We arrived in Vannes yesterday, after a lovely drift up from Arradon past tempting anchorages off islands and beaches on the way into the River Marle. We picked up a mooring behind two traditional local boats, called sinagots, at the entrance to the river, and waited for the tide to rise enough to carry us up to Vannes.
You have to lock into Vannes, which is at the end of a canalised section of the river. Predictably there was a queue of boats trying to get through to the inner harbour, which meant there were some idiots shouting and getting all excited about driving through a gate in the right order. We found a nice spot next to a very nice British couple and set off to explore the town.
Vannes is very pretty, with lovely architecture and very well preserved fortifications. There is also a good butcher’s, a Monoprix and a reasonably large English speaking population, judging from the raised eyebrows and disapproving glances that followed us and Simon’s blunt running commentary around the supermarket.
Today is Bastille Day, and we arrived to find that today and tomorrow there are fireworks, parades and an entire medieval village outside the ramparts of the castle. We were about to set off to look around all this when something stirred in our minds about Harry Potter and the last ounce of cash Warner Bros can squeeze out of the machine in the shape of The Deathly Hallows Part 2 being released. And so we decided that even though we are both old enough to know better, we would first seek out a cinema and watch it, having seen the first part last year in Italian. French Harry Potter is definitely funnier, mainly due to the fact that ‘wand’ translates as baguette. As you might imagine, the word crops up quite regularly, leading to heated exchanges between the actors about where the baguette had gone and poor attempts to control laughter from us.
We walked back through the medieval village and walked around the various tents that had been set up. We stopped to look at one stall that was selling horns and mead (naturally). Unfortunately we decided to try the mead, got in the queue and waited. In the meantime a trio of musicians sat down to play old wooden instruments next to us, and for the next ten minutes or so subjected us to a deafeningly high pitched rendition of medieval music (which let’s face it is crap) until I literally thought my ears would split. I took a video of it, and I will attempt to upload it sometime.