Archive for January 26th, 2021

January 26, 2021

Presqu’île de Rhuys and Port du Crouesty!

Ok this is another of my glorious updates/revisions in my blog. Just having a blast going back to these wonderful memories of always, especially in 2017, the last year we had the entire family. It is nice happy and sad as I know now my dear late wife Martine is not with us physically anymore. This was one of her favorite areas of our Morbihan. It was a rainy day in the Presqu’île de Rhuys peninsula, but no need to stay home with the place pack with tourists and the beaches restos loaded and of course traffic is well heavy with top black colored rating. We cut across the coastal roads and avoided the traffic so again we went out to one of our favorite places.

We like the peninsula because they have a laidback beach/ocean ambiance, nice natural settings, historical sometimes, and nice seafood restos/bars to just relax and see the world. This is the case for the Presqu’île de Rhuys and it’s star spot the Port du Crouesty.  We went out on our fast motorway/expressway the N165 direction Nantes and got off the exit for Sarzeau following the signs always for it until past it you see Port du Crouesty. First thing you see is the nice Casino JOA of Arzon, the town of which the port is part of.  Great for sporting events on TV, nice drinks and relax ambiance without careful not to spend your mortgage…!

Arzon is a small nice town with a quaint city center/downtown and Church that you can see the belltower from the harbor marina of Crouesty.

We passed this time by Sarzeau, a medium size town for our area with a quant city center/downtown and some interesting market we stop by on our merry go around ways in our area. You are well worth the stop at Le Comptoir Breton for all kinds of locally made goodies from food items to souvenirs. Open every day you can stop by the store or order online.

The next town you should visit is Saint Gildas de Rhuys , this is a bit bigger town , and you have nice quant local markets to buy goodies such as the Spar Supermarket.  Spar is a general grocery market very much in coastal areas which we have tried in several spots all over France. We went around St Gildas one of the oldest town in the area, and it has full of nice beaches and a great abbey (see post).

The best beach at St Gildas for the wild look at it and nice dunes is  plage du Goh Vélin beach , this a vast beachfront wild with nice rocks and the impressive Pointe du Grand Mont rocky overlook nice above it. For the rocky mount Grand Mont is a medium effort walkers route all bordering the beaches and also a bit inland into the marshes.

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Another better beach we like around this area is the Kerver beach or plage du Kerver.  This beach goes into the city limits of Arzon and Port du Crousty as well. It is very expansive white sand beach with plenty of water sports available and snacks beach hut across it. Simply a great family beach and safe waters too; highly recommended. Another nice family beach we like for the amenities, friendly services and great white sandy beach is Fogeo beach or Plage du Fogeo. There are beautiful views from the plage de Goh Vélin  into the outlaying’s islands of Houat and Hoedic and the Quiberon peninsula to the right.

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We finally arrive at our final destination in Port du Crouesty harbor marina, gorgeous area we have been here several times since arriving in the region and my boys enjoyed the tandem bicycle rides on the beaches! This is a huge marina with several sections, a wonderful lighthouse, great harbormaster and restaurant Le Cargo, carrousel rides for the kiddies, bike rentals (Abbis), boating rides, cruises, you name it On the water. It is surrounded by a long line of restaurants and shops all wonderful ::) we love to shop here and especially eat!!! There is a nice Notre Dame du Crouesty Chapel at the tip (it was here in 565 that it was found the intact body of Saint Gildas) , and from the marina promenade you can walk to the wonderful Miramar La Cigale thalassa spa.

We have eaten on several restaurants here ,all good. The last one this lunch was at the Crous’ty Pains bakery,at the place d’Artimon, one of the newest addition to the harbor marina area. The experience was great, big tuna sandwich, nice gourmet caramel filled and glaze cake, big bottle(50 cl) of orangina and a large coffee for 9,40€, good deal, excellent service, good well done for others had all kinds of sandwiches and cakes and it was all good. The merchant’s union has info on the resto here: http://www.ucaarzon.fr/crousty-pain.html

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You will see the nice Maison du Port or harbor house done for all kinds of events and activities with a nice seafaring architecture, and the Capitainerie or harbormaster building with the Le Cargo resto next to it and on top. You will see plenty of seafaring facades of homes and apartment building that gives it a nice quant old look and pleasant for walks at any time.  Again the rain was on and off but another nice outing in the Morbihan Breton, here water is not for discussion; we go out. Another wonderful spot in my Breton lands and you are all welcome to try it.

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The Gulf of Morbihan tourist board on Arzon in French: https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/explorer-vannes/decouvrir-vannes/golfe-morbihan/presquile-rhuys/arzon/

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist board on Sarzeau in French: https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/explorer-vannes/decouvrir-vannes/golfe-morbihan/presquile-rhuys/sarzeau/

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist board on St Gildas de Rhuys in French: https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/explorer-vannes/decouvrir-vannes/golfe-morbihan/presquile-rhuys/saint-gildas/

Enjoy the rest of your weekend wherever you are, and do visit the Presqu’île de Rhuys and its star the Port du Crouesty! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 26, 2021

Vannes , the market , the Cathedral and more!!!

ok so this must be made known, Vannes is market, Cathedral and a lot more! Locals know it well, outside visitors need to get here and find out the beautiful city. It is the capital of the Morbihan dept 56 of lovey Bretagne and my working town! Let me tell you about this update on it. Of course, a lot more posts on it and pictures in my blog.

I was walking around with a visitor friend from USA but lives in Mexico,  staying with us and of course we needed to visit some repeat locations but always wonderful to be in Vannes!

We walked by the ramparts and visit the tour connetable or constable tower as well as the laundry or lavoirs passing by the Porte or gate of Saint Vincent.  We went up to see the place Valencia and the house where Saint Vincent lived as well as the Two women faces of Vannes or Vannes et ces femmes in what is now the villa Valencia restaurant. All while passing the Cohue fine arts museum and chateau Gaillard archeological museum. Passing by Place Henri IV was great again with all its wooden houses always a pleasure to see. They go back to the 14C thru the 17C. Of course, we did see the Chateau de l’Hermine off the garden of the Garenne and back now doing expositions.

Of course ,not to missed the Le Port or harbor area and all the shops and restos;bars around there and up rue Saint Vincent into rue du lait and the place du poids public and place des Lices. 

The imposing great Cathedral St Peter or Cathédrale Saint Pierre safekeeping the tomb of Saint Vincent (Vicente Ferrer of Valencia , Spain), who evangelized this area in the early 1400’s.  In the Cathedral , you has to see the chapel of baptisms, holy sacrament, the tomb of Saint Vincent, mea beata Virgin Mary chapel, the wonderful organ that host many concerts.  The many beautiful chapels along its length inside including that of Sainte Anne, patron Saint of Brittany and who is celebrating the major pardon procession July 25-26 in Sainte Anne d’Auray (see post).

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Another reason to come to Vannes is it’s wonderful market on Saturday morning especially. You have the outdoor flea market going on all the way into place des lices and then the food market all around place du poids public and into rue le Hellec. Not the least the Halles aux Poissons of fish market and the many shops bordering this huge space of merry go around goodies, the best reason to live here!!!

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The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on Vannes in French: https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/explorer-vannes/decouvrir-vannes/golfe-morbihan/vannes/

The city of Vannes on its markets in French: https://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/marches/

Did I tell you I love Vannes? YES; and many posts to prove it, just do search and see them all. Plenty of information to make this your one stop Brittany visit. Kenavo!! That is au revoir in Breton! Good bye!

Short and sassy post, as so many written on Vannes. Just need to see it when possible. Looking forward to meeting you around here ! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

January 26, 2021

Plougastel Daoulas memories again in Finistére!

Well running around with a friend visiting from Mexico , took her to see this town and it took her as a pleasant surprise!! We have come here several times and even celebrated my boys birthday here! Always pleasant to be back under any excuse lol!

The town is Plougastel-Daoulas , the center of Strawberry in Brittany! You can see a museum on it. The beautiful Calvary and the nice Church of Saint Pierre (St Peter). See posts.  I am not going to go long on this one as have several posts on the town. You can search for it in my blog.

Needless , to say, the Calvary is one of the better ones in Brittany.  It was built between 1602 and 1604 as an offering for saving the town from the plague of 1598.

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The story of the restoration is a nice one me think.  On August 23, 1944 American bombs as they move their army from Brest partially destroyed the calvary with several statues completely destroyed. Here comes an American officer , John D. Skilton,  who was a conservator of a museum in Washington while a civilian and was present in Plougastel-Daoulas at the moment of the bombardment. He heroically saved several of the statues and stone and created back in the USA, the Plougastel Calvary Restoration Fund Inc , with the goal of raising funds to restore the Calvary. This was done !  

The webpage of the Asssociation of the 7 calvaries of Bretagne on Plougastel in English: http://www.7calvaires.fr/en/plougastel/

See ,also, the monument to the fallen on the Church and Calvary property dedicated to the fallen in previous wars of France. The Church Saint Pierre;(St Peter) , the Church was built in 1870 but damaged with the bombings of August 1944. It was restored by 1950. The Church has a nice rosary dating from 1654-1656 and an altar on top of a entombment of Christ from the 16C.

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The tourist office of Brest metropole on Plougastel-Daoulas in French: https://www.brest-metropole-tourisme.fr/decouvrir/actualites/plougastel-daoulas-45120

The Tourist office of Bretagne/Brittany on Plougastel-Daoulas etc in English: https://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/brest-terres-oceanes/presquile-de-plougastel-and-daoulas-abbey/

As said, this one would be a short one , plenty on Plougastel-Daoulas in my blog. Enjoy the ride into the Finistére, always fascinating at the end of the  World!

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

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January 26, 2021

Beautiful ,gorgeous Quimper!!!

This is what I mean of having so much around you to see and travel , sometimes we tend to think as a  family what to do ,and instead of going to new places we just settled down to go back to the previously seen beauties and close to home. This is the case of this city. I am updating from 2017 and hope you enjoy the beautiful, gorgeous Quimper!

The city of Quimper, in the Finistére dept 29 of Bretagne in my belle France.  We decided this Monday Ascension day off from work to go back to it just driving on the expressway N165 to it easy 1h27 from our home.  Of course, we come by car and park at our special parking Tour d’Auvergne . Right where a monument to the fallen was erected in 1908!  This monument was melted down by the nazis during the occupation of 1942; after the liberation, France gave the city a new monument that was put in place in 1958, the one now there.

We always come by car, but Quimper has an excellent public transport network, with a great gare or train station with TGV connection to Paris-Montparnasse and soon from July even faster. TER regional trains all over the area, as well as a great bus terminal or gare routiére next door with buses to nearby towns and far away like Paris! on Flexbus and Ouibus who have stops here. The local bus network is QUB. The closest airports are in Lorient or Brest. And do not forget the Celtic’Train or little train taken in front of the Cathedral. A good way to see the city in a hurry.

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We did a walk over to all the shops , resto and hotels we like. Of course, the hotels have not stayed but these are the ones we would if coming to the city for their charm and location. Plenty of posts on individual mentions below in my blog.

As an introduction let me tell you a bit of history I like

From writings dating from 1235 ,the life of Saint Corentin gives credit to the foundation of the city to a Gradlon around the 5 to 6C. king of the city of d’Ys, Gradlon would have it donated his castle in the confluents of the Odet river to the hermit Corentin to have built his Cathedral. This story or legend appeared again in the second book of the life of Saint Guénolé written by 880. Gradlon is the central personage in the legend of the city of d’Ys,sort of an Atlantis Breton, whereby its origins are lost in the oral celtique tradition. During the centuries that followed many writers have taken this myths to enrich the many variants of the story. A statue in horse of Gradlon is at the local museum of Breton arts or Musée Départemental Breton.

The city is cut thru by a Odet river,  and it has its history too; L’Odet (Oded in breton) is a river on the Breton coast of 62 km long that takes its source in the black mountains or Montagnes Noires at Saint-Goazec, in the area known as Yeun-ar-Vouster, and ends on the Atlantic ocean between Sainte-Marine and Bénodet (in breton Ben” = «river mouth » and therefore « river mouth of the Odet » (see post on Bénodet). It is wonderful to walk its quais along the river bank a local tradition.

Some of the wonderful things to see and enjoy here are

The Quimper covered market a wonderful building and good choices inside even if today was a holiday and not full, usually it is. It is known as the Les Halles  Saint François opened in 1847. The wonderful fish canning and food store of the Belle-île-en-Mer call the La Belle Iloise is here same square front of Cathedral. For wonderful breads and sweets not to missed anytime come to the chain and locally owned La Mie Caline, several stores in the city.  The store near the Odet river and the Halles Saint François is our favorite. 

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Our favorite store for souvenirs and local Breton food and drinks is La Trinitaine, here too in Quimper. Not far from covered market Saint-François. For overall wonderful gifts souvenirs and just useful Breton stuff come to the parvis of the Cathedral for the store L’Art de Cornouaille. Simply a bazaar of wonderful gadgets for the house and gift giving. The Paris famous and all over small dept Store for groceries, clothings, house items etc, you won’t go wrong shopping in Monoprix. By the river Odet not far from Cathedral and just across the river the tourist office of Quimper.

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For the ladies especially , my dear late wife Martine favorite flower shop in town, and great creations in a wooden house quaint building is Rosa Rosae 19, Rue Saint Mathieu near Church Saint Mathieu. For eating, we have tried some but the best for us is the Taverne des Halles, (which we came first under the name of taverne de maitre kanter!) once inside there are windows that let you see the covered market Saint François from above, nice, quaint, and good eating at reasonable prices. Lunch is good Dinner is romantic. Webpage: https://www.tavernedeshalles.com/

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The night action here is centered around the theaters and cinemas very nice indeed; other of course than the nightclubs. For us the best ones in order are: The Théatre Max-Jacob; it opened in 1904. Totally renovated and showing all kinds of arts events. It is gorgeous over the Odet river and the bridge leading to it the pont du Théatre. Right over in front of the Church Saint Mathieu, you will see the more modern Théatre de Cornouaille.  This is THE theater of the city, with full activities in a wonderful location, next to parking tour d’Auvergne (our spot) and at the entrance to rue St mathieu to inner city center. The theater front door is at Esplanade François Mitterrand. More on the creative artistic side of theaters. You can see wonderful movies facing the Odet river and our favorite the Cinema Les Arcades.  Now it is part of the Cinéville group. The other one is just past the above one tucked in a bit from the Odet river. Quai Duplex 5 cinemas  however they have closed too and now is an events showing there sort of, here just for the memories. There is an excellent Congress expo for all events including many tourism oriented right after the Church Saint Mathieu and across from the Théatre de Cornouaille.

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It has a nice Hôtel de ville/Mairie building and a wonderful castle like regional government building or préfécture. Nice square Place Terre au Duc with fountain, great wooden houses all over, gorgeous bridges and passarelles over the Odet river and a nice Tourist office. Some museums mentioned before in previous posts are the Musée departamental Breton with a trace of the local history and a must to see ,just gorgeous.  And ,of course, the fine arts or Musée des Beaux-Arts next to the Hôtel de Ville.

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The city of Quimper what to do and see in English: https://en.quimper.bzh/653-discover-quimper-tourism.htm

The Quimper tourist office in English: https://www.quimper-tourisme.bzh/#

The Bretagne tourist board on Quimper in English: https://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/quimper-cornouaille/quimper/

Hope you enjoy this wonderful Breton city of Quimper, a beautiful and gorgeous city of the Finistére, in my lovely Bretagne and in my belle France. See you around…when possible.

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

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