Paris and Onwards to Fougères

I almost left Paris without the gift I had promised to buy for my sister. Silk boxer-style panties. I finally found a shop that sold all types of lingerie and there I found the silk panties. In hindsight (excuse the pun) I should have bought a pair for myself too, but we had been cashing traveller’s cheques like they were going out of style (and now they have), so I thought it was time to turn off the money tap. The panties I bought were much more sexy than any of the gear on the models. Now that I look at the underwear displayed here, I shudder to think how popular women’s girdles were. And garter belts! Who wears garter belts nowadays? I get claustrophobia just looking at some of the whole body girdles on these mannikins – or should I say womannikins?


Having accomplished that little duty, we left Paris on the train to Fougères where our friend awaited us. There was a moment of panic as we rode the bus the last few kilometres and weren’t sure where to get off and how to proceed from there, but a kind woman who got off at the same place showed us exactly where to go.

Our next days involved lots of sightseeing, including Mont Saint Michel, which I have already written about.Click here for the link if you missed it before. What we didn’t realize at the time is that Fougères is famous for its castle, the Château de Fougères. It is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in Europe, dating back to early medieval times. Here are some photos we took, not even realizing the significance and history of the structure at the time.

img310 img311 img314 img315One day we found the market set up in the town square. I had fun studying the faces of the people and guessing what they might have been thinking as the man tried to sell them a puppy.

img303Next came the guy my husband referred to as the snake oil salesman. He was such a smooth talker, he had people walking away with bags of medicines they hadn’t thought they needed, and probably didn’t.

img110img111We were impressed by the man who made his own tools and sold them at the market.img309img109My husband bought a knife from this man – a very basic one that he had made himself. The fact that we still have that knife after 36 years is a small miracle. The blade folds into the wooden handle and when we boarded the plane to fly home a couple of weeks later, the metal detector discovered the knife in my husband’s pocket. He had completely forgotten that he had it on him. It should have been packed in our luggage.

??????????Luckily it was before the age of extreme terrorism and he was not arrested and left to rot in jail. He explained how it was a special souvenir from a market where the man had made the knife himself, and it’s more a keepsake than a useful tool. The flight attendant said she would put it in the cockpit with the pilot and he could get it back at the end of the flight.

Somehow I don’t think they would be that accommodating nowadays about a person who tried to board a plane with a knife in his pocket.


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31 thoughts on “Paris and Onwards to Fougères

  1. I feel as if I’ve been on a little trip myself now. Re the knife, I was seeing my mother off at the airport the other week and when my handbag went through the security thingy it had to be searched because I had a little bottle opener in it which also had a small knife. How embarrassing!


  2. The scenery in your photos is amazing. Love the photo of the old castle. It was huge! Oh, by the way, did you forget to give me the silk panties? Which sister was it? The oldest one, the middle one or me? Perhaps I’ve forgotten about them? That was a LONG time ago! Thanks for sharing your story. Love hearing about all your travels.


  3. The castle is quite a sight! They are always amazing to me.

    The tool maker makes some pretty serious tools! The knife story is interesting. We have certainly lost something, haven’t we!


    • Yes, we sure have come into different times. It creeps up on us gradually and it’s posts like this that get me thinking back to how it used to be and then I realize how different the world is now.
      The tool maker was very interesting. He had made all those metal parts himself and people who bought them would put the standard wooden handle on them. So different to today’s way of buying tools.


  4. Love this trip… when we flew to the USA just after 911, we had to get to the airport 4 hours before boarding time as our luggage was searched, as in packed out completely… I had a small nail scissor in my case that was to go into the airplane hold, it was confiscated… when we returned from the USA, the cases and hand held luggage wasn’t searched at all… I could have boarded the plane at JFK with anything in my camera case… found that very strange…


    • Thanks, Martina. The knife did last a long time but what you can’t see in the photo is that it is broken just behind the metal. The wood got soft and the knife broke. But it’s still a treasured memory and we wouldn’t think of throwing it away.
      All the best and thanks for visiting.


  5. Ota still has the same knife – he bought it that time at Walter´s (where I was working in Masset). Those knives are very good and I think we can buy it now here too. Great pictures, love your stories!


    • Yes, I looked at this one many times and wondered about them, what their story was. They have probably both left this earth by now, but I bet it was a big loss to the one who was left behind. I could imagine so many love stories for them. (And thanks for the Mont Saint Michel story. I’ve got it now.)


  6. It is a shame, but I remember not so much the castle of Fougeres as the funny cap with Celtic symbol, which I’ve bought there 🙂 Anneli, you could have seen it on the photo in my blog post about oysters in Cancale.


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