Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Dinan and Becherel
Monday was overcast and cold – as we headed with Adrian and Susanna following – to Dinan on the minor roads north. Dinan is quite amazing – with the strongest fortifications I have ever seen commanding the heights over the river and riddled with tiny medieval lanes.
After the farewells, the real find was on our return journey. We had intended to visit Rennes but were diverted by a sign on the road for Becherel – ville du livre and duly encountered what is for me a dream place – one of what is now a European network of 2nd hand book towns and villages. I had encountered one quite by accident in Fontenoy la Joute (Lorraine) on a long drive I had made on my own in 1997 from Bucharest to Brussels to take up a dreadful job I survived for 6 months with TAIEX – which was then the body helping the accession countries access knowledge about the acquis commaunitaire. I quickly discovered that it was little more than a travel boutique run by a bustling dragon of an Englishwoman masquerading under a Polish name.
Being Monday, most of the 16 bookshops were closed – but a couple were open. The first a real antique book shop whose cafe area was just like a sitting room and where we were left to our own devices. The second was a cavernous area – where I tracked down my Michel Mohrt and almost got the Jean Michel Revy and Romain Gary books I’m looking for. Hopefully we’ll return another day. They have apparently a blog – www.becherel-autour-du-livre.com
At one level it is annoying not to have regular access to the internet to be able to follow that link. At another, it is an encouragement to read what I have already downloaded