation. The song leader and the organist were never on the same page, but we could follow most of the service.

Eglise Saint Sulpice in Fougères

Eglise Saint Sulpice in Fougères

*****

Hotel Balzac without the Market

Hotel Balzac without the Market


Took a walk around the upper town after we climbed back up the hill. Quite a hike! Ready to rest.

Eglise Saint-Léonard in Fougères

Eglise Saint-Léonard in Fougères

Posted by Beausoleil 10:25 Archived in France Tagged chateau fougeres

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