06/1999 - France, Brittany

6-day trip to France – Brittany – visiting Angers, Cote Sauvage , Vannes, Locmariaquer, Quiberon Peninsula , Pont Aven , Concarneau , Cornwall , Pointe du Raz, Pointe du Van , Crozon peninsula , Pointe de Dinan, Pointe de Pen- Hir, Locranan , Pleyben, Commana, Guimilieau, Saint- Thégonnec, Pink Granite Coast, Ploumanac’h, Cotes d’Armor, Pointe du Chateau, Lannion , Le Gouffre , Lannion, Côte d’ Émeraude, Cap Frehel , Fort La Latte, Dinan, Rotheneuf, Saint-Malo, Cancale, Dol- de -Bretagne, Le Mont Saint -Michel

In the early afternoon we left Angers and we went towards the Atlantic coast, entering Brittany.
We visited the wide and long beach of La Baule, went on to the promontory of Le Pouliguen , then proceeded along the Côte Sauvage (Savage Coast) and arrived to Pointe de Croisie.
Then we crossed the Saline and reached LaTurballe, a splendid harbour with a fishing village made even more beautiful by a wonderful sunset.
Unfortunately the weather worsened for almost a week and there were mainly wind and rain, only occasionally some brief clearing up . Under a pouring rain we quickly visited the medieval town of Vannes .
We continued to Locmariaquer where we visited the homonymous site of megaliths where , absolutely, it stands out the “Er-Grah tumulus” in addition to the “Grand Menhir” (broken) and the “Table des Marchand” (Merchant’s Table) .
In Carnac, we made another visit to dolmens and menhirs, some completely abandoned, others more well-preserved and interesting such as the “Grand Géant” (big Giant) and the “Quadrilateral”stone arrangement.
The peninsula of Quiberon is located on the most beautiful place of the Côte Sauvage.
We travelled all around the peninsula and met high cliffs against which violent waves were breaking.
On the other hand there are sandy coves and long beaches where the local boys compete with surfboard on wheels.
We continued following the coast and stopping in the most attractive towns.
Pont-Aven is the first town we met. It is a characteristic and tidy village. We organized our visit looking for the views made famous by painters of the late 1800, especially by Gauguin .
Another interesting town , known as an important fishing port , is Concarneau .
In the center of the harbour there is the spectacular Ville Close, a walled citadel, situated in a natural island .
This area of the coast of Brittany offers spectacular seascapes with many promontories, all overlooking the sea .
The most beautiful ones are the Pointe du Raz and Pointe du Van and, in the nearby peninsula of Crozon, considerably interesting are Pointe de Dinan and Pointe de Pen-Hir .

We entered the area made famous by the presence of numerous parish closes in whose churchyards stand, magnificent but also dramatic, the ” Calvaries ” , all in grey stone.
We also visited interesting medieval villages, among all Locronan , and the most important parish closes : Pleyben, Commana Guimiliau (certainly the most beautiful ) and finally Saint-Thégonnec ( quite ruined for a recent fire ) where , under the main altar , there is a tableau in polychrome wood representing the deposition of Chris which is very beautiful and evocative.

We went back to the coast now bathed by the English Channel and known as the “Pink Granite Coast” for the colour of its rocks; Ploumanac’h is its most popular site.
We continued crossing small villages until we reached the beautiful Côtes d-Armor where, on the Pointe du Chateau, in the area of Plougrescant, in Le Gouffre, we could admire, even if under a torrential downpour, the famous house wedged between two rocks .
We reached Treguier. The Cathedral of St- Tugdual is so wonderful that it is considered the most beautiful Gothic-Flemish church of Brittany .
We arrived in the coastal area known as “Côte d’ Émeraude” (Emerald Coast), in which Cap Frehel and Fort La Latte stand out for their beauty
From Cap Frehel we could admire beautiful landscapes: on the left, long and beautiful beaches on which solitary horsemen wandered and, on the right, high cliffs with numerous birds’ colonies.

Dinan is one of the nicest Breton towns. It is situated on a promontory and is surrounded by medieval walls, with a mighty tower, that is what remains of the old castle.
In the old part of the city there are numerous very well-preserved half-timbered houses .

In Rotheneuf we had a surprise: on the rocks of the coast, the abbot Fouré, at the beginning of the last century, carved the rocks inspired by the deeds of the navigator Jacques Cartier .

The city of Saint- Malo is a town in which only the beautiful and massive walls remain undamaged whereas the city has been razed to the ground during the Second World War. Around the city many promontories become islands only during the hours of high tide.
One of these is the Ile du Grand Bé where the famous local writer René Chateaubriand asked to be buried . On his tomb there is an anonymous slab with moving words.

The city of Cancale , situated in a picturesque location with beautiful views, has an harbour with an important fishing fleet mainly dedicated to the farming of oysters. Nice to see the oyster beds emerging from the sea at low tide .
You cannot miss a stop on the waterfront, at Port de la Houle, to taste the wide variety of seafood.
It was interesting the visit the “Musée de l’ Huitre et du Coquillage” where, in addition to be explained the time evolution of the techniques of oyster farming, you can admire an impressive collection of shells from all over the world.

Dol-de-Bretagne is the capital of the Marais and is famous as a religious center. It is imposing the granite building of the Cathedral of Saint Samson. There are several ancient houses in the neighborhood as well as numerous old buildings that can be seen along the Grande- Rue des Stuarts .

The monastic complex of Le Mont Saint -Michel, located on a small island, is famous worldwide and is a destination not only for pilgrims but also for mass tourism.
You enter the village through the door that “cuts” the ramparts beyond which you arrive to the Abbey following the only street in the village at whose sides there are beautiful old houses. The scenery is gorgeous as well as the “Merveille” which includes the magnificent cloister , nearby there is the mystic refectory .

I suggest to repeat the visit in the evening when the exterior and the interior of the site are illuminated by the lights of the show ” Sound and light “