Thursday, August 17, 2006

Vacation plans

The Vol-in-Law and I are planning our little jaunt to France in a few weeks time – we’ll be driving around Brittany and Normandy. I’ve been pouring over the guide books and making little un-organised lists of places I’d like to see and things I’d like to do (e.g. a visit to the bell factory in a quaint French village with a name I can’t remember, but that I think is composed entirely of vowels.)

My sister-in-law has advised my husband that we should:

a) contact his aunt by marriage, a Breton – about things to do in Brittany. I think the Vol-in-Law is less than keen because he fears that her “things to do” might include visits to her elderly non-English speaking relatives.
b) pay homage at the war grave of my mother-in-law’s uncle in the massive ranks of soldiers’ cemeteries that dot the Normandy coast. Unfortunately, said relation rather inconsiderately died in the first World War, and so is interred far away in Flanders Fields or some such.

Of course, we’ll be visiting Omaha Beach and the Bayeaux tapestry.

But I also stumbled across a lesser known attraction that I really want to see. I’m getting really excited about visiting the Parc de Branfere. They have wallabies. I think they have monkeys. They also have a website, but it’s not in English. I searched fruitlessly for the little American or British flag in the corner that would help me navigate the world of Branfere Park.

Sadly, no one seems to have told the French that the Internet is in English, so I’m having to do my own translation. And since my French is sub-par I can’t be certain I’m getting it right.

I’m guessing that Informations Practiques – means practical information, and that Bar-terrasse sous un platane centenaire – means a bar under an old something (tree/platter/roof) or a bar serving very old plantains or maybe it means a really, really elderly fellow brings you your drinks. Anyway - it means they have a bar, so this has got to be good. It has animeaux, botaniques and bar-terrasse. Tick. Tick. Tick. It hits all the right spots as I like animals, plants and booze. How often, besides in my own back garden, do you get all of these at once.

I also managed to work out that they’re having a photo contest for visiteurs au Parc. I might enter, but with my luck I’d win second prize:

  • 1er prix: Un voyage au Maroc pour 2 personnes
  • 2ème prix: Un week-end en Angleterre

Woo-hoo! I feel like I'm a winner already.

2 comments:

St. Caffeine said...

While I'm sure you're getting great pleasure from doing your own translation, have you thought of using one of those online translation sites (e.g., Babblefish)? As an example:

Bar-terrasse sous un platane centenaire.

becomes

Bar - terrace under a hundred-year-old plane tree.

Not sure how accurate that is, but it might help out with some of the thornier phrases.

Nicole said...

We're driving around France the first week of September. . . We have vague ideas of some places we want to go but no real set plans. . .