Wednesday, November 23, 2011

With No Plan

Some of the best experiences occur without a blueprint. Yesterday was a perfect example. I walked to town with several specific purposes, but rigidity isn't my modus operandi. Once I traversed the cobbled mountain of Rue de Jerzual, (one always feels that they should be at the top of the hill only to discover that there is much farther to go!) window-shopping was my reward. When a particular item caught my eye, I went into the shop and had a delightful conversation with a young woman from Holland who was employed there. At the age of fourteen, she met a young man from France. By the time she was 20, she fell in love with him and has been here since. Prior to her job in this store, she had worked as an aide to special needs children, but found that her sensitive nature made that job too painful for her. I am fascinated by other people's stories, so I was grateful to meet her. In fact, not being understood by others has been the most difficult thing. I miss connecting with people. Fortunately, in the last few days, I have met several English speakers.

After meeting my new acquaintance, I had hoped to go into one of the old churches in town, but the entrance to this ediface still eluded me. Instead, I found myself in front of the Castle Museum and waffled as to whether to pay the entry fee, reasoning that I could go later in the week. However, the weather is tricky here (it was cloudy with rain in the forecast for the next several days) and the view from the top of the museum would be compromised in inclement weather. Also, I remembered that my time in Dinan is becoming very limited, so in I went. This museum houses artwork and images that explain the history of Dinan. Of particular interest to me were historical genre paintings of the Port of Dinan which is the location of the house where I am living. Minus the contemporary boats and cars, the Port looks as it did several hundred years ago. By climbing 152 steps, I was rewarded with a terrific view of the city. The Castle Museum is the foremost monument in Dinan. It is composed of three elements that were joined together in the 16th Century. From what I have been able to piece together, the construction started in the 14th Century. The Castle was once a residence of Duke Jean IV, later it was a defensive complex and finally a jail. I enjoyed my visit there immensely and have included photographs of the Castle from the exterior and a photograph of what appeared to be a crypt. I could not discern the French description, so more research will be needed. I had to be careful in that particular room because the floor was solid stone and not level at all. It was like balancing on a cliff and quite dark in the room, so caution was warrented. Soyez prudent!

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