Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Rennes, France: Crêpes, Cider, and the Cœur de Bretagne

While living in France, I knew I had to spend a weekend in the land of crêpes and cider: Rennes, the capital of Bretagne (Brittany). My friend Sarah and I synced our schedules, examined train times (we were coming from different cities), and headed to France's northwest corridor!

Rennes felt more like a small town than France's 10th largest city, meaning it was downright adorable. Sarah and I visited museums and other historical sites, but our favorite part was just walking around and taking in the quintessential "Frenchness" that surrounded us, even though it was cold and grey outside. (I will admit, we did spend quite a bit of time warming up over chocolat chaud and kir breton in various cafés!)

The cuisine was what really piqued my interest in visiting this city. La Région Bretagne is the home of crêpes et cidre, which are best consumed together. Did we try nearly every kind of cider and stuff ourselves silly with crêpes? You bet we did!

Sure, we had a fantastic time sampling the Breton cuisine, but #datewithdog2015 takes the cake for the best part of the trip. While hanging out in our Airbnb one night, Sarah and I decided to dabble in Tinder to see what the Breton guys were like, and we (I) immediately matched with a dog. I mean, who wouldn't swipe right on this guy?!

Let me tell you, Shad stayed in character. I mean, just check out our conversation (even if you don't speak French, you get the gist):

On our last night, after talking to him for a couple of days, the dog proposed that Sarah and I meet him and his "dog friends" at the bar that they were at, and that he would be "disguised as a blond human." We were in our pajamas, so declined his offer, but agreed to meet him for breakfast the next morning before our midday train home. WELL, THE DOG STOOD US UP! Turns out he overslept (about which he felt terrible), but he redeemed himself by telling us who he was, showing us a picture of his "human disguise," and answering our many many questions about why he was a dog on Tinder. (Have you actually gotten girls this way? Why are you a dog? Do your friends know about this?) Long story short, Quentin and I still keep in touch even over one year later. We actually have a bit in common--I was an English language assistant in France, and he used to be a French language assistant in Scotland! Even though we haven't yet met in person, it was a great and unexpected way to make a new French friend.

Just as I had predicted, Rennes was the perfect weekend getaway, as well as my gastronomic dream come true. Sarah and I had a relaxing but exciting weekend, and to this day still talk about #datewithdog2015.

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