Vacation while learning is the most ideal for me. Some time ago, I found the perfect place to do so, the Rance River estuary area in the northwestern part of France. There, I found the technology tidal power plant that works so awesome. Peering peaceful life in the two cities on opposite estuaries, Saint Malo and Dinard.
Rance river flows into the English Channel or the English Channel, the boundary waters between the United Kingdom and France. By the French, is named after the border waters of the Strait of Manche.
In this river there is a building-like bridge which is actually a tidal energy power plant.
On the west side of the river called La brebis, are City of Dinard, while the east side called La Briantais, there are some small towns that ended in the city of Saint Malo. Both the city itself can be connected to the ferry that serves ferrying passengers traveling to and from the two cities that beach. Saint Malo and Dinard are in Region (provincial level) Bretagne and Département (district level) Ille-et-Vilaine. Bretagne is located in the west of France. Rennes is the capital district.
On the way from Rennes to the River Rance, I was treated to a view of the form fields and grazing cattle. And, because many are restricted sea Bretagne, the profile of this area is low-lying and coastal areas. There, houses and small palaces old château or directly bordered by cliffs, beaches and sea. Imagine living in one building with a view of day-to-day so dramatic.
But do not imagine most power dams. He Barrage de la Rance or Rance Tidal Power Station is essentially an office building superintendent as a two storey house, as well as the flyover which stretches 750 meters. Own electricity generating plant along 390 meters with a width of 33 meters, equipped with 24 turbine engines.
Each day, an average of 26,000 vehicles and 60,000 vehicles cross the dam this summer. Each year, there are 18,000 ships pass through. The existence of the dam is indeed vital for the surrounding community.
From a small hill near the museum, looked homes and small boats are docked at the pier. On the other hand, there is a parking lot with several RVs, a dock, and a restaurant. Auxiliary dock is used for tourist boats will departure down the river Rance.
Although it does not rise to the observation that high, can still be seen City of Saint Malo of distance and calm waters with small boats docked. Once in a while, I could see part of the canal which rose to 90 degrees when no passing ship.
In the river Rance, there is a building-like bridge which is actually a tidal energy power plant. Rance estuary, there are museums that are under the ground. Museum named 'L'usine marémotrice de la Rance et les Energies renouvelables', ie the power plant Rance tidal currents and renewable energies. Or, call the Renewable Energy Museum.
As soon as I entered the underground room, I immediately found a ¾ circle-shaped table that serves as the reception desk. Visitors do not pay a dime to get into this place.
Although the officers are so friendly and informative, unfortunately in this museum there is no guide, unless you make an appointment in advance. As a result, armed with a brochure distributed, all excursion participants formed small groups and immediately walking through the rooms of the museum. From brosurlah I know that the dam was inaugurated by Charles de Gaulle in 1966.
Right behind the reception desk, there is a replica of the fan turbine power plant radius of about 1.5 meters. Radius of the turbine fan, you can imagine how much power the underwater currents passing, that can drive the turbine. Exact replica of a turbine at the top right, there is a room that contains a variety of alternative energy power plants and mini cinema which show films about alternative energy.
Behind a replica of a turbine, there is room shaped hallway with ¼ tube shape. Light in the room is deliberately dimmed, but there was light relief directed to the primary objects. On the wall there is an explanation of all power generation systems underwater currents, all in French, English, and German.
I found a miniature power plant system which when pressed button will move according to the mode of operation turbine power plant. There are some holes in a circle, like a window on ships. Inside the hole there are short films that show a variety of natural phenomena, such as the occurrence of tidal seawater utilized as energy power plants. It's a fun playground for lovers engineering world!
In the power plant, visitors can enter the room where on one side there is a translucent glass that shows the inside of the power plant. In the visible part of the electricity generation in the form of a long corridor. On either side of the aisle there is a cubicle.
Along the corridor there are piles of equipment neat and relate to the world of engineering. Equipment supporting operational processes and work safety are also seen along the hallways were very good lighting.
Back to the alternative energy space, the first thing I see is the large posters. Suber alternative energy sources presented in the poster is derived from water, wind, sun, and others.
My attention switched to some miniature alternative energy power generation equipment in a glass box. Interesting shape with bright colors. The lighting in the room was rather dim as the other rooms, but there are spotlights that highlight miniature.
When viewed first glance, I thought the miniature alternative energy power generation equipment is just like that. The picture changed when a friend of students from other countries are still in the group excursion we touch the button on the outside of the glass box. Suddenly miniature equipment was moving. Additional small lights in a glass case also turns on and follow its movements.
It displays that appeal to adults and children. It feels this is a good strategy to attract people's attention about the existence of various alternative energy sources around us.
With a wide range of equipment and methods, anyone visiting here will be a lot to learn about the existence of renewable energy. It feels no need to force people to be aware and learn about the energy crisis that occurred in the world, tools and methods in this museum already provide learning that is quite simple and easy to understand, such as day-to-day science.
Back to the ground, apparently there are lots of interesting things can be found in Saint Malo and Dinard were geographically opposite. For those who have a hobby of watersports such as sailing and fishing, Rance River estuary area should be visited while on a visit to the northern regions of France. Calm waters and minimal pollution.
There were also two waters of different characters, namely marine and estuarine salt water, brackish water and fresh blend, producing flora and fauna different. However, for those who like fishing, need to pay attention to the instructions because there are some parts of the waters are prohibited for reasons of safety and operation of the power plant.
In addition, although do not have a private boat, we'll also be able to explore the area along rivers and estuaries. Some tour boat Saint Malo agents offer packages for exploring towns in the Region Bretagne part traversed the river. An example is a package trip to Dinan (round trip) through the waterway.
Dinan is a city that is bounded by the walls of the castle, but located on the edge of the river. City of Saint Malo also walled fortress, but it is located on the seafront. Thus, the way we will find the atmosphere varies. In this travel package, tour boats will pass through the power plant Rance.
Other activities in Saint Malo, the city became one of the Travelers' Choice 2013 according to TripAdvisor's website, is to visit the historic sites are quite diverse. The love story of a maritime expedition shall visit the Musée Jacques Cartier dedicated to the explorer of the 16th century, and the Musée du Long-Cours de Cap-hornier dedicated to the ship's captain who expeditions in 19-20 century. There we can find a variety of navigation maps and models of sailboats.
Another option is to look at some of the large mansion belongs to the owner of the ship or malouinières who stands in the middle of the french garden gorgeous and spacious. Luxury look, I immediately imagine how much better off the lives of the owners of the vessel Saint Malo in ancient times. Want to fantasize further in a spectacular flower garden, I also visited Montmarin or botanical garden Haute Bretagne.
Dinard is equally interesting. Reportedly, the city became one of the summer holiday destination for the urban trendy French. Scenery that I found so dramatic: the old buildings stood tall on the cliff beach hit by the waves. The characteristics of the city is also very neat, with walks or long and wide boulevards are lined by shady trees, which centered on the square were packed with various restaurants and crêperie.
To the satisfaction of seeing the sights, can lead Villa les Roches Brunes the neo-classical style architecture from year 1893-1896 and is located on a cliff overlooking the sea. Or Promenade en Bord sur Mer, where you can down a path that seemed endless at the seaside.
Enjoy this city is much better walk while the beach breeze blowing, which may be preferably carried out after the stomach is filled by a variety of fresh seafood dishes and the abundance of local restaurants.
• Towards the Rance River estuary could use the fast trains (TGV) from Paris who will arrive in Rennes 2.5 hours later. Airlines Air France also flies to Rennes from Paris with a duration of 55 minutes.
• The journey must continue by bus or train to Saint Malo or simply by bus to Dinard, 45 minutes to 1 hour. After that, it must use a taxi to get to Rance.
• If you want to see the workings of the Rance Dam near, can make an appointment to do a tour with a guide who will give you a tremendous view of the ebb and flow of the tides.
• A variety of lodging available in Saint Malo and Dinard. We recommend choosing the downtown so easy to walk everywhere