Archive for January 7th, 2012

January 7, 2012

Finistére or end of the land or why not nice Quimper

Here we are right off on 2012, and my travels continues throughout the Brittany or Bretagne region. This morning I went out with the boys now 18 and ready to accompany to all places….,and we decided to visit Quimper. This is in department Finistére or no 29 out into the corner peninsula of Brittany.

Quimper in the Breton language is written as Kemper. It is the traditional capital of the Cornouaille, and its typical traces and traditions.  It is a very old city with traces found to pre historic times, however, it is first found in texts at around 1124 AD. For a while it was divided its powers between the bishop and dukes, and it was liberated in 1944 by the Breton resistance force in the area taken advantage of the invasion in Normandy by the allies.

The city is beautifully traverse by the river Odet so its symmetry is similar to Paris although in smaller scale. To get here the best is the car on the expressway N165 Nantes-Brest, and take the exit for Quimper Centre,then Centre Ville. You will find several parking areas, I choose the Parking Tour d’Auvergne as it was very convenient to walk to the old center and get out by car afterward. There is also, a regular regional train or TER Bretagne connecting to other Breton cities and the TGV Atlantique that puts it with Paris Montparnasse about 10 times per day. The city has an intricate bus system that I saw very busy , you have all the lines at the official site QUB here http://www.qub.fr/public/pages/voyage_telechargemen.html , and for bus service in the dept of Finistere check this out http://www.viaoo29.fr/

The TER Bretagne trains are here at schedules page http://www.ter-sncf.com/Regions/Bretagne/fr/Default.aspx , the city tourist office is at http://www.quimper-tourisme.com/en.html  , for the tourist site for the department or region of Finistére is here http://www.finisterebrittany.com/  There is also a petit train in summers for those nostalgic ones, webpage http://www.celtictrain.com/index2.html

One of the nicest things to see here is the Musée Departamental Breton, or the Breton departamental museum, webpage http://www.museedepartementalbreton.fr/  , its right in city center in the old episcopal palace of the bishops ,and it traces the story and history of the area, very nice, with some amazing artifacts that I will encourage you to see it when in town. Another nice place is the Musée de Beaux-Arts or the Museum of Fine Arts, right by the Cathedral and has important local paintings and murals ,webpage here http://www.mbaq.fr/

You ,then must see the Cathedral of St Corentin, a work of art and Breton history, you must see, as beautiful cathedrals are in France, and thanks God for that, this one is one of the best. Once you are in city center area you cant missed its spiral towers;;; (76 meters high both) just recently renovated and put to its glorious past great.  This is an external site in French (can be translated by google, yahoo babel etc) that tells the story a lot better of this jewel than I, http://www.infobretagne.com/quimper-cathedrale-corentin.htm

Walk as always my advice all the city centers of France, and Quimper is no exception, the streets, the wood houses, the quaint shops, restos are all wonderful. The beautiful Les Halles or covered market with outside vendors as well, inside is a laberynth of shops very nice experience. The walk along the river Odet, reminds me of the Seine, just lovely, and a high old fortress on a hill to see the city below.

Search for earthenwares, first brought here from provence in 1690, and now nice shops all over the city, its a nice souvenir,and richly decorates any home. Another item is Cider of Cornouaille AOC and Fouesnant, both great, as well as fine de Bretagne sort of like a brandy eau de vie,as well as the apple pommeau de Bretagne all nicely done and taste at Cidrerie Manoir du Kinkiz, 75 Chemin du Quinquis,Ergué-Armel just outside Quimper on your way back to the N165; the site in French is at http://www.cidre-kinkiz.fr/

Obviously I did not stay, I live about an hour by car from here ::) but the places I saw and their local reputation will tell me to advice to stay at the Hotel Restaurant Le Kerodet at Ergue Gaberic, just outside of Quimper ,its a britt hotel chain very nice local chain all over France but heavy in Bretagne; webpage http://www.hotelkerodet.com/  , other than that you wont go wrong with the Accor brand in the area ,http://www.accorhotels.com/hotel-directory/fr/europe/france/quimper/hotel-quimper.htm

For eating as we can in the morning, by the time midday came we were heading for another town, so all we did is see menus and talk to some restaurant people like at Taverne du Maitre Kanter,and Barococo Pizzeria,at place de halles both facing each other. The Bar des Amis in same area serve a nice cold beer with plenty of local talk. Next to the river Odet you will be fine according to locals at Le Globe, 9,  boulevard Amiral-Kerguelen, tel +33 (0) 2 98 95 09 10  , and  Crêperie Les Délices du Cap Horn  , 16, rue de Pont l’Abbé, tel +33 (0) 2 98 55 19 04, webpage blog  http://www.delducap.blogspot.com/

In all a pleasant city to come back for more in depth look, the morning was done nice, and we headed to visit another city (another entry) and end up in Vannes at FNAC for more music,books,games, etc with the gang before getting home late. Some photos of Quimper.

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