Hello Friends and Family,
It happened again…a beloved ‘off day’. Around here off days are known as adventure days. My travel buddy, Korrin, and I were back at it this weekend with a new member! Korrin’s best friend from home, Taylor, is in town all the way from California. So we felt the need to be great tour guides. We woke up Saturday morning with no plan on where we wanted to go, but knew an adventure awaited us. After some deliberation, we pointed at the map and decided to visit the city of Rennes. Our current hometown, Vannes, is in an area of France referred to as Brittany, or Bretagne if you’re a local (like us)! Rennes is the capital city of the Bretagne region so we felt it had good things in store for us. Trust me when I say, it did not disappoint.
By now we are pros at public transportation. We took the bus, the Kiceo, to the train station. Side note, the city’s bus system, Kieco, also happens to sponsor the team. I found this out when we were presented our uniform spandex and realized their advertisement is written across my butt. It reminded me of the screen printed Soffe shorts that used to be all the rage. If you’re a 90s girl and you didn’t wear Soffe shorts, you don’t get to claim the decade. Any who, at the train station we hit it big. We went in thinking that we would have to pay around 25 euros each way for the train tickets. When the teller rung us up the grand total was only 12 euros round trip. We’re not quite sure what discount happened and why, but we didn’t ask questions (mainly because we don’t know how). We took the tickets and ran.
It was a gorgeous day in Rennes, and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. It was sunny with a slight breeze which was very welcomed after a couple days of rain. After we got lunch (without any terrible mishaps like the BaBa cake on our last adventure) we wandered into the main center of the city. There were so many people milling about and enjoying the shops and markets. When we reached the main government buildings in the center we saw a wedding party and a beautiful bride. We tried to go into the big building that is home to the mayor, but we were told it was closed for weddings. That morning there had been seven weddings and there would be four more in the afternoon. Love was in the air!
My favorite part was the exhibition that was going on. Rennes was celebrating their liberation from German rule during WWII. There were large black and white photo boards all around showing pictures from when the allied forces came in to Rennes to liberate the people. There is special significance in the liberation of Rennes because it is the capital city. It was incredible to see the pictures of the French people, clearly run-down by the war, celebrating as the American soldiers rode by on their tanks. One of the pictures showed the mayor’s building on that day in 1944. In the photo you can see the Allied soldiers marching in unison in front of the building. It was truly overwhelming thinking about how the American soldiers had marched through liberating the city in exactly the same place that I was standing. For me, it was an incredibly humbling moment. It is because of these Allied soldiers that I am afforded the opportunity to come to France many years later and have this incredible journey. Looking at those pictures I could feel the significance of that day, and get a glimpse into what it meant to this town and its people. I’ll never forget it.
After that we ventured into a grand and beautiful garden. I would safely say it is the Central Park of Rennes, France. It’s definitely not as big as NYC’s claim to fame, but it had the same kind of feel. There were large, green trees whose branches shaded cute paths throughout, statues to commemorate, a large bird cage, fountains, and more! I was soaking up the beauty of this fall day. We three stopped at a little ice cream stand and treated ourselves to a waffle cone. It was a tasty treat to have while strolling around the park. Although, as we walked around, we started to feel like we were the only single girls in the whole darn park. There couples everywhere sitting cutely on the benches or with a picnic in the grass. We couldn’t escape it. It was okay though, we had each other and our ice cream. What more does a girl need?
It’s funny how a great adventure can be so relaxing. I’m usually really tired by the time our off days roll around, and the little devil on my shoulder is whispering to stay in bed. I know, though, that I can’t let my travel buddy, Korrin, down so I get up and go. At the end of the day, I’m always glad I did. Our journeys are incredibly refreshing mentally and physically. It’s special to feel the history and see these new sights. For one day, all we have to think about are train times, history, gardens, and ice cream. You can’t beat that. Not to mention the great satisfaction we get from feeling like world travelers. It’s fun to think, ‘I didn’t know where I was going, but I went anyway, and it all worked out.’ I always treasure these days.