Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Beautiful Brittany






I have just returned from a lightening dash to France. My friend Linda and I took advantage of one of Brittany Ferries offers and took the last boat Friday night (30th) yes the one with the howling gale. It is well known among my circle of friends that I don't like boats and can't go anywhere on them even if the sea is like a millpond unless I have swallowed my seasick pills so the thought of crossing the Channel on one of the wildest nights for a long time was not a pleasant one for me. The drive down to Plymouth from Dorset was bad enough with driving rain making it almost impossible to see the road as well as fog this end. Our plan is always to make straight for the Restaurant and have a good meal, drink half a bottle of wine each and then go to bed. We were lucky on this trip as it was one of Brittany Ferries Mini Cruises which automatically gave us a cabin going out and on the return journey. We stayed true to our plan and ate a most amazing meal and drank half a bottle of wine each. The result of this was that I (the paranoid one) slept through the whole crossing and mega storm and Linda (the seasoned sailor lay awake most of the might worrying about all the lorries in the bottom of the boat!!)


God was on our side when we landed in Roscoff. The sun shone all day and we had the most amazing dawdle all along the coast road from Roscoff to Lannion where we had the most delicious crepe lunch washed down with local cider! The coastline and scenery was stunning. Roscoff has always called us back and this was our first opportunity. We sat and looked at the sea and one lonely surfer preparing to take to the waves at the beginning of our journey. On the way back it was another story. The bush telegraph had been very active and when we got to the same stretch of beach again the car park was full of cars and vans and the sea was alive with surfers, wind surfers and kite surfers. I do envy them their courage it must be the most exhilerating activity.


We on the other hand also had a brief experience with the sea!! We had followed the road down to a small beach hoping to find somewhere to have lunch. There was a fish market selling freshly caught fish and shellfish, a cafe selling drinks (no food until next April!!) and an Antique shop that was closed. We had a little wander and went to have a look at the sea breaking on the rocks. I took quite a lot of photographs and it was while I was doing this that I noticed a large amount of scallop shells thrown down amongst the rocks. As we both like scallop shells for all kinds of reasons we decided to get down among the rocks and pick some up. Engrossed in what we were doing we took our eyes off the sea for a second and were suddenly swamped by a mega wave. I could almost hear Neptune laughing and saying 'Thought you were safe, did you?' We laughed our socks off quite literally. Poor Linda had been up to her knees in icy sea water. Luckily she had a change of clothes with her and we went hastily back to my car to get dry.


Our excuse for going to Brittany was to try to find a new area for buying textiles and linen. It was not very productive in that department. We found an Emmaus and spent some money on a few things but the lack of linen was disappointing. We did the usual Supermarket run and brought back some Cider this time. By the time we reached Roscoff to board the boat again it was pouring with rain, thunder and lightning and hail stones.
The return crossing was equally as rough and this time it was my turn to lay awake and worry about the lorries in the bottom on the boat. The weather was bad in Plymouth Sunday morning and the foot passengers had to disembark through the garages as it was too windy for the gangplank to be put in place. We were an hour late driving off but better safe than sorry. I can never understand the people who complain about having to wait a bit longer when it is all for their own safety.


All in all it was a great week-end and Brittany was all I expected and more. It feels quite different from the other places I have visited in France and there is the constant reminder at every signpost of the Celtic link with place names written in both French and Breton. I hope to return many more times next year.

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