Merlin's magical forest. Traveling in France. Part I.

in travel •  3 months ago

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Everybody else looks so unimpressed...

So, while I was in France, we went to a couple of places, ate a bunch of food, and had loads of fun. Because of the short time of us being there, we tried to fit as many locations to visit as possible in our mini-vacation. Besides the wedding and the day after, we had three days in total to have fun on our own and in this post as well as the two or three following ones, I will be talking about the fun we had.

P.S. Many pictures in these posts will have been taken by @KubbyElizabeth and let me tell you, she knows her angles, lighting, and photo planning! She is the trusted perfect-photography friend that you want to take with you EVERYWHERE. She is the friend you absolutely need and can't live without. In this first post, there are a little less of her taken photos but I think there will be more in the next ones!

So, on the second day of our arrival, after the rest from the long journey on the previous day, we decided to visit a supposed fairytale forest full of hiking trails. This is the Paimpont forest that is rumored to have been the place where a lot of Arthurian legends originated from. You know, the great wizard Merlin, all the magical creatures, this and that.

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We had a couple of different places written down to visit on this day. We had planned for four objects of interest but ended up checking out only two. Partly because it started raining cats and dogs and partly because we were quite tired and were looking forward to checking out another place that same day.

Our journey started with a small but busy gravel parking lot and a lot of walking. As my sneakers had given up on me and had started rubbing unpleasantly against my ankles, I was wearing mere sandals all the while taking this walk. In comparison, most people passing us were equipped with hiking boots or at least some kind of durable sneakers. But that did not keep me from exploring and even though I slipped once or twice, nothing seriously bad ever happened.

Now, we were only supposed to be here for a couple of minutes, up to an hour. But even though our navigation was showing us the right way, we ended up being tempted by the constant flow of hikers and took a detour because we weren't sure if the Hotié de Viviane (tomb of Viviane) was in front of us or to the left of us. In the navigation, it clearly showed that it was in front but we just gave in to many people turning left, onto the hiking trail. So, instead of a maximum of an hour, we spent at least two there.

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Mostly, this felt like a regular forest but I was in high spirits nonetheless. There were wild blackberries all over the place and I ate them with vigor. Looking back, I am surprised that I didn't get any on my white shirt. I am the kind of person that feeds my clothes most of the time. But yes, this time not even a drop. And it was quite fun. There was more than one trail and you usually did not walk with many people. Once in a while, we would pass a couple or a group or they would overtake us but these faces would disappear as fast as they had appeared.

I also took this picture of crickets. Or are they grasshoppers? I never learned the difference as a child. I am sure there was one. Kubby suggested that I take a photo of them and I thought it to be a brilliant idea. Of course, the fancy camera did not agree. It did not want to focus on the leaf and I had to struggle quite a bit before I got an actual snap that was focused on the right spot.

There were also quite a lot of half-fallen trees in the area and I enjoyed our walk below and under them quite a lot. I think this is a brilliant trail if you do not want to encounter a million people but still want to see some life. It also does not have many steep obstacles so a short and effortless walk here is possible as well. And, if you are a passionate hiker, we saw a lot of trails that we decided not to explore. I am pretty sure you could spend a whole day just wandering around in this forest!

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The fauna here is quite dominant over anything else. Of course, there are human cut trees but fungi takes over these fast enough. There was also a lot of Ivy, the non-poisonous kind, and it crawled on everything. That last picture is taken of a tree that has fallen into another tree and stayed that way. There are both, moss and ivy on it.

We were realizing that we had chosen the wrong trail after just a little bit of time but we decided on staying and going a little further. We did not get to the local lake but we did see some interesting stuff while makeshift hiking. We reached crossroads where a couple of trails met and it was at this point that we started thinking of turning back. But by meeting some German tourists that told us what was where we decided to take a few more steps forward. I am glad we did as we found these interesting stone structures balanced in a dry water trench.

Somebody had obviously stacked them but it was nice imagining that magic had had a finger in these odd doings rather than a human hand. I made some photos of these structures that were scattered all over the place and this was when we decided to turn back and go find that tomb we had come for.

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I know I look funny in that one picture but it was the only snap I found that had all three of us in it. I think it is passable even though I look like a hamster that does not want to share its food(I don't). We had quite some fun even though none of us had intended to go for a hike. However, I think we walked back at quite a fast pace as we wanted to get to the next place to observe. Also, we were getting hungry here. At least me. But I am always hungry so others might not have felt mutually famished...

As we walked back, tiny drops of water started falling but it was nothing serious. We knew that the weather forecast foresaw rain in the second half of the day and so we just increased our pace. But after a short while, the microscopic drops went as they had come and we decided to look at that tomb we had come to see.

When I say ''tomb'', I use the term lightly. Just like the balanced stone sculptures, this tomb was just some rocks planted in a square. They had supposedly been there for 4500 years and are also referred to as Druid tombs or stones. For me, this was the nicest place of all of the hike as we sat on some rocks and enjoyed the view. On one side you could see a town in the distance and on the other, trees and fields. It was peaceful and nice. Quite sweet and much needed as all of us wanted to sit down. Even if I seemed to be full of energy still.

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I know I have no pictures here with me in a presentable manner. I was kind of going for that. Kind of. All of this day I was full of energy and excitement for the new things in my life. The following days that energy declined gradually as I was slowly (or fast) getting exhausted.

After this place that we had actually come for we realized that we had spent a lot of time here and decided to only visit one more place before heading back home. The second place was the Abbey of Notre-Dame and let me tell you, it was worth the visit, even if just for the food. We did not take a tour of the inside of the Abbey but we did stop at a local eating and dessert place. The tiny town it was located in was buzzing. Sausages that were grilled outside, almost on the street, attracted us immediately. And those sausages! Oh my! Never have I ever had better ones! And I am not even exaggerating.

I do not have a picture of the young man making them but I do have a photo of the street where this cafe was. In the picture below you can see it even though the cafeteria is behind the lens. It was very nice, quite affordable, and perfect for snacking. And their desserts were huge as well!

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All in all, this trip was very successful. We did have to run indoors as the rain that was promised finally arrived with the power of a thousand men. We waited in a small bakery while Jonas fetched the car and got a little wet. We also got some croissants and I devoured mine immediately. Then we got into our bright, attention-catching car and went home before going out again, in the evening, when the rain had become but a tedious memory.

This was our first real day in France and the only time when we went hiking. We changed our plans but it turned out nice, even if I could have lived without the shower of the rain. But, in the end, all I can say, is that it thankfully didn't rain during the wedding and that is the one important thing.

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This final picture is of the day before. When we arrived at our rented cottage and I stomped the grounds.

Have a great day. Today, tomorrow, and forever!
Linda

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You are an awesome model my friend! Thanks for making so many great memories with me!

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No no no! Thank you for bearing my over-controlling spirit! I am trying to work with it myself! :D I had a lot of fun and now I need holiday from traveling myself :D

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looks like a really great experience you all had! it's really making me miss my long walks along the Alsatian countryside with my grandparents as a child, while picking fresh cherries off the trees, and fraises des bois along the edges of the long windy paths, as we made our way through the majestic woodlands... :)

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Wow! That sounds like a fairytale! Is that in France? Did you grow up there? I have so many questions! Are you all French through and through? :D

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I thought I had mentioned that before, but perhaps not... I'm half-French on my mother's side (from the Alsace-Lorraine area). Born and raised in the U.S., but spent many wonderful summers over there in my younger years... :)

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You must have because now that I think back to it I seem to fuzzily recall something along these lines. Plus, you do look French, so... :D

Do you also speak French at all?

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mais bien sur, bien que je suis probablement un peu hors de pratique, surtout en écrivant... :D lol

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Seems great to me! It is certainly more than I speak. :D

You must be my French guide!

oh u met a kubby! gorgeous photos!!

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Thank you!

Yes, I met Kubby! And another steemian whose wedding we went to! :)