France, Travel
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Every year, my little family heads out on January 1st for a long walk on the beach. We’ve done this since the kids were tiny, and it’s such a great way to start the year off outside, by the sea, salty fresh air for a fresh start. Since we are living inland for the first time ever, we decided it would be a good time head to the coast.

dinner family selfie

Happy to be back by the sea.

plage de l'ecluse, dinard

Plage de l’Écluse, Dinard

We decided on Brittany, found a great airbnb in Dinard available last minute, and off we went. In just a few hours’ drive we caught sight of the shockingly seafoam green waters of the Rance estuary. It surprises me each time we go to the atlantic coast in this area of France, just how vividly coloured the water is (it’s the same in Normandy). So different from the dark moody blues and greys we have in our part of the Pacific back home.

plage de l'écluse, psycho house.

Alfred Hitchcock loved spending time in Dinard — there’s even a statue of him just off the beach. It is widely speculated that this house on the hill provided inspiration for the Bates Motel. (Saint-Malo in the background)

beach combing

I love a beach with a watery sand bed, perfect for reflections.

oli exploring golden sand

Inspecting the golden flecks in the sand, reminiscent of the gold coast.

After we arrived, we headed straight to Plage de l’Écluse, right in the heart of Dinard. The kids delighted in running around the smooth sand searching for perfect shells, and we were happy to have dry skies for our afternoon at the beach. I could almost imagine the sand packed with blue-and-white striped huts and frolicking sun-seeking beach-goers. Despite the cold air, I daresay I might have preferred this moody and less packed version of Dinard. I do love a great beach in winter.

Dinard beach derek and dani

derek and oli

Talking about what happened off the shores of this beach, many moons ago.

We took a walk along the ancient sea wall and attempted to stay standing in the strong winds that threatened to throw us over the edge. Just what I needed — fresh ocean air.

beach wall walk

beach walk perch

After a whirlwind weekend on the beach in Dinard, wandering the walled city of Saint-Malo, and trekking the narrow cobbled streets of le Mont St-Michel, we found our way back to Loches in the pouring rain. I insisted on a quick stop in Dinan, the charming river port town a short ways upstream along the Rance. I can only guess that on a sunnier dryer day, it’s charming streets would have been packed with happy people, sitting on terraces enjoying a stuffed breton crêpe and a glass of cider, the kiddos delighting in a cone of cold ice cream. Instead, I will recall the yummy pastries we found in the one and only open boulangerie on a deserted rainy sunday morning, January 3 in Dinan.

rainy kids dinan

cobbled streets of dinan

dinan, rain

Crêpes, anyone?

I’ll be back with some pics of Saint-Malo and Mont St-Michel very soon!


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