Archive for April 21st, 2019

April 21, 2019

Lorient , a nice sailing harbor!

Well now the weather is on sunny days and nice even high of 24C under the sun , it seems Spring is getting ready.  I have come to this town often close to me and the sub prefecture of the Morbihan dept 56 .  It really not well known off the beaten path even if has nice things to see especially as it relates to the sea. The city of Lorient means in breton An Oriant or the Orient as the companies that sail to the new world ,the Americas were done here and across the bay at Port Louis.

Lorient was heavily damaged during WWII about 80% of it destroyed. It was an important nazi submarine base from which they prowl the Atlantic sinking allied ships. The base is still there , today use for better things. city webpage  https://patrimoine.lorient.bzh/histoire/

lorient

lorient

lorient

You then go next door in the beautiful sailing boats harbor of Lorient home of many sailing competitions, and the great champion Eric Tabarly. He ,with sponsors created a place call the Cité de Voilé Eric Tabarly. This is an impressive building with all you need to know about sailings boats, models, sea maps, interactive sailing boat class, films, pictures,and guides, all around and inside the sailing world. The boats are magnificent starting with the front door black  boat in front that you can climb inside with the purchase ticket, and the sailing boat tower to see all the harbor of Lorient. Huge interactive ,display museum of sailing interesting for the whole family. Webpage:   https://www.citevoile-tabarly.com/en

lorient

lorient-ent-inside-cite-eric-tabarly-sep12

lorient

lorient

We have been here before, but as there is so much to see here, sometimes you need to come back for more lol! The place Aristide Briand where the FNAC store (which my boys shop enormously!) is where the gare d’échanges for the bus terminal and the narrow streets full of shops and restos are vibrant always especially on Saturdays. The whole town is there it seems. The marina of pleasure boats just as impressive as the harbor of sailing boats,and the passenger terminal to go to île de Groix (sublime at the Atlantic ocean) across the bay with the compagnie Océane, webpage : https://www.compagnie-oceane.fr/en/node/2

lorient gare maritime pass entr jul13

lorient

A nice way to do some walking around beautiful sailing boats,and past the afternoon with the family, while looking into some historical facts of our past to serve as learnings not to repeat them in the future. Enjoy renovated Lorient, only about 30 minutes from my house. If you like the sea ,then this town is for you. Remember to search in my blog for more posts on Lorient!

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

April 21, 2019

A paradise found, La Trinité sur Mer!!!

It never cease to amaze me of the gems we have in my belle France, and my beautiful Brittany just needs to be seen more. I am always wondering where to go as always a difficult decision here. However, going to La Trinité sur Mer is sublime. This is heavens for boaters, but a great leisure day can be spend here, more if you decide to partake the wonderful beaches here.

I have written about La Trinité sur Mer  before in my posts. So this is a recap with some common information. To start ,I always look up the tourist office ,the office is just before reaching the Casino on the wharfs, webpage http://www.ot-trinite-sur-mer.fr/en/default.aspx   ,then for bit more on transports I take a look at the city mayor’s site , let me tell you by TIM bus line 1  Auray-Carnac-Quiberon ,you can connect from Paris Montparnasse to Auray and there take this bus to LTM. Of course, we come by car , off the N165 expressway exit on D28  dir St Philbert, and find easy free parking at Place du Voulien (except market days), Stade de la Vigie, Le Poulbert by rue du Men Du,dir Carnac, and Le Men Du by the beach.   There is a small parking above the main street Kermogat.

la trinite sur mer

The highlights for me here other than seeing the boats, and walking the upper city hilly street all with beautiful views of the bay below is to eat or beach activities.  There is a great bridge over the harbor, pont de Kerister, and a nice resto A l’etage just by the end of the marina with good food and great views; upper floor with a cold one lazy outlook you can spend several hours there lol!!!  This site in French but nice picture tells you of the bridge of Kerister the new one from 1956 but was initially conceptualise by Gustave Eiffel (you know him!). http://locmariaquer.info/f221_%20le%20pont%20de%20Kerisper.htm

la trinite sur mer

Oh yes the beaches, well give the names, port Men Allen,Kerbihan, Kervillen (the best), and Le Men Du. The tourist office tells you more about them,  http://www.ot-trinite-sur-mer.fr/en/les-plages.aspx

This is a webpage that I always look when looking for beaches to go here Plages TV, have it on La Trinité sur Mer: https://en.plages.tv/seaside-resorts/la-trinite-sur-mer-56470

Some further info on the beaches here:

Plage du Port, is a small sandy beach exposed to the East, located along the side trail with green surroundings. It is the closest to the city center, and the view stretches from the Kerisper bridge to the channel’s exit. It is accessible only from the coastal path sentier des douaniers.

The beach of Plage du Men-Dû  is a fine sandy beach facing South. It’s shallow. It makes the joy of bathers at high tide, and the joy of wading and fishing by foot on shallow waters at low tide. In the center, dominates the island of Stuhan (l’île de Stuhan). At low seas, this islet is connected to landside by a strip of sand, called tombolo. Parking with direct access allows you to reach the beach by car with ease. In July and August, a free mini bus, circulating on the town, serves this beach. At the same time, it has a Beach Club, which also provides surveillance. It is equipped with public toilets. Pets are not allowed. A bar-restaurant is located close to the beach.

la trinite sur mer

The beach of Kervillen or plage de Kervillen (good one ok) is a fine sandy beach facing South. A parking nearby with direct access to the beach makes it possible to get there by car with convenience. In July and August, a free mini-bus circulating on the town serves this beach. It is ideal for swimming at any time of the tide, and safely. In July and August, it has a rescue station (SNSM very good folks) open from 13h30 to 19h. A seahorse armchair for people with reduced mobility is available. It is equipped with a slipstream for small navigation gear (light sail). On site, public toilets. Family-run, it hosts a Beach Club in July and August. Pedalos (pedal boats) ,and kayaks rentals are also possible at this time. Dogs are not allowed. A restaurant and bar with direct access overlooks it and offers food and beverages at any time.

La trinite sur mer

There is a funny petit train or little train ride that takes you into the hilly parts of La Trinité sur Mer and the harbor front up to nearby Carnac. A nice quick way to see the main points,and giving you time to come back to see more in depth later on. You get on it at La Trinité Sur Mer by the cours des quais along the marina; webpage:  https://www.petittrain-carnac.com/carnac?language=en

la trinite sur mer

You to go to this resto A l’Etage , you can start here for an apéro drink before meal or the whole thing, one of my favorite there, great views and great company ,Yelp has some info on the resto here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/l-etage-la-trinit%C3%A9-sur-mer-2

la trinite sur mer

la trinite sur mer

For lunch, you can try another favorite ,the Créperie Le Goeland, just in front of harbor marina on main street, men du, and it is on a second floor, you entered to a stair in beton  up to the upper level by the parking La Vergie and turn left, its just about 25 meters ,and the entrance its there. Very good food, although the portions a bit small, sausages and cheese galettes, ham and cheese galette, with poire hélene and banana split desserts and half a bottle of sauvignon white wine from Touraine(Loire); expresso coffee, was the last euros given here! .Webpage on tourist office:  http://www.ot-trinite-sur-mer.fr/fr/restaurants-la-trinite-creperie-le-goeland-e121-l1-r908.aspx

la trinite sur mer

Another place I do frequent and buy when I visit really early is the fish market, all fressssh off the boats and very nicely and cleanly done, they can even cook it for you on the spot!!! Yummy seafood from Brittany, the best in France for sure. They are the Halle aux Poissons,open every mornings,and another foody ,veggie, clothings type flea market that is on in summers only ,Foodies on Tuesdays and all types on Fridays mornings from 8h to 13h by the Place du Voulien continuing towards the rue du Douet. But hurry up as they are to begin remodeling the whole area on September 2019 and the fish/food market won’t open until Summer 2020. More info on the market in the city page in French here: https://www.la-trinite-sur-mer.fr/vie-quotidienne/marches/marches-de-la-trinite-sur-mer-et-de-sa-region/

la trinite sur mer

la trinite sur mer

There is a nice grocery store right in town such as Carrefour City, and other specialize food stores. Carrefour is a chain, and there you will find the best prices for your in house food,sundry items. It is on your way from the center towards the Casino, on your left hand side, webpage https://www.carrefour.fr/magasin/city-la-trinite-sur-mer

There you go folks, another gem in my background.  I am only 26 km or about 16 mi from me, and it is a delight at any time. La Trinité sur Mer is really a Trinity!! Enjoy it

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

 

April 21, 2019

Sarzeau castles and oysters!

Staying in my beautiful Morbihan in my lovely Brittany of my belle France let me tell you a bit more on a nice area we like. I have to say as many here do with pride, this is the only administrative department of France that the name is not French! You will be in Dept 56 Morbihan or in French would be Petite Mer, small sea. This is what is call in Breton language, Mor=sea bihan=small. And you should know my lovely Brittany is Bretagne in French but in local Breton is Breizh!

Now you come into the Presqu’île de Rhuys or the Rhuys peninsula to visit the nice small town of Sarzeau. The most known castle here ,Suscinio, and resident of the Dukes of Brittany had a separate page in my blog. I give that link here for ease of search in my blog: My blog post on the Chateau de Suscinio

Sarzeau has several islands which are administratively attached to it such as the Isle of Ouefs, Godec Island, Stibiden Island, Govihan Island, and Brannec island.  Sarzeau is limited to the west by the towns of Arzon and Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys, to the northeast by that of Saint-Armel and to the southeast by that of the Tour-du-Parc; To the north by the Gulf of Morbihan and to the south by the Atlantic Ocean. With more than 65 km of coastline, Sarzeau is one of the towns of Brittany and even France that have the longest coastline!!

Area Tourist office of Gulf of Morbihan on Sarzeau

sarzeau

However, the area has plenty of castles , unfortunately most are private, still in old families descendants or partially open by reservation or in Summer. And we keep missing them by traveling outside the area in those months! So when we try this past Saturday , it was more of the same lol!  Let me just give you a couple of examples

The Château or Castle of Kerlevénan is built in the late 18C, by 1780, the Castle, built in the classical style was restored in the 19C in the Italian taste. Chinese pavilion, family Chapel and English garden/ park. All done on behalf of Marie-Joseph-Armand de Gouvello, Lord of Keriaval, Kelevenan, Kerhar, Kerbot and Kerlen. Born in 1747, he married in the same year 1780, Catherine-Charlotte de Peyrac, a native of Santo Domingo. He is a member of the Court by the order of nobility, in the States of Brittany of 1788. He emigrated from the French revolution in Augsburg, Bavaria, and then to Brighton, Sussex, England. The castle is sold as a national property during its exile. Under the restoration of the monarchy, the castle is bought by his son who had also, emigrated with his parents in Bavaria and England, then in Italy (see post on the Hotel de Limur of Vannes) heir to the Castle, the founding son of the rural senior rest homes of Kerhar and Kerbot, in Sarzeau, near the Castle of Kerlevénan. He is a legitimist Royal member of the Morbihan from 1871 to 1876, President of the society of patronage of the agricultural orphanages of France, Honorary President of the society of Breton rescuers and of the Board of Directors of the École Saint-François-Xavier in Vannes. The castle is open every day from July 1st to September 15th, except on Wednesdays, from 14h to 18h, and by appointment from October 1st to June 30th. Which we always missed lol! Contact tel for reservations is +33 0) 2 97 26 46 79.

Tourist office of Dept 56 Morbihan on Kerlevenan castle

Tourist office of the Area Gulf of Morbihan on Kerlevenan castle

Tourist office of Brittany on Kerlevenan castle

Sarzeau

The Château or Castle of Truscat, is from 1702, revamped towards 1830 at the site of a Manor of the 16C, after 1850, the works of embellishment were carried out. The Chapel is built between 1625 and 1630. The castle is in the middle of a beautiful park on the edge of the Gulf of Morbihan with centuries-old trees. It belongs to the descendants of the Francheville family for more than five centuries. In 1815, General Bernadotte, the future King of Sweden (and from which Royal line is today) , presided over the feast of the pacification. A friend of Jules de Francheville, Frédéric Ozanam often stayed there. A private property is not visit. Even with call for reservation.

sarzeau

Both of these castles have to be seen up close otherwise the park property is too far to be seen from closeup. Kerlevenan can be seen a bit from the road D780 that goes into the peninsula but rather fast difficult for pictures.

However, one thing we enjoy coming to the town itself of Sarzeau and the coastal area is the precious oysters, one of the best and produce , taste, sold and eaten locally!!! We shop at one property that we were just this morning

The Nurserie of the Gulf-Spiru’Breizh is the 1st connected growing of oysters of France. Tasting of oysters refined to the fresh Spiru’Marine produced on site and appetizers ‘ Triskel.  From Wednesday to Sunday, terrace laid out on the sea and privatise area for all your events (seminar, wedding, birthday…). A magical place, a remarkable site. Open from April.  Visit of the farm from 11h to 12h with guide or interactive (children quiz): 5€ at Pointe de Benance, city limits of Sarzeau on the water!

Official La Nurserie du Golfe

Area tourist office Gulf of Morbihan on the Nursery of the Gulf oysters!

sarzeau

sarzeau

sarzeau

The whole area is full of awesome seafood of course and many more all over the place along the coast. However, we like to stick with the one we first like and continue the patronage , it is always appreciated. For other choices here is the tourist office

Area tourist office Gulf of Morbihan on oyster farming

You all come here you hear this is the best time before the real hot weather and crowds come in, well they are already here but later will be busier indeed.  Presqu’ile de Rhuys ok. This is the third most visited region of France ,Brittany, after Ile de France ,and PACA/provence, but , also, the least publisized for foreign visitors still. You will have a lot of off the beaten path places to see and enjoy.

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

 

 

April 21, 2019

The ramparts fortifications of Hennebont!

And I am back at you on lovely close by Hennebont in my lovely Morbihan of my beautiful Brittany in my belle France ::) So much beauty to see again no wonder is No 1 visited country in the world and since 1949! Let me bring you a bit closer to this nice town and its beauties, you can see my other posts on Hennebont as well in my blog.

You must see the ramparts, placed at the old fortification of the times of duke Jean I (13C). Overcoming many wars such as the one of the succession of Brittany and the war of the league in 1590. The towers crown the corners at four cardinal points ,now only 3 remained, Tour St Nicolas (at south side), Tour des Carmes,(north east side), and the fortified porte or door at the east side, built before the 14C.  This last one, known as  Porte Broërec’h, the entry door to the enclosed city is flanked by two twins towers link by a bridge conserving the machinary of the raising bridge. A round walkway is seen on top of the towers whre great views of the city can be seen today.

hennebont

hennebont

La Porte Broêrec’h ,  is a defensive work to serve tower to tower the guards of the prison that it was  with room for the homeless and finally a museum; one of the richest in the department on the Breton Arts. Most of the rooms were destroyed on the Nazi bombardment of August 7 1944. today, the Tours Broêrec’h house in its ten rooms a museum of arts and traditions. Open from June 1st to 30 September from 10h30 -12h30 and  13h30 to 18h30. More info here:  http://www.musee-hennebont.fr/#

Hennebont

This urban enclosure is a set of fortification elements built around the fortified town of Hennebont. It is raised from the last third of the 13C. These ramparts know several changes over the centuries: modernizations in the 14C, 16C and in the 20C. Preserved for nearly 900 meters, it is the second largest in the Dept 56 of Morbihan.

A bit of history I like

In the 6C, the building of the first fortifications to control the passage of the Blavet river.  In the 11C a mound is reinforced by the Lords ofo Kemenet-Héboé on one located on the right bank of the Blavet river. Later in the 13C dismantling of the first feudal mound and construction of the current fortifications as a fortified town  by the order of John I Le Roux. In August 1264, mention of “lamote de Henbont” in an Act passed between Hervé de Léon and Pierre de Bretagne. It is on this occasion that prohibition is made for the descendants of the signatories to  do a fort castle at this place. After 1270, the Duke of Brittany Jean Le Roux dismantled the old feudal motte and built fortifications on the left bank of the Blavet river. By 1342 the city is besieged twice but without success, by Charles de Blois during the war of Succession of the Duchy of Brittany. In 1590, the Prince of Dombes tries to seize the city. This was resumed shortly thereafter by his rival, the Duke of Mercoeur. In the 14C  to the 16C, modernizations of the ramparts to adapt to the evolution of the canons.  On August 7, 1944, allied bombardment touches part of the ramparts.

hennebont

hennebont

 

Today, it is a place of walk by locals and visitors alike, very pleasant nice views indeed ,that we enjoy very much, it runs along the rue Trottier, bordered by beautiful landscaped spaces at the foot of the Tour de St. Nicolas. You can go back from the Blavet river to the fortified gate dating from the end of the 14C, the Porte Broërec’h, entrance to the walled city. It is a monumental door backed by two twin towers connected by a courting. There are still traces of the old drawbridge. To the northeast still remains the Tour des Carmes.  These vestiges show that Hennebont had a great military importance at the time.

hennebont

hennebont

Very nice pretty and historical area not to say more of the architecture. Here are some webpages to help you plan your trip here

Tourist office of the Lorient south Brittany area on Hennebont

Tourist office of Brittany on Hennebont

Indeed worth a detour and see my other posts on nice Hennebont. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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