Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: atlantic

March getaway part 1, Saint-Émilion and Arcachon

Yes yes, I know it’s been almost two weeks (again) since the last update, but I had big plans. March is a very active month because of two main events. First, LY, a friend/colleague from my lab in Belgium, came to visit last week, and we went on a 3-day trip to some places around Bordeaux. Second, the annual IDS-FunMat training school is taking place next week…in Annecy! Since it’s so close to Switzerland, I planned a little detour to Geneva and Lausanne with my IDS colleagues, but you’ll read about that when I come back at the end of March đŸ˜‰

Alright, let’s first talk about my visitor from Belgium and our little trip. We’ve been planning LY’s visit since what, last November? All the details – itineraries, flights, train tickets, hotels, places to visit – have been arranged. So I awaited his arrival on Thursday and the journey began.

There are two must-see points of interests for any visitor in Bordeaux, outside of the city itself: Saint-Émilion and Arcachon, both of which I had been to (perhaps too many times, to Saint-Émilion). And we were going to do both places in one day, as proposed by my guest. I was skeptical for two reasons: timing and weather. In order for this to work, we’d have to leave quite early and hop on and off trains and buses non-stop. As for the weather, early March may be a bit too cold for Arcachon and the Dune du Pilat, and the forecast predicted rain for the entire weekend…uh oh.

Even with the skepticism in mind, we went. I mean, we couldn’t have let months of planning go to waste, right? Saint-Émilion would be alright in the rain, but Arcachon would have been disastrous if it rained, but no such worries existed in the end because we were blessed with the most gorgeous weather of this year by far. I guess my friend was right in saying that luck accompanies him wherever he goes đŸ˜‰

The morning started in Saint-Émilion when we realized that…LY left his memory card at home. So I lent him mine. I’ve probably already taken enough pictures of Saint-Émilion to last a lifetime anyway. I did take a photo or two with his Canon EOS 60D though, and this is one of them. I liked this photo so much that I put it on Picture Worthy and named it “City and vineyards”, as the town of Saint-Émilion could be seen in a distance, contrasted with the vineyards, still leafless, right in front of us đŸ™‚

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Northwestern France, days 3 and 4

On day 3 of my Christmas escape from Bordeaux, I visited the famous Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy…or is it part of Brittany? I’m not sure. The bus ride was a little less than an hour and a half from Rennes, perfect for a day trip. I figured since I was in Rennes, why not drop by to see what’s the big deal?

Day 4 was an unplanned but interesting detour…you’ll see. (See all photos.)

Obligatory front shot of Mont Saint-Michel upon arrival. Mont Saint-Michel is a tidal island that is connected to the mainland via a causeway. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the entire “town” of Mont Saint-Michel is enclosed by a fortress, with a gigantic abbey at the very top in the centre.

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