Rennes is the so-called capital of Brittany, France (otherwise known as Bretagne) much to the consternation of rival cities such as Nantes who believe size is everything. It is located in the department of Ille-et-Vilaine, which roughly translates as 'the Unhealthy Villain'. It is noted for its historical and cultural importance, especially in hippie cults which regard the city as a mecca.
Rennes was established in a fit of whimsy by a crazy old woman called Anne, who is still to be seen inhabiting the Place des Lices area. She has subsequently been canonised, leading to the common naming of streets, bars and just about anything as 'Sainte Anne'. In order that every inhabitant display her hobbling gait, the entire city has been paved with cobbles, except in Place Sainte Anne, where it is paved with hobos.
Places to see
Rennes is famed for its historical buildings, namely in the Villejean quarter where many flock to the decrepit university buildings and surrounding tower blocks to admire the glamorous 60s concrete architecture. There is also much cultural interest around the old town, where on Rue St Michel, or the Rue de la Soif (The Street of Thirst) as it is commonly known, where every thursday locals gather in an attempt to smash the world record for the most underage drunks in a confined space. Those wishing for a vaguely terrifying encounter with a sleazy French man are also attracted to this area of the city, although they may find similar gratification around the Colombier area, especially the town's most prestigious night spot, le Pyms, where for just 20 euros will get you a thimbleful of vodka and a dash of jus d'orange.
Rennes is immensely proud of its single metro line, which made it almost as hip and groovy as Paris. Due to the high rates of depression and alcoholism in the city, access to the lines are restricted by automatic doors. To prevent drunk driving, the trains themselves also operate automatically, thus allowing the drivers the whole day off for lunch, coffee, cigarettes and beer, all to be consumed on the terrasse in front of any one of the city's 345,687 cafes. The Metro line serves primarily as a memory training device, as initiation as a resident of the town is dependent upon the tourist's ability to flawlessly recite the name and points of interest at each metro stop (Station, Sainte Anne. Acces: Centre Historique, les Lices, Hotel Dieu, Place Hoche) There is also a regular, if confusing bus system. If you manage to decipher the route of one of these monsters, you will invariably end up sat next to a student (normally foreign), a baby, or the aforementioned sleazy frenchman. For those who wish to return home late at night, there is the 'star de nuit' (star of the night) a bus service which has a variable timetable but has nevertheless always just left when you arrive at the bus stop. After an hour in the cold, during which you will be accosted by any passing french person who believes you are foreign the bus quickly fills up with drunk students, one of whom will inevitably vomit during your journey.
Rennes is well known for its delicacy, the galette saucisse, meaning 'sausage in a pancake'. It looks as unappetising as it sounds. Alternatives for dining out revolve largely around fries, accompanied frequently by some kind of meat on a stick.
The local culture is largely based on the consumption of alcohol. A local fund allows even the lowest orders of society, such as students and tramps, to afford a basic rate of 50 alcoholic units per day, through the provision of wine and beer for a handful of cents in many of the cities shops. A temple to alcoholism was built in the middle ages in Place Sainte Anne, and is now guarded faithfully by many street dwelling drunks and their dogs, who have a permanent residence at the top of the steps of this church. No-one has ever been seen going in or out, and the building is widely believed to hold nothing but empty beer cans. If the open-minded tourist wishes to take in a little more, they are advised to make the trip to nearby points of interest such as St Malo, where you can get a plate of Moules Frites for 30 euros.