Google Map offered us the first birds eye views of Pont Melvez. It’s a quaint village about 18km from a “fully equipped” town of Guingamp. Farmlands dotted the landscapes. Green was the predominant color in satellite view of the town. Street view turned reality as we drove onto Rue de Eglise and stopped in front of the greystone house with white shutters. I had to videograph this momentous occasion. QN giddily swinged her scarf over her neck in one swoop, pranced through the short few steps to the house and proudly entered her domain. A long staircase greeted us as we opened the door. Feng Shui master would deduct points here. Next to it a dining room with a huge dining table strewn with boxes packed with dishes. Previous owner was making preparations. Inside, it’s a time machine. Antique furniture, peeling wallpaper, and old-house smell. Old vinyls of music from the 60,70s and bucolic painting on the walls.We women beelined toward the kitchen. Old fashioned tile lined the floor and gauzy-curtained window above the sink looked out to the rambling back garden. An old stove is next to a freestanding cupboard.No built-in cabinets. It is going to take loving hearts and minds to turn the house to what it deserves to be. Upstairs the 3 bedrooms were spacious and filled with light but the house and its heart, the kitchen, was long neglected. The yard and attached structure required similar attention. The house is in a large lot with great potential. It is maybe a costly and long renovation– hard to oversee from oversea. We walked through the cute town to meet up with the contractor. Although tiny Pont Melvez is well kept with cute old stone houses strewn with flowers in the front garden or window boxes on the balconies. There are a church, a post, city hall, clubhouse and a restaurant that was shuttered recently. It is basically a bedroom community with all important activities happening in the nearest big city of Guingamp. While QN chatted with Msr Vincent, we chatted with the previous co-owner and his friend about sightseeing activities nearby. Later, we stopped at the city hall and talked to one lone employee, the mayor’secretary, about needed construction permits. This and the discussion about renovations left QN seemingly deflated, unsure about the costs, red tapes and time involved. Like anything that worths the trouble, it is going test the limits of her anxiety and patience. Hopefully her dream would be realized
the small village of Pont Melvez
Returning to our AirBnB in Ploumagoar, we focused our energy preparing dinner which was Kitchen Sink chicken soup using up all the leftovers. QN and I then taking advantage of remaining sunlight drove to downtown Guingamp for a quick look. QN and hubby and VH arrived 1 week earlier in their rental car from Versailles, had sent out tantalizing pictures of Guingamp thus drumming up the excitement for Bretagne trip. As we walked, digital images became real…A fountain, then medieval houses above cobblestone streets, small alley framed the view beyond, Guingamp came to life. The walk along the river Le Trieux which flows through city center winded through lush canopies then to a historic house which once was a mill sitting pretty by the riverbank, its chimney sent up wispy white smokes, nearby a weeping willow sway gently in the breeze. The whole scene was captured perfectly on the still surface of the river. Sigh! Perfect ending to our visit to Guingamp.
Guingamp city center
Pretty house on river Le Trieux