All the way through to the very end of November we had the most wonderful weather. The sun shone most every day and the temperatures were mild. Since December has arrived, it has been dark skies, whistling wind, rain whipped windows and chilly conditions. Last night, after the lights were out, I watched the shadows of the trees dance along the walls as the full moon cast animated shadows. I have scarcely been out for a walk this week. I had planned to post some photos of afternoon strolls taken the last week of November, so I will stick with my plan.
Dinard, like all the Breton coastal towns, has a wonderful system of trails. From the eastern end of our beach, you can join the path which has been carved out of the cliffs (visible in the photo above). This is called the Clair de Lune trail. Last night, with the moon suspended above the cliff face and making golden ripples on the sea below, I think I understood how it got its name. The path goes from the harbor, at the eastern limit of Dinard, past the town center and all four of Dinard’s separate beaches. St. Enogat is at the western limit of the city. The walk along the cliffs takes about an hour from one side of town to the other, with a wonderful view of St. Malo across the water.
Each beach is a little different in character. The beautiful old houses above all lead down to their piece of the coast.
The harbor offers casual and very fancy restaurants, as well as views of some of the most extravagant Dinard properties. The ferries from St. Malo and the local islands arrive there.
Past St. Enogat the trail continues west, although the name changes. From here it is part of Le Sentier des Douaniers, a system of paths that encircles the entire Brittany coast. They were originally created in 1791, after the revolution as a way for customs officials to survey the coast and prevent smuggling and pirateering. In the 1960s the trails were refurbished. They are now part of The Grande Randonnée (GR) long distance foot paths of Europe.
Between St. Enogat and St. Lunaire, there is a small beach with a cove, named The Ghost Fairy Grotto. There are several legends about this cave involving ghostly beings who interact with fisherman and townsfolk. In 1877 the Lumière brothers shot their first color motion picture here.
The pathway is beautifully maintained and winds through woodland, grassy fields and residential areas. All proprietors are required to give passage to hikers along this trail.
Even a few steps from downtown, you can find large swaths of open land with natural grasses and coastal undergrowth, or small stands of oak or pine. There are paths throughout and they all lead, inevitably, to the sea.