Archive for April 18th, 2019

April 18, 2019

The beaches of Carnac!

Ok so the world knows this town and Unesco recognised because of the megalith stones that abound here and more on another post. However, we come here literally for the beaches and the ambiance in good weather. Sometimes even in bad weather for the ambiance in the restos/bars. The town is great and well known in France and Europe especially UK who in summer months are all over.

I like to tell you a bit more than on my other posts on Carnac that were of a general nature and specifically tell you about the beaches here. Enjoy it , good season is coming soon. Therefore, a break from the wonderful monuments of my belle France!

It’s a splendid beach area just 32 km or so (about 19 miles) from my home. Carnac is known for its megalithes stones, however, the things that attacts me here is the beach life, and restos with terraces along the beaches ,and the nightlife well at least to mingle in the restos but my sons love it ::).  The drive is very nice along quaint villages ,and the main entry from my side of Auray is the Carnac bourg, this is what is considered the city center , usually where the church (more on this one on another post too) and mayor’s office is located. It has a nice central plaza with restos all around it ,and an escape from the more bustle at the beach or Carnac plage. You follow the signs for Les Plages, and you reach the area of beaches known as Carnac plage.  Here is  one beach after the other, my favorites are Ty Bihan, Légenèse, and the Grande Plage (main central beach). There is also, St Colomban,Beaumer , Pô, and Men Du.




There is the Grand Plage, here its just a big semi circle of wooded secluded beaches great for surfing and families. For info the tourist season here is from first weekend  in July to last weekend of August included. Every day from 13h- 19h there is lifeguard on duty. You have dressing, showers and WC available. Plage St Colomban, further west  and the best place for surfing ,and belly planchers.  Plages de Beaumer , Pô, and Men Dù,  these are in the small ilots of île de Stuhan and link by a narrow sand dune in the water at high sea ,where we can discover a natural alley at sea. The beaches of Légénes and Ty Bihan are very nice too,  there are west of the Yacht Club, small beaches in comparison  but very nice indeed. In between all there is Port du Pô, a nice harbor where you can attained the beaches and have some good food looking at the sea.   Kids activities including learn to swim (special inflatable mini pools )  is available and supervise by certified instructors.





The food is plenty and would be unfair to just name a few, however, for something different head for the Kreiz An Avel, at 1 ave de la Chapelle, in the port du Pô area of Carnac, great seafood and pizzeria in two different legal entities , resto with Kreiz An Avel and pizzas with Pizza Baia. Same owners , they are in roundabout facing the harbor. We try for lunch the pizzas with canard, chorizos, and hams, with banana splits, ice cream, and creme brulée à coconut; with pints of beers pelforths. The price is right for a tourist area, the food was great, good company as we found British tourists who had come there the day before and like it a lot. The resto was full but always rotating with tables available and 3 servers. For a first impression , bit slow , but again very popular with locals and tourists alike.


It was time to eat again, and we came back to our favorite at the Memes Tra,(now under new ownership as the Lulu à la plage brasserie) just as good and across the beach at Grande Plage, and very close to the shopping area behind it , the food is delicious, we gang up on mussels is the season, curry and garlic sauces combination with delicious homemade fries, grimbergen beers, and more banana splits, Breizh gourmand (coffee with small breton cakes like far breton etc), and Quebec cup of ice cream different flavors.


We hit Saint Colombard beach early  to avoid traffic and potential bad weather as can change quickly here ,we never know even with local forecasts its not a perfect science.


We did walk into the bunker (St Colombard beach)  that I wanted to do last time so this is a remnant from WWII, and still there rusting away but still there.  We again saw the kids activities early on with learning to swim and all in an inflatable pool! The rocks or reefs onto the beach is a sight to see, and the white sandy beach was a delight.


The official tourist office for Carnac is at webpage  Tourist office of Carnac on beaches

There is a petit train or little train service, that takes you around the city and into nearby La Trinité sur Mer. More here: The Petit Train of Carnac


For a great ice cream go to L’Igloo just a block from the Grande Plage or big beach, superb , our family would come here just for that! More here: Tourist office of Carnac on the L’Igloo ice creams

For a quick coffee, the lotto tickets, magazines, newspaper, and the must stamp, we had the opportunity to visit it especially for the lottery and newspaper this friendly Bar Tabac Le Marigny, very close to the beach, more here: Tourist office of Morbihan on le Marigny bar tabac in French

If staying longer periods and need grocery shopping there is on Super U right by the beaches area more info here: Super U Carnac ave des Druides

Like I said, the beaches of Carnac are glorious, the time of the year to be out every day, unfortunately we work here (really we do ::)) but on weekend is fantastic. Hope you enjoy it too.

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

April 18, 2019

Monument to Chambord, Ste. Anne d’Auray!

Let me take you to an off the beaten path site in a very popular town of my Morbihan breton in Brittany. This is in the city of Sainte Anne d’Auray near me where I past by several times a week. I have written briefly on it in several posts but feel deserves a post of its own, therefore ,here it is for you.  Enjoy it for the history of it, usually only written by the victors.

I will tell you a bit more on the Monument to the Count of Chambord!

The monument statue to the Count of Chambord, Duke of Bordeaux   . This is in honor of the support the count of Chambord had for Brittany.  The monument to the Count of Chambord was erected in 1891 in Sainte Anne d’Auray , in memory of Henri d’Artois, claiming the Crown of France as Henri V.

Saint Anne d'auray

A bit of history I like

During the attempt to restore Henri V, a pilgrimage was organized by the royalists of western France at Sainte Anne d’Auray to pray for the King’s return to the throne. The latter is maintained every year on 29 September, the anniversary of the birth of the Prince, until his death in 1883. As a result of this, a subscription is launched and allows to acquire the land as well as built the  five statues. On 20 February 1889, a civil society, known as the “Société de Saint-Henri”, was created for the purpose of the erection and maintenance of a Memorial of Monsieur Le Comte de Chambord. This group buys the land destined for the monument which is finally realized in 1891. A wall and a grid are installed in 1897, but the originally planned garden does not see the day, due to lack of sufficient funding until 2012.

The annual pilgrimage, more or less abandoned after WWI, was revived in 1983 at the initiative of the Union of Legitimized Circles of France. In 2012, the monument was restored and the garden finally realized. On 31 May 2015, Prince Louis de Bourbon, Duke of Anjou and Burgundy (heir king as Louis XX) and his wife Princess Marie-Marguerite went there during a ceremony organized in their tribute, on the occasion of their official visit to the Morbihan. And I follow up!

saint auray d'auray

The monument is located in near of the Basilica of Sainte-Anne d’Auray, about 700 meters to the west,direction Brech,  the monument consists of a summary statue in cast iron of the Count of Chambord, depicted on his knees and in Sacred outfit, placed on a granite pedestal. At its four faces it has the two saint patrons of France and Paris; Sainte Jeanne d’Arc in front and Sainte Geneviève in the back, as well as the two great heroes of the French chevalry, Bayard to the left and Du Guesclin to the right, all four standing.

A bit on who was the Count of Chambord as he is generally known.

Henri (born 29 September 1820) is the son of the Duke of Berry, murdered on 13 February 1820 by Louvel and the grandson of king Charles X. On August 2, 1830, Charles X abdicated in his favor, but Henri followed his grandfather in exile in England. His mother, Marie Caroline de Bourbon, attempted to raise an army in battle in the west of France in 1832 , her attempt fails. In 1833, Henri V was 13 years old and considered a adult. He followed king Charles X in exile in Prague after England. After the fall of the Empire in 1870, the legitimists Royals tried to impose the restoration of the Bourbons on the throne of France. This restoration failed because Henri categorically refused the Tricolor flag, prefering the White flag (Royal) to be use. With him disappears the eldest branch of the Bourbon.

As he is very much connected to the Castle of Chambord that was his once, there is a whole room on him there including his letter refusing the king’s title on the flag issue. I reproduce those photos here as it relates, the museum piece on the Count and the letter display. You can see my blog posts on Chambord here too. You can see his story there in remarkable personages page in English here: Chateau de Chambord

Some webpages to help you plan your trip and know more of it are

Official Count of Chambord site in French

Official Union of Legitimized Circles of France

Official Royal site on Prince Louis heir to be Louis XX king of France

There you go an interesting history of France that even today still has conversation talksin this neck of the woods, still Catholic and Royal. Hope you enjoy it, the monument to the Count of Chambord at Sainte Anne d’Auray.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

April 18, 2019

Church of Saint Gildas at Auray!

And why not staying in lovely Auray! in gorgeous Morbihan breton of the beautiful region of Brittany!  Again, this was my first town in Brittany so have plenty written on it in my blog. However, as usual need to tell you in specifics about the main things to see and the Church of St Gildas is one of them. 


The Sunday is sunny cool and windy so a perfect time to write about these beauties near me now.  The town has a lot to offer on history and architecture that is worth a detour.

Let me go into the Church of St Gildas, the main church in Auray.

The Church of St Gildas owes its name to a 12C priory which depends on the Benedictine abbey of the Rhuys Peninsula. It was conceived at the site of the old priory of which combines medieval and baroque styles. The work started in 1623 ,it bears the date of 1636 on the three gables and was consecrated in 1641 ,but is only completed in 1663. The steeple of the three-story square tower was however only completed in 1701, and rebuilt in 1832.

auray ch st gildas front jan19

The Church is built saddle an elongated plan, with non-protruding transept. The nave consists of three aisles. The western facade consists of a three-level steeple tower surmounted by an octagonal lantern. The south façade is remarkable for its Renaissance-style porch, with three levels with twin columns on the first two levels and a triangular pediment in which the saint’s niche is located. The nave has a level of large arcades resting on columns that rise up to the coffered vault whose double arches are resting on carved bases. The aisles are vaulted in cradle, separated by double arches. The crossing of the transept also receives a vouûte with a cross-box of warheads. The flat choir, vaulted also with caissons, is adorned with a large altarpiece. It dominates the whole city, and will serve as a model in the region.   This Church is a sober building, except for the two porches of Renaissance and Baroque style.


Inside you can admire a recently restored 16C Christ-recumbent. The imposing altarpiece of the high altar is in Levallois style and dates from 1657.   The vault is adorned with painted boxes and at the bottom, in the Tribune, the organ of Waltrin dates from 1761.   The whole dates from the 17C 18C, 19C and Baroque style .Located at Place Gabriel Deshayes in the upper town.

auray ch st gildas altar far jan19


Santa Barbara ou Sainte Barbe


Auray ch st gildas tombeau de Christ aug12



Again not much said in the tourist office on it as they concentrate on the heavily touristic lower town of St Goustan. The Auray tourist office in general is here: Tourist office of Auray

Tourist office of Brittany on Auray

Enjoy the upper town tour of Auray and the Church of Saint Gildas. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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