Fusion of Breton/Italian architectural style in Clisson….
If you like the ‘punting at Coulon’ then try Clisson, it really is one of those little gems that can easily take your breath away…. a small ‘taste of Italy’ combined with that easy grace that some chic French villages seem to have… Home of the Muscadet wine and an inspiring fusion of Italian and Breton architecture, it’s well worth a detour!
The town’s earliest records shows the castle was first built on the orders of Geoffrey Martel in 1058. Its humble wooden origins soon gave way to an almost impregnable stone fortress for the Clisson family that lasted well over 700 years until over 80% of the old town was burnt to the ground shortly after the French revolution (1793) by the militant Republicans.
We’d been very fortunate to have picked a weekend that also saw recreations of life in the region in the 11th/12th century. With both girls enthralled by the tented village that included cooking, tapestry and arrow making demonstrations.. whilst the ‘Hastingers’ provided some very realistic 11th century combat complete with swords, lances and shields!
The stunning ruins sit imperiously over the small town below, but there are plenty of places to grab a croissant or ice cream and to watch the varying degrees of success by the many kayakers who try to descend the weir… suffice to say we saw our fair share of hilarious incidents.. until a poor chap lost his glasses after a fairly spectacular capsize… reminding us all of the Eidfjord ‘Go Pro’ incident…
Thankfully we have restocked the ‘camera cupboard’ and we move on to enjoy the blissfully serene Gironde near Talmont sur Gironde… having met up with Catherine’s parents, we hope to enjoy some time out of the van at a site overlooking the Gironde near Mortagne sur Gironde… with the temperature set to sky rocket into the high 30’s… it looks like our new Go Pro might just get some use in the gite’s swimming pool!!!!
so where did we park the bus for the night?