Brest for the seaman in all of us!!!

Again, my saga of updating old posts in my blog sometimes going back to 2011, I bring you to Brest and updating revising post from 2014. This post will have some photos of that time. Hope you enjoy this update of Brest and of course, take a look at my newer posts on this wonderful city by the sea in my lovely Bretagne.

We have been here before ,and kept good memories, even visited in Christmas time. We came back to Brest in the Finistére breton today, just back from it.  We were celebrating my oldest birthday!  We rode the 166 km from our home and made in about 2 hrs, by car on the N165 all the way and went into the city to park underground at the Place de la Liberté, right in the thick of things (that is my father walking ahead as usual he is the expert lol!) . Once before we had parked off street by the Place Wilson, automatic parking meter with credit/debit  card allowed. We came back down towards the gardens overlooking the harbor of Brest.

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We decided to spent more time here so we stayed for one night at the inexpensive ibis hotel outside the city  by Plougastel -Daoulas as we had a car, it was easy in and out, in fact, we love the car ::)  The rate  was  great at 35€ per night, and as we were only there for shower and sleep kept the price right for five  persons.  https://all.accor.com/hotel/5042/index.en.shtml#origin=ibis

We have been to the monuments and you can see those posts, this trip we highlighted the other things to do!

There is a nice shopping center up rue de Siam  and onwards to rue Jean Jaurés along the tramway tracks with bilevels of loaded nice stores and the Anchor across the street link by an overpass hall is the Au Printemps dept store of Paris fame. However, we came here for the FNAC stores for the boys ….and to our pleasant surprise the new Burger King had openned just next to it !!! Niveau 2 (level 2), 65 Rue Jean Jaurès. Webpage: https://www.burgerking.fr/restaurant/brest-jean-jaures

The centre commercial Cour de Jaurés: https://www.coeurdejaures.com/

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We did shop at our favorite Armand Thiery store for men, and grab some more gifts, and then my dear late wife Martine got a nice Hexagona bag at the Pavillon de la Maroquinerie at 44 rue de Siam ;  very nice brands and good prices here, ours was 50% off ::) The boys went on to Dock Games on rue de Siam. And Lacoste store as well , all on the same street and close by, a shopper’s paradise. The centre commercial Coat Ar Gueven was another stop for the shopping family away from home! http://www.coatargueven.com/Presentation.html

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And oh well, we needed to eat, oh yes, that is what we came here to do , my oldest 23 birthday and he been such a humble guy pick the old Au Bureau ,when there first we ate at Au Bureau, 10 rue de Siam as well . Last time had a Juicy burgers, the fish and chip and the camembert roti with desserts from coupe giante of 6 scoops of ice cream to banana split, with plenty of leffe blonde beers was for 24 euros per person.  And as so often happened when visiting and not coming back soon even if we live close ….. the restaurant had change ownership, now call the Rest Au Pub; however, pretty much same menu ambiance, and friendly service.  This time under the new name , we got the 9 scoops of ice cream dish back upon request!!! and of course he had his Triple burger with a nice bottle of Saumur Champigny,  red  2013 Les Longes (in memory of the great school of cavarly Cadre Noir of Saumur). webpage: https://www.facebook.com/RestAuPub/?rf=831895263565461

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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.

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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: https://cfi-brest.snsm.org/

We passed by the Castle this time, a wonderful structure and even better Marine Museum that we have spoked about in posts after. More on it here:  http://www.musee-marine.fr/brest

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:https://www.bibus.fr/fr/se-deplacer/nos-modes-transport/telepherique-ligne-c

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.  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.

We came back to city center and the shopping paradise of the rue de Siam 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 Hôtel de Ville next to it the nice Ciné Liberté; (now part of Pathé Gaumont chain of cinemas) 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: https://www.cinemaspathegaumont.com/cinemas/cinema-multiplexe-liberte

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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: https://www.librairiedialogues.fr/

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Still walking…., we stop by the train station or Gare de Brest as an anecdote for the travelers reading the blog, we are the road warrior family but do take public transport as in France! 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: https://www.garesetconnexions.sncf/fr/gare/frbes/brest

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 of course, got our baguette at La Fournée à Brest .Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/lafourneeabrest/

And we needed to eat a heartier meal so looking at the  A l’Aise Breizh Café at the port moulin blanc by the port de plaisance or pleasure boats marina just right as you get out of oceanopolis. Great as always here, great burgers, desserts like banana splits, bottle of rose de provence Real, and coffees for 25 euros per person. We have visited the one in Vannes too. More here: http://www.alaisebreizhcafe.com/v2/index.php/plans-d-acces

Coming back home passing  Plougastel-Daoulas on the country roads without number you reach wonderful inner beautiful areas in real country! Leading direction La Croix Neuve  you go direction Kerougar and then see signs for the harbor of Keralliou with beautiful views of the passage to Brest at sea and the bridges of Albert Louppé and l’Iroise (N165 road).. There are plenty of Oyster harvesters here for that wonderful direct purchase  from the Cooperative of Les Hûitres de Keraliou/Les Viviers. You come back on same road but at the small hilly traffic circle you turn right direction Kernisi. Here there is a Natural Reserve park of Kernisi and a great lookout point into the bay of Brest and the boats!!! Gorgeous views walking along a path facing the harbor of Brest across water, wooded area and hilly, stony; good shoes and good health a must. The wonders of my Bretagne!

And we continue on towards home with another wonderful outing in our lovely Bretagne, and this time the big city by the sea of Brest. Hope you enjoy the ride, the update and do come in for a visit all worth it.

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

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