Friday, February 21, 2014

La Bretagne est Belle, Quand Même...

Stereotypical Brittany--Galettes (salty crêpes) made with butter!!

Before moving here, I knew almost literally nothing about Brittany. I knew crêpes were from here, that it rained a lot, that it was Celtic, and that the traditional costume involved women in gigantic hats, but other than, not much. 

So everything I've seen thus far here has been very informative, giving me a picture of "what Brittany is like." And I have to say, it's been a pleasant surprise! I came without any pre-formed notions, and I've discovered quite a few little things that I really like.

I took a daytrip to a nearby-ish town called Dinan the other weekend, and I noticed there quite a few of the things that I have come to find enchanting about Brittany. 

Like I just mentioned, it rains here...a lot. Grey skies make life kind of gloomy. And many houses here are made out of stone, which is practical, but also not the most visually appealing. But those Bretons, looking to inject some joy into life, came up with the idea for SUPER brightly colored windowframes and doors. Why? Why not, I ask! They really pop, and I like it! 

Another part of Breton architecture that fascinates me is the wooden buildings with the different-colored supports (at least, I think they're supports...or just is not my forte!). I've mentioned these before, but my love for them hasn't diminished the longer I've been here...if anything, I've become more and more fond of these gorgeous buildings!

In fact, I've become so enamored of the contrasting wood and bright colors that I half considered calling the number on the sign on the place below to see if I could make it my own! (Kidding, but wouldn't that be awesome??)

Maybe the reason I really love these gorgeous buildings is that they make me feel like I live in the Middle Ages. I mean, I guess for some people that would be a bad thing...but...hello, nerd! 

The thing is, I really like wandering down a nice old tiny cobbled street, past these enormously old buildings and wondering what stories they have to tell. How many life stories were lived out in this one humble structure. I like imagining that if I just closed my eyes for a second, I might open them to find a horse and carriage bustling past a woman washing her family's laundry by hand in her yard. I feel transported to another era entirely, and I love that feeling.

And I also particularly love the attention to details in places like this--even the road signs were cute. Did they have to do that? No, not at all. But did it make the town seem even more charming than it already did? Absolutely. Worth it to me! 

I'm glad I've had the opportunity to get to know Brittany a little, particularly the parts that are a little further from my front doorstep. Hopefully, in the short time that remains to me here, I'll be able to discover even more adorable towns like Dinan! 

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