Brest ,Finistére, a whole lot more than Brittany!

Ok so moving right out as promise, our last minute move was to come back to Brest, in the Finistére of Brittany, Bretagne/Breizh. This is a vibrant busy town with lots of ambiance on any trip we have made here even at Christmas.

We saw a cloudy day and cool windy, but in Brittany you cannot follow the weather, we set on our car heading on the N165 expressway towards Brest, and found a very nice sunny day with no rain ! We like to park in different parts of the city each time there and this time we decided to park by the Place Wilson not far from the train station and walk all over the city center. You will find plenty of tourist info on the previous posts and many photos too.

Once parking off street by the Place Wilson, automatic parking meter with credit/debit  card allowed even if we just pumped in 4€ for the day. We came back down towards the gardens overlooking the harbor of Brest. There lies a very nice historical monument.

The monument Américain cours Dajot or American Monument built on land given in perpetuity  and free by France to the USA. It overlooks the harbor or port de commerce and the rade or harbor with a rose tower of 50 meters high with three levels in commemoration of the American help in WWI that had more than 800 000 men landed here from November 12 1917 to November 28 1918. Destroyed by the Nazis in WWII it was rebuilt to the identical details in 1958 on land given to the USA by France. Right on the garden and to the right of the monument you see a wall stone plaque with the figurehead of comte de Rochambeau and comte de Grasse, the general (and Count) and admiral (and Count) respectively who participated in the battle of Yorktown ,that finally gave advantage and independence to the USA from UK with the help of France.

The American Battle Monument Commission in charge of safekeeping of  American monuments and cemeteries abroad has more on it in English here:

The views to the harbor and port are wonderful sublime from the monument Americain indeed; a nice way to begin your visit to the city. One monument in particular I like and a donor is the SNSM ,and at Brest it has its training headquarter. SNSM=Sociétè Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer (the National Society for Sea Rescue) . More on this wonderful society here at Brest:

We passed by the Castle this time, a wonderful structure and even better Marine Museum that we have spoked about in previous post above. The coming May 20 is Museum night in France ,and many as this one are free admission. More on it here:

Walking just along the castle you will come to see the pont de Recouvrance ,and right next to it the Tanguy tower ,and its old Brest museum on the history of the city, and the arbre émpathique or empathetic tree right next to the bridge. The bridge or  pont de Recouvrance gives you a very nice view on the old city; looking towards the harbor you see the castle citadel, where the local marine government office and the marine museum as above; on the right bank you see the district of Recouvrance with the famous Tanguy tower and the arsenal that goes to both banks of the river until the bridge or pont de l’Harteloire; this area is mostly a military off limits zone but you can see from above the bridge on its many gunboats, helicopters, and canons.

Walking along past the bridge ,and after seeing the arsenal on the right bank or rive droite you will see the cable car! The téléphérique de Brest or the line C of the local transport network call bibus links the two banks of the river Penfeld that separates the districts of Siam and Capucins. It is the first of its kind in France and started in 2016. Each of its cabins can transport up to 60 persons at the same time. A unique experience for next time as we were short on time on our typical one day flash.  The line C is here:

And more on Bibus network here:

For a relaxing moment and dwell into the local scene need to stop by the librarie Dialogue by the street , Square Mgr Roull and into the rue Louis Pasteur and the shopping artery rue de Siam. A local independent library started here in 1976 and now elsewhere even Paris. Wonderful choices and loving local care for the avid readers; more here:

Can’t missed even for sentimental reasons, the Church or église Saint Louis de Brest. It is now build in modern style as was reconstructed after WWII (1953-1958) on the ruins of the old Church Saint Louis built between 1686 and 1785, and consecrated to King Louis IX or Saint Louis. The Catholic site here:

Then, right next to it you find the wonderful Halles Saint Louis or covered market St Louis. A must on any visit to the city for the local ambiance, the goodies from the French countryside, and the history. They are open Tuesdays to Fridays from 8h30-13h30 and 16h to 19h30, Saturdays from 8h-14h and 16h to 19h30, and Sundays from 8h to 13h; completely renovated in 2016, more in French here on local site with presentation of merchants:

The shopping paradise of the rue de Siam is enormous and always vibrant with great ambiance, a shopper’s delight. You have the big square Liberty where Christmas market is held, and the city hall or hotel de ville next to it the nice Ciné Liberté; the boys had tried one movie here and it was nice if you have time or an overnight stay. All transports from taxis, buses, and trams passes by here. More here:

As we love to shop, we can’t avoid going to the Centre Commercial Espace Jaurés on rue de Siam; you have it all even a Printemps Paris store branch, and FNAC, and of course Burger King ! It has 3 levels ,parking and dedicated space for children. We love it because we gathered some sales of up to 50% off and had a nice old style lunch at BK lol!!! More on the shopping center here:

Of course, Burger King is from Florida USA, and so are we so we have to tried them all over and my born in the USA boys loves them. We had to come in for a late lunch before heading home so we did try the Burger King here up the rue de Siam it changes into the rue Jean Jaures right on the shopping Espace Jaurés. In our opinion, the staff was slow and smallist one, not the right feeling, there are other betters ones like in Vannes nearer us. The usual load came to 11€ per person with desserts included. More on this one here:

Still walking, on our way back we stop by the train station or Gare de Brest as an anecdote for the travelers reading the blog as us never take trains here. It’s a nice complex with plenty of restaurants and parking; and a modern station,now with staring in July 2nd, faster service to Paris saving 1h25 in time! More here:

and the local TER trains site on the same station here:

Right next to it is the Gare Routiére or bus terminal. Here is more at the transports site for dept 29 Finistére(in Breton Penn-ar-Bed) :

And we of course, got our baguette at La Fournée à Brest ,more here:

And we did some shopping well the other half did for a whopping amount lol!! got a pant and blouse both at 50% off !!! at Eurodif store on same street. This is a nice store we had at Versailles and near us now at Lorient, and Vannes, so we try the one in Brest and it was the same good products, good prices and friendly local service; recommended.  Deco, table items, bedrooms, baths, curtains,lingerie and housewear, accessories, children, and woman clothings. More on the Brest store here:

And all, a nice outing with the family on this long weekend, tomorrow is Presidential election day in France and I will be doing my civic duty here and then football/soccer Real Madrid plays Granada,and Monday is a holiday celebrating end of WWII Victory Day 1945 so off ::)

Enjoy your weekend wherever you are and happy travels, life is beautiful,la vie est belle, la Dolce vita, La vida es chula !!! Cheers

Brest Brest Brest Brest Brest Brest Brest

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: