We are staying in a lovely, tranquil neighborhood of stone Breton houses. The roofs are quite pitched, and they are made of exquisite coal-colored tiles. From the airplane window they seemed to belong to a French fairy tale film set.
Our first day was dealing with the first steps of a bureaucratic process that starts once you arrive in France to establish residency. Any France expat web site will tell you what is involved. Then we walked until we hurt taking in the city center. Today, our second full day here, we met friends in the parc du Thabor and heard about their experiences in getting settled (easy), before making our way back to our garden apartment to escape the heat of the day.
The city is clean and quite attractive. The parks are large and spacious, the architecture — spanning medieval to modern day — is impressive, and the public transportation is fantastic, encompassing a great system of buses and a wee efficient underground. (The Socialist Mayor believes in urban investment.) Of course you can walk everywhere if so inclined.
Europe is having an awful heat wave, with temperatures higher than ever recorded, up to 50 degrees Celsius (122 F) in parts of Spain and Portugal. It’s hotter than “normal” in Brittany, too, but the temps are still below 100 F and the air is dry. There’s a breeze. At night we are cool and can easily sleep. Compare that with how the heat wave has impacted another French city we love, Nice, where it’s a humid 84 F at 11pm and blazing hot by 7am. Luckily, the heat wave is supposed to break in a few days. In any case, Brittany seems like the right place to spend a summer.