Archive for ‘Bretagne’

August 3, 2020

Damgan oh yes Morbihan!

And here I am coming back to the coast, the littoral, the beaches of my Morbihan sublime fine sand beaches galore. And one that is not to be missed is the ones at Damgan. Let me tell you briefly on them as already a post on its heritage monument.

Damgan is located in the department 56 of Morbihan and the region of Bretagne. It is also one of the 12 towns of the Arc Sud Bretagne intermunicipal association and the Vannes district. It is a peninsula located between the Rhuys peninsula (see post) and the Vilaine estuary. To the west, the Pénerf river marks the limit of the town, the Atlantic Ocean to the south, the town of Ambon to the north and east. A ria Pénerf stretches between the old salt marines of Ambon to the Pointe du Dibenn in Pénerf; the marshes of Saint-Guérin mark with the pointe du Bil the mouth between the tombolo of Pénerf and the mainland.

From the 15C to the 18C, the port of Pénerf became an important port in Bretagne/Brittany. The 16C was also the golden age for Pénerf, which was then the fourth Breton port. Its boats went to Bordeaux to Rouen, from Cadiz to Norway,etc.
The particular geology of the river or ria of Pénerf allows the establishment of a first oyster park in 1858. The oyster of Pénerf is one of the six crus of southern Brittany with the “Aven Belon”, the “Ria d’Etel”, “Quiberon”, “Gulf of Morbihan” and “Croisicaise”.

The 19C, however, was marked by a long decline in port activity at Pénerf since transport by rail proved to be more economical than cabotage. The first bathers were reported in 1860 and the first cabins appeared in 1877. A large number of tourists arrived in the second half of the 20C, allowing the town to resume economic growth with its development as a seaside resort. Even today, its economy is mainly oriented towards the tourism sector.

The Port of Pénerf  is located on the Pénerf river, at the western end of Damgan. Formerly a commercial and coastal shipping port, today it is a fishing port and increasingly a marina. Several berthing possibilities are available to mariners arriving at Damgan, in the port of Pénerf . The small port offers multiple navigation possibilities, well located, near the Gulf of Morbihan, the Vilaine estuary and the bay of Quiberon.

The Penerf river is a river that flows between Damgan and Sarzeau, in the bay of Penerf, at the northern limit of Mor Braz,the bay of the Atlantic Ocean in the Morbihan. The Penerf river, or ria de Penerf, stretches for 6 km to the pont de Billion bridge in Ambon, a place which more or less marks the end of the salinity of its waters. However, the salinity of the water varies depending on the tides and the time of year.  It is also at this place that two rivers form the Penerf river ; the Drayac stream, or Drague, measuring approximately 7 km, coming from Berric , and the Penbulzo stream. The estuary is composed of 38% of sea or inlets, 22% of salt marshes or salt meadows and 13% of rivers or estuaries subject to the tides.

There are more popular beaches here but for us peace and quiet are best at Plage Saint Guérin. Its located between Damgan and Pénerf in continuity with the promenade, the beach in the bay of St-Guérin will charm you with its natural shelter. Between the grande plage of Damgan and the pointe de Penerf, the beach of Saint-Guérin is located on an isthmus. It is an urbanized beach backed by polders. A large promenade facilitates smooth travel. The sand is generous there. Admittedly, there are fewer facilities and services than on the large nearby beach, but more tranquility.

Damgan

At Pointe du Lenn , facing the ocean, stands the Tour des Anglais. At 15 meters, it has been welcoming boats at the entrance to the Pénerf river and has been doing so for some 5 centuries. It is also the only fire tower, ancestor of the lighthouse, preserved on the Atlantic coast!

Damgan

There is a canon of the 18C coming from the vessel Le Juste sunk during the battle of the Cardinals in 1759 and of which we find in the region many cannons from ships sunk during this battle. When Le Juste sank, 130 crew members were rescued by a captain from Pénerf. In 1992, the Naval foundary of Indret offered this gun to the town of Damgan in memory of this episode.

Damgan

The city of Damgan on tourisme in French: City of Damgan on tourisme

The area tourist office of Damgan-La Roche Bernard on Damgan in French: Tourist office of Damgan La Roche Bernard on Damgan

And there you go folks another dandy by the coast in my beautiful Morbihan, tops really you should take a look. And the beach is open with mask and social distancing please, we can all still enjoy it and better at Damgan! Hope you enjoy the post as I do.

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

August 3, 2020

The markets of Sarzeau!!!

And on a nice sunny day why not talk about our favorite visit, the markets or marchés! And the Rhuys peninsula of my lovely Morbihan has plenty. The one we like here is at Sarzeau! oh yeah in my beautiful Bretagne of course. Let me tell you a bit more on it

In Sarzeau, there are two weekly markets organized throughout the year.

On Thursday in the Place des Trinitaires. This market welcomes around a hundred traders in the low season and 170 summer traders from food to clothing, not to mention the tasters for new products. It is open to the public from: 8h. to 14h from April 1 to October 31 and from 8h30 to 13h30 from November 1 to March 31.

The one we like as convenient to us is the one on Saturdays,is a wonderful food market located on Place Richemont and spread over Place Marie Le Franc .The market is only dedicated to food traders (market gardeners, fishmongers, bakers, roasters, caterers, crepe makers, etc.) it is open to the public from: 8h to 14h.

Sarzeau

You will also find a daily market on Place Richemont. The daily market takes place every day (except Thursday) from 8h to 13h. You will find there fishmonger, baker, market gardeners, greengrocers, crepe makers, etc.

Sarzeau

In addition , there is the St Jacques market, that takes place from the last Monday in June to the first Monday in September. This market is a very nice stroll market, pleasant on the edge of the port and the sea. This market takes place all along the rue du port St Jacques and on the rue des Plaisanciers. You will find all kinds of food traders there (market gardeners, greengrocers, roasters, crepe makers, fishmongers, etc), but also clothing (clothing and shoes), trinkets and you name it. It is open to the public every Monday in summer from 8h to 13h30.

There is also, a monthly Fair taking place on the third Wednesday of each month on Place Richemont. It welcomes food traders but also products tasters and confectionery. It is open to the public from 8h to 13h30.

Sarzeau

The city of Sarzeau on its markets in French: City of Sarzeau on its markets

We love to come to these anywhere we go , and on the Rhuys peninsula they are very good indeed. Hope you enjoy this passing of the markets of Sarzeau!

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

August 2, 2020

Lorient: submarines and museum!

So there you go another site vastly overlooked by yours truly in my blog. I have written several posts on Lorient but the coverage on its submariners’ history and museum was vastly overlooked me think. Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on Lorient and its submarine museum and history!

Lorient is a sub prefecture regional  government city for the department of Morbihan 56 in Bretagne, and very close to me, in fact is about equal distance to Vannes as well and even thus we come to Lorient often, the habit is to go to Vannes most of the time. Here, there is an underwater Museum of the Pays de Lorient, presenting the underwater heritage of  WWII within the oldest rescue center for submariners built in 1942 by the Kriegsmarine (or nazi navy), then reused for 42 years by the National Navy of France. The submarine “La Flore” S645, the former submarine of the French Army ,with an interactive museum ending with a visit of the submarine. Sublime for the lovers of history and seafaring!

Lorient

The museum features a fine collection of films, archive images, scale models, eye-witness accounts and unusual objects recovered from the Lorient coast from the 40 or so ships that were wrecked or scuttled during WWII. The Flore submarine is an old submarine disarmed in 1989 which is kept for its heritage, and to tell a history of Europe. A gateway allows you to bypass the submarine to admire it from the outside. Get on board! Using an audio guide, former submariners accompany you during your visit of the submarine, and you deliver their stories and the secrets of life on board. Opening in 1999 of the first visitation area in the heart of the Keroman submarine base, within the oldest submarine rescue center in the world, the former nazi tauchtopff renamed Davis Tower by the French Navy after the war. In a totally extraordinary place, where for five decades successive generations of submariners trained in shipwrecks, the Underwater Museum had just found its showcase on land to allow all visitors to “dive” into the history of war of WWII in the Pays de Lorient.

Lorient

The museum on submarine Flore info in English here: Submarine Flore museum at Lorient

The association of friends on the submarine museum in French with a lot more info here: Submarine museum of Lorient

However, for the history buff in me, this is the real story and a must to come to the museum me think. The Submarine base of Lorient.

The Keroman submarine base is a WWII bunker complex located in Lorient , Morbihan dept 56 of Bretagne in my belle France. It occupies the end of the Keroman peninsula, in the bay of Lorient and overlooks the Bay of Biscay. It took the basic name of General Engineer Submarines Stosskopf in 1946.  Built between 1941 and 1944 by Nazi Germany during the Occupation, it was then intended to house the 2nd and 10th U-boat flotillas of the Kriegsmarine (nazi navy), while being part of the device of the Atlantic Wall. Its presence is the cause of the destruction of the city of Lorient by the British and American air forces in January and February 1943, then of the late surrender of the Lorient pocket on May 10, 1945.  The submarine base was taken over by the French Navy after the conflict and was used until 1997 as a submarine base. Since the end of the 1990s, the site has been converted into a nautical center specializing in yachting and offshore racing. It also hosts a business center focused on the maritime world, a museum housed in the Flore submarine, as well as the Éric Tabarly cite du voile (see post). The complex is made up of three bunkers, Keroman I, II and III, two Dom-Bunkers located in the area of the Keroman fishing port, as well as a bunker located in Lanester, on the banks of the Scorff river. The three Keroman bunkers have between five and seven cells intended to accommodate U-boats, covered by roofs 3.5 meters thick for the K1 and K2 models, and 7.5 meters for the K3 model submarine.

Lorient

The city recovered its status of maritime prefecture by a decree of May 20, 1939, and had before the start of the war a garrison of nearly 5,600 sailors and a military arsenal employing some 5,000 workers, for a population of the agglomeration of 60,000 inhabitants. The city of Lorient is used as a base of fallback against the nazi advance in June 1940. The gold of the Belgian and Polish national banks is evacuated by its port on June 17 and 18, 1940. The same day, Admiral François Darlan, then withdrawn to Bordeaux, ordered the local forces to resist the nazi advance. Vice-Admiral Penfentenyo, who is in charge of the city, applies the scorched earth policy: the oil tanks in the city’s ports are set on fire, ammunition is drowned in the roadstead and the doors of the refit basins of the city. Its arsenal are blown up. On June 21, 1940, the nazi troops, which regrouped in Quimperlé, attacked Guidel. The city of Lorient falls on the same day.

lorient

At the beginning of June 1940, the konteradmiral (rear admiral) Karl Dönitz , He decided to establish his headquarters as well as the 2nd U-boat flotilla in the city of Lorient on June 28, 1940: the latter is equipped with modern facilities, is connected by rail and is less exposed to British strikes than Brest. Dönitz moved to a villa in the Kernével district of Larmor-Plage (see post) on October 16, 1940, facing the Keroman peninsula. A first attack by 12 British bombers reached Lorient on August 22 and 23, 1940. Hitler approved the construction plan of the submarine base asked by Dönitz on December 23, 1940 The site of the Keroman peninsula was chosen to accommodate the future base. Almost a million cubic meters of concrete are used to build the fortress, which is almost a quarter of the concrete worked in France for the nazi military effort.

The insufficient size of Keroman’s first two bunkers does not allow them to accommodate certain U-boats such as type IX D and type X B which are too long for these installations, or even type XXI which are too high for them. The decision was therefore taken to build a third bunker, Keroman III, during Fritz Todt’s visit to Lorient on March 10, 1941. Work began in October 1941 and the building was operational in February 1943. The defense perimeter extended. on a strip of 24 km inland and also includes the naval air base of Lann-Bihoué (now Lorient airport). Nearly 400 blockhouses, machine gun nests, or even watchtowers were built between the mouth of the Laïta river and that of the Etel river. The commissioning of U-boats type XXI requires the creation of new bunkers because of their height. The Lorient base is the only one on the Atlantic coast to accommodate them; the construction of new facilities, Keroman IVa and Keroman IVb, was launched in the summer of 1943 to accommodate 24 of these U-boats. The construction of Keroman IVa was however slowed down by the lack of materials and labor and even had to be stopped on April 24, 1944; only the walls of two cells and the one making the interface with Keroman I have been completed. On the other hand, the construction of Keroman IVb does not go further than the work of digging the foundations and beginning of formwork of some cell walls.

The two Dom-Bunkers were built around the slipway of the fishing port from February 1941. They are made in six sections and measure 81 meters long, 16 meters wide and 25 meters high. The walls are 1.5 meters thick and their roofs have an ogive profile, so as to reduce the effect of the bombs. The Keromen I ,originally designed to accommodate U-boats when they are being repaired after they have been mounted on the slipway, they are not very practical in use and are converted into workshops, then into warehouses. It measures 120 meters long and 85 meters wide, has five cells and a covered slipway. Its roof initially consists of a reinforced concrete structure of 3.50 meters. It was enlarged in 1942 by the addition on its rear part of a technical section 81.7 meters long and 23 meters wide intended to accommodate electric generators and by the addition of a drive tower equipped with a 7 meters tank allowing sub- boatmen to simulate evacuation maneuvers. The Keromen II was 120 meters long and 138 meters wide and has seven cells, and was completed in December 1941.  Its roof has the same characteristics as that of Keroman I, with the exception of the DCA sites. It was extended in 1942 by the addition, on its rear part, of a technical part 57.42 meters long and 24 meters wide intended to accommodate electrical transformers. The Keroman III measure 138 meters long and 170 meters wide and has seven cells: two 95 meters long, three 98.5 meters long, and two 84 meters long.  Started in October 1941, the new bunker was completed in January 1943.

The Keroman base also served three times as a port of call for submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy, then an ally of Nazi Germany, between August 1942 and 1944: the I-30, the I-8, and the I-29. Of the three submarines that joined Keroman, only the I-8 managed to return safely to Japan in December 1943.

The Lorient pocket surrendered on May 10, 1945 after a nine-month siege, and the French forces recovered the base in perfect working order. On July 6, 1946, the base took the name of “General Engineer Stosskopf” . At the beginning of the 1970s, the French General Staff decided to gradually replace its classic attack submarines with nuclear attack submarines until the beginning of the 21C. As the Lorient base does not have a nuclear fuel-processing site, it was closed in the early 2000s. La Sirène is the last submarine to pass through the construction sites and leaves the site on the 11th. February 1997 for Toulon.

The bunkers are preserved because of their heritage value and the cost of their destruction, estimated at 31 million euros. It was decided to constitute within its space, a center on “man and the sea in the 21C” structured in five poles: offshore racing, naval strategies, prevention of risks at sea, underwater archeology, and fishing and aquaculture. And indeed the whole area feels the sea ,the mariners, and the history of submarines. Hope you have enjoy the tour and the history of it as we do.

A French site U Boote on more detail of the history of this former submarine base is here: U Boote on Lorient submarine base

And the Lorient south Bretagne tourist office on the visit of the submarine base in French: Lorient south Bretagne tourist office on the submarine base of Lorient

Lorient

And now I feel better! You have another wonderful huge monument near me on the history of France, Europe, and the World never to be repeated again. However, a visit to the Lorient submarine base and museum is a must by all those who like us appreciated the effort. Hope you enjoy it.

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

August 2, 2020

Landévant: Church Saint Martin!

And I will be around the beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne in my belle France for the next posts. I have look deep into my blog ,and found many posts needed a refresher and just went out to get new pictures! My road warrior template got me going and having a blast with the boys on each town. The Morbihan rocks!

I have , also, refresh the text done in previous posts with new information so therefore, a new post. Hope you enjoy my tour of Landévant and the Church of Saint Martin!

landevant

Landévant is located between Lorient and Vannes on the N165 expressway , and very near me as I go by here on the D16 , then D33 when going out to the Finistére dept 29. The town is at the north end of the Étel river. In 1790, Landévant became an independent town! Landévant was a dismemberment of the former parish of Pluvigner (my town). In 1795, takes place the battle of Landévant where several thousands Chouans (rebel for king against the French revolution) obtained victory over the Republican troops( French revolutionaries).

The Church of St. Martin built in 1834. It replaces a 15C Church that has preserved a few animal sculptures. Some carved stones from the old church have been preserved, embedded in the south wall and fragments of inscriptions in Gothic characters giving dates 1413 and 1422.

landevant ch st martin side belltower aug20

The first church dates back to the 15C, we learn that the first bell tower was completed in 1512. The new church was built in 1834 according to the date shown on the gable of the chevet The new bell tower, built in 1857, and adorned with Doric, Ionic and Corinthian pilasters, is crowned by a stone spire The sacristy is contemporary with the church The south porch destroyed during WWII was rebuilt around 1950. A wooden cross was erected 1920, date carried on the plinth as the church is built in coated rubble stone following a Latin cross plan. Many sculptures are reused from the old church: on the apse above the date of 1834 protected by a drip edge two round coats of arms, now smooth in alliance in a crown of order; on the crawlers of the bedside, the remains of an unidentified animal. An axis sacristy on the ground floor is attached to the bedside.

landevant

You have a bit on the town’s webpage on its heritage here: Town of Landevant on its heritage

The tourist office of the Bay of Quiberon on LandévantTourist office of the Bay of Quiberon on Landevant

This is one of those town, you passed every day by it but hardly ever stop. Well have done that for the benefit of my blog and my readers. Landevant is not a tourist town but a rest stop would be fine in its city center by the church. It is historical for sure locally and has nice architecture which I like. Hope it helps

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

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August 2, 2020

Vannes: Porte Saint Vincent!

Well, here I go again. Do not know why not written a post on this fabolous gate of my dear Vannes in the Morbihan breton dept 56 of my adopted Bretagne. So many posts ,and brief mentions but with such an important icon of Vannes ,it deserves a post of its own. Therefore, here is my rendition on the Porte Saint Vincent!

The ramparts of the city of Vannes were, in the last century, first pierced with 3, then 4, then 6 gates, namely: the so-called Saint-Patern gate, then the Prison gate; de Notre-Dame, rue Notre-Dame, then rue de la Préfecture; de Saint-Salomon, demolished in 1790; the North Gate, opened in the 17C, and the Poterne Gate, which was opened around the same time. Another door remains to be noted, it is the one which received the name of Saint-Vincent.

vannes

In 1418, Jean V, Duke of Brittany, brought in from Spain a renowned preacher to put the inhabitants of Vannes back on the right path to the Church: it was Vincent Ferrier, originally from Valencia (see post). A true cult was dedicated to him after his canonization in 1455. The Saint-Vincent gate, the Place Valencia square , rue Saint Vincent , a Church, and in a chapel to his glory in the Saint-Pierre Cathedral still bear witness to the strong imprint he left in the city. On April 5, 1419, Vincent Ferrier died in the house which today bears the number 17  Place Valencia. On the south side of Saint-Pierre Cathedral, one of the five chapels is the one dedicated to Saint Vincent Ferrier and which, since 1456, has contained his holy relics.

vannes

More on the St Pierre Cathedral and the Chapel of Saint VincentCathedrale St Pierre on the Chapel of Saint Vincent

The successive tides of the gulf damaged the base of the gate and its structure showed serious deterioration at the beginning of the 18C. The gate was repaired in 1727. The gate was completely taken over in 1747 and work had it retained the original façade, but removes the roof and the upper room. In the central niche, a statue dating from 1891 of Saint Vincent Ferrier recalls the importance of this preacher in the history of Vannes. The arms of the city are carved in granite on the same date. The original stone or marble statue of the saint, placed in 1624, made in Nantes by the Vannes painter Guillaume Lemarchand and replaced during the French revolution by that of a sans-culotte, has disappeared. What you see now is a duplicata. He is the Patron Saint of the city of Vannes and of the Comunity of Valencia, Spain. His native house there now a museum is at Pouet de San Vicent, 1. Valencia

Vannes

The Porte Saint-Vincent gate is a city gate pierced between the end of the 16C and the beginning of the 17C. It is the main entrance to the old town of Vannes. Integrated into the ramparts of the city, the gate located to the north of the port and Place Gambetta was originally intended to allow port workers access to the walled city. For nearly two centuries, access to the gate was via a bridge (also called Saint-Vincent) which will be replaced by a semi-hemispherical square: the Place du Morbihan, current Place Gambetta.

vannes

It was under the League, between the end of the 16C and the beginning of the 17C, that an opening was pierced to the south of the ramparts for communication with the port. It is the Kraër-Calmont gate, named after the two districts of the city located respectively to the south-west and south-east of the city. The gate replaces fortifications from the 14C and 16C. The last vestiges of these fortifications; the bastion, gate and tower of Gréguennic, still exist today behind the left part of Place Gambetta. Between 1620 and 1624, at the expense of the work of the bridge and the Kaër-Calmont gate. Once the work was completed, the gate was renamed Porte Saint-Vincent in homage to the preacher Saint Vincent Ferrier.

Vannes

The Porte Saint-Vincent is a gate in cut stone of granite architecture with three spans framed by columns and three levels. On the lower level, the carriage door is framed by two narrow bays, one blind, the other open by a pedestrian door. Two niches open on the second level in the side bays, framing the arms of the city. The third level consists of a median niche framed by volutes.

There is a bit more on it on the city of Vannes, porte Saint Vincent in French: City of Vannes on Porte Saint Vincent

Upon arriving at Vannes by boat or car, coach/bus and want to go to the old town, the most magnificent entrance is by this gate from Le Port marina. We have have gone in from any angle but still the Porte Saint Vincent is the most beautiful way to see old Vannes. Hope you enjoy it

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

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August 2, 2020

Vannes:Music convervatory by the port!

And here I am in my beloved Vannes again. The capital city of the Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne. I work not far from city center on the outskirts in a ruin castle from 1504! However, lived about 30 minutes from it nevertheless ,believe spent more time here than anywhere else. This is a city untouch by the events of wars so original!

I have have touch base on the music conservatory before but not enough me think. So some extra photos and a real post on a wonderful monument of Vannes. Here is my take on it, hope you enjoy it.

I always get a glimpse on the conservatory of music in le Port harbor area in Vannes. The architecture attracts my eye each time. One of the nice things to see in Vannes even if not a tourist site per se, entrance for a peek is allowed. The conservatoire de musique as well as théatre et arts plastiques . Founded on the convent of the Carmelites. At least, most is preserved now for all to enjoy the view over the harbor.

vannes

The Conservatoire de Musique or Music Conservatory is a conservatory with departmental influence and controlled by the State. It is financed by the city of Vannes, the general council of Morbihan and the regional council of Brittany.

It sits first as a Carmelite convent in Vannes been the first house of the Order of Carmel in Brittany, which was not yet part of the kingdom of France. Founded in 1425 by Duke Jean IV of Brittany, it was followed, some forty years later in 1463 by the first female Carmelite in Brittany, founded by the Duchess Françoise d’Amboise, widow of Duke Pierre II.

Vannes

Eventually, here , the land was donated at the beginning of the 17C to the Discalced Carmelites by Jean Morin (the president of the Presidial) and his wife Jeanne Huteau. The monks built a first church there in 1629, then, the following year, the first convent buildings, including the monks’ outbuildings and a cloister. Noting architectural weaknesses at the start of the 18C, the decision was taken to demolish and then rebuild the church on the same site. This second construction was completed in 1737; the choir was also rebuilt in 1865. Seized during the French revolution, when it is no longer occupied that by only 12 religious, it passed through several hands, it ended up being acquired by the city of Vannes. The city set up a museum there until 1945, then a college (middle school). It changed destination one last time, when the National Music School moved there in 1981.

vannes

The city of Vannes on the history of the convent of Carmelites now conservatory of music in French here: City of Vannes on the convent of Carmelites

Thanks to the artistic workshops and the conservatory, the city of Vannes offers you a wide choice of disciplines, such as music, theater, singing, plastic arts, etc. to study throughout the year and whatever your level.   For many, the conservatory trains future music professionals. This is partly true, but the students who want to obtain the musical studies diploma giving access to higher education represent only 1% of the graduates. The leisure practice is largely the majority   The average annual price of a course is 350 €. It is not more expensive than some sports clubs. The viola da gamba and the harpsichord are the most popular lessons for young people. Overall, the guitar and piano lessons are always the most in demand. As told by the Director of the Conservatory.

For a beginner musician, they offer two hours of lessons each week: one hour of practice of the instrument with, since this return, a share of collective learning to have fun together , and one hour of musical training during which yuo learn the grammar of music, the rhythm, etc. The objective is to make the pupil autonomous.

vannes

The city of Vannes on the shops ateliers of the Conservatory of Music in French here: City of Vannes on the conservatory of music ateliers

Further, by the Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on the Carmelite auditorium with a nice picture only by those there as not open to the public in French here: Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on auditorium of Carmelites

And there you go folks, another dandy monument in my dandy capital city of Vannes. The Conservatory of Music is worth going in even if just to look at wonderfully preserved for all. Hope you enjoy the post.

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

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August 1, 2020

Vannes: Pointe des Emigrés!

So let me bring you “home” OK not the city I live or had lived but the one I work on the outskirts in a castle ruins from 1504! Yes!!! However, other than the usual wonderful monumental things to see here in my beloved Vannes or Gwened in the Breton language, there is history that I like.

I have told many many posts on Vannes and deservently so, however I feel this important historical spot deserves more , besides it is now my favorite hangout with my dog Rex!

In addition a great walkers, bicycle trails into the Pointe des émigrés, bordering all the Gulf of Morbihan area around Vannes starting from the Parc du Golfe to Conleau peninsula along the promenade Paul Chapel. This is a very nice nature walk and you see plenty of people here including dog walkers like me! But it has more.

Vannes point des emigres ent my13

The Pointe des Émigrés is a natural site in Vannes. In the 18C, Pointe des Émigrés was called Pointe Kérero. The name of Pointe des Émigrés recalls the execution of the Émigrés or immigrant Bretons who came to fight the French revolution from England and executed at Vannes in 1795 after the unsuccessful landing of Quiberon.

vannes pointe des emigres natural park to sea may13

A sad story to finish as the above name or the Pointe des émigrés is due to the atrocities of the French revolution ,when in 1795 , 748 immigrants who came to fight for the King were taken prisioners after the failed expedition of Quiberon, and shot to death in various parts of the Morbihan. The head of the expedition was executed on July 28 1795 in Vannes on the site of the Garenne today.  374 others were shot around town with many at the site of the Ermitage.  As a symbolic souvenir of this event this tip of land was renamed the Pointe des ÉmigrésThe remains of these 748 are now resting at the Chartreuse in Auray, (see post) very near me.

For the nature lovers nowdays, the Pointe des Emigrés with the banks of the Vincin river  forms a peri-urban protected area of more than 70 hectares. A former agricultural hotspot, this area has been protected by the Conservatoire de l’Espace Littoral et des Rivages Lacustres since 1986. It is characterized by a succession of original facies (marshes, Atlantic moors, pine forests and salt meadows) sheltering a rich avifauna (heron ash, snipe; etc). More in French on the webpage of the Conservatoire du Littoral and the Pointe des Emigrés: Conservatoire du Littoral on the Pointe des Emigrés

vannes pointe des emigres stone menhir may13

This protected green space of about 30 hectares (including 10 hectares of marshes), is located in the district of Conleau, along the Marle river. It rises to 11 meters. With the banks of the Vincin, a neighboring site located on the other side of the Conleau peninsula, it forms a protected area of 70 hectares. The Pointe des Émigrés is crisscrossed by several hiking trails totaling approximately 3 kms. It is made up of several landscapes: marshes, moorlands, pine forests, salt meadows, mudflats, meadows and there are many species of birds: gray heron, common snipe, etc. The characteristic plants of the site are St. John’s Wort, musk mallow, marsh buttercup, wild orchids, rush, willow, etc.

Here is the webpage of the Morbihan tourist office in English on the Pointe des Emigrés: Tourist office Morbihan 56 on the Pointe des Emigrés

Now for those who think walking is best like me ,to see places, nature or cities once you get there the best way possible often a car and/or a plane for these; let me show you a walker’s paradise here.

Departure from the Vannes Tourist Office at Le Port by the marina. Along the port, on the right bank, walk along the old houses from the 17C, with the half-timbered floors and the 19C bandstand. At the pont de Kérino bridge, cross the pedestrian crossing and continue opposite, direction Pointe des Émigrés. Walk past the Multiplast shipyard, then follow the coastal path, can’t missed water is on your left hand side.

vannes

You can take the dike which gives you access to the Conleau peninsula, which you will walk around. The path passes under the pines then bypasses the point, passes in front of the beach, the pier for the Ïle d’Arz  isle ,and the seawater basin or pool (see post). You can see the boats, anchored in the channel, without tidal constraint. You take the dike in the opposite direction, but not taken this one. Turn left after the bridge as soon as you find the coastal path also called Chemin de Bernus. It follows the meanders of Vincin river, in a rural and green landscape, with steep banks.

At the end of a cove, take the path that goes right and ends near the houses of district of Cliscouët. Walk along the football field. The path leads to rue de Ty-Coët, then chemin des Aubépines which goes down to rue François-de-Surville. Turn right until Avenue du Maréchal-Juin. Take the rue des Salines opposite, pass the Maison de la Nature and the municipal greenhouses gardens. After the dike, take the coastal path on the right then at the first crossroads on the left, the Chemin des Salines. Follow through the woods along the houses towards Parc du Golfe then La Rabine by the same path as on your way in or start. Not difficult and beautiful seas of nature and water, Rex love it!!

vannes

And there ,hope you enjoy the walk and a bit of history which often by victors is not usually told, but I know it. The Pointe des Emigrés is a nice park now good for the whole family.

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

 

August 1, 2020

Perros Guirec: plage Trestraou!

Well rounding up my latest escapades to the north of my Bretagne ,in beautiful Perros Guirec of the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 , I come to what I think is the best beach there: Plage Trestraou!

I have written on Perros Guirec in several posts in my blog, and on the other beach but this one wins it over for us. Let me tell you a bit more on the Plage Trestraou beach.

Perros Guirec

Between the pointe de Beg-Ar-Storloch and Pointe de Pors Nevez, along Boulevard Joseph Le Bihan where there are many shops. Large sandy beach stretching over 1.4 km, Trestraou offers a superb panorama of the Archipelago of 7 Islands. Ideal for swimming, this beach, supervised in season, offers many leisure activities for all, Beach Club, Nautical Center,(see post) Surf Club ,etc. Come stroll along its promenade and taste the pleasures of Trestraou such as the Casino, Center de Thalasso, Cinema, Minigolf, shops, restaurants, hotels (see post), the works!

perros guirec

Perros Guirec

The bay of Trestraou was at the origin of the tourist development of Perros-Guirec. In the 19C, sea baths were recognized for their healing qualities and became fashionable. With the arrival of the train in Lannion in 1881 and the construction of the first hotel by Joseph le Bihan in 1886 (see post),the seaside resorts took off. From 1884, bath cabins were built and superb villas were created between 1893 and 1905; prestigious hotels are located there. In 1970, the construction of the convention center, discreet and integrated into the seafront, gave new impetus to the beach. Admire the superb villas built on the micro-cliff of the Pointe de Beg Ar Storloch.

perros guirec

From the beach, you can also see the Seven Islands archipelago, which today houses a nature and bird sanctuary. To protect this exceptional biodiversity, it is forbidden to land on the islands, except Île aux Moines. However, you can embark on a cruise departing from Trestraou beach, which will allow you to observe birds (see post).

The beach front is full of activities even in these days and it seems all the places were full including the hotel book solid! They did allowed our dog in the rooms!!We did a lot of walking around and the boys enjoy the beach as well as the Armor Navigation cruise. We had a ball walking our dog Rex he wanted to go in the water! but this was off for dogs here as they only allowed in off season November to April.

Perros Guirec

We did went to lunch twice at the wonderful Chez Edouard facing the Trestraou beach right on an outdoor terrace. Even Rex was so much good here we love him ,as he is so calm and well behave. The manager of the restaurant brought him a bowl of water!!!

perros guirec

perros guirec

The former Les Régates is now Chez Edouard with new owners, and even thus we had not try the former, the current one is to be recommended. We had mussels roquefort, pizzas orientales (because they had chorizos), and burgers with a bottle of Les Chanteraires red 2018 of Saumur-Champigny, the Loire’s best ;we buy for the house and glad we found it here! We took the wonderful café gourmand because you get the coffee and five sweets sampler of their desserts, which is fine for the size and the taste. All for 22€ per person which at this location is a super bargain.

perros guirec

The views are fantastic and the ambiance very relax French fashion with lots of families! and a kiddie playground on the beach right up front of us. The views to your left are wonderful with the promontory hills and the gare maritime or cruise boat terminal as well as beach cabins and water boat activities! All in one place, simply the best and we will be back! Plage Trestraou!

perros guirec

And of course, at the beach what is best than Ice Cream! and we love it!!! And so lucky was calling for as just around the corner of the BW hotel and facing the beach at Trestraou there is the wonderful Le Glacier des Sept Ïles or the seven island ice cream parlor. We dig in from anywhere from two to five scoops of different flavor just to cool off lol! the place is nice and friendly and the ice cream superbe!!

Perros Guirec

Let me give you some webpages to help you plan your trip here and well worth it are

My fav plages tv on the beach at TrestraouPlages tv on Trestraou beach

The tourist office of Perros Guirec on Plage TrestraouTourist office of Perros Guirec on Trestraou beach

And a treat from the Association of neighbors of plage Trestraou in French with all that is going on, to see and do at Trestraou beachAssoc of neighbors of Trestraou district

And the anecdote for this wonderful Perros Guirec is that one of my best historical personalities from the world of arts and paintings to be exact used this town as one of his base so here is a bit of Maurice Denis!

Several portraits painted by the great Maurice Denis. Like the Regatta at Perros-Guirec ,1892, oil on canvas, now at the Quimper Museum of Fine Arts (see post). Regattas at Perros-Guirec, views from the west jetty,1897, at the Maurice Denis Departmental Museum “Le Prieuré” at Saint-Germain-en-Laye (see post). Bathers at Perros-Guirec from around 1912,now at the   Petit-Palais Museum, Paris (see post). The forgiveness of Notre-Dame de la Clarté in Perros-Guirec by 1926, manor of Kerazan, Astor foundation, and Itron Varia Sklerder or Notre-Dame de la Clarté oil on canvas, 1931, now at the Musée des beaux-arts de Morlaix (see post).

Hope you enjoy the tour of this wonderful place call Perros Guirec, and do come on in folks! And remember , happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

August 1, 2020

Perros Guirec: Grand Hotel et Best Western hotels!

And why not tell you about hotels at Perros Guirec! There are plenty of accomodation and of all types. However, for me the Grand Hotel was it and now the Best Western Bains et Spas is looking good. Let me tell you briefly of the hotels Grand and Best Western of Perros Guirec!

perros guirec plage trestraou promenade arriving to mansions jul20

Needless, but repeat anyway, have come here often and have several posts in my blog on Perros Guirec. This is the latest escapades to a nice beach Plage Trestraou! I will tell you about the beach later ok.

The Grand Hotel, in plage Trestraou, with an Art Deco architecture typical of the seaside style of the 1920s. Many remarkable villas built at the end of the 19C and the beginning of the 20C, of various architectural inspirations, often including elements in pink granite extracted from the quarries of Ploumanac’h, and fancy elements such as art deco details, half-timberings in the Anglo-Norman style, turrets, bow windows, etc.

Could not stay as currently undergoing complete renovation. At the Grand Hotel, once the metal structure surrounding the front façade and the two gables were completed, demolition work could begin. The destruction of the floors and the rear facade was carried out gradually, with a cut, piece by piece.

Perros Guirec plage trestraou grand hotel renovation shell jul20

The next new Grand Hotel Kasino will house 59 rooms, a restaurant and the casino. The opening is announced in the fall of 2021. There is a complex behind it which includes the construction of a 2,500 m2 spa with a restaurant and, a 4-star hotel with 91 rooms.

There are panels in front of the shell of the old hotel telling you about the history of it here.  It tells us the first hotel was build here in 1886 with 20 rooms under the name Hôtel Le Bihan. The Grand Hotel de Trestraou was built then late 19C and the town developed a following which included Maurice Denis! Later, Joseph Le Bihan was convince by the writer Ernest Renan to built a hotel name Hôtel de la Plage which later became the Grand Hôtel . In the meantime, the Hôtel de la Plage is enlarge from 1888; and by 1914 another building is built next to it. In 1948, the Grand Hôtel is taken over by new owners who hold it for 47 years! In 1955, the Hotel is again renovated. Until our days renovation and new owners by the groupe Kasino de Bretagne.

The official page of the Grand Hotel is here: Grand Hotel at Perros Guirec

We had the entire family, my 3 sons, my Dad, and our dog Rex and me; so we needed two rooms facing the plage Trestraou . Oh yes, this was the Best Western les Bains et Spa Hotel. A suite junior with king size bedding, 26 m2, and a Prestige room with king size bedding 26 m2. Right on Plage Trestraou with beautiful views of the beach and promontory as well as islands! Gorgeous. Will need to make you dream of the interior.

perros guirec

We parked for free very conveniently across from the hotel on Avenue du Casino between Rue de Rohellou and bd Thalassa. This is a minute from the beach on foot!

perros guirec parking rue de rohellou fr bw hotel jul20

All around the Best Western Bains et Spa are numerous restaurants with nice terraces even towards the beach and a great ice cream place we love it. The lunch here was sublime both days.

perros guirec plage trestraou BW hotel side facing beach jul20

We were particularly seduced by the decoration of the rooms paying homage to the seaside resorts of the 1950s. The Best Western Bains et Spa hotel has 49 elegant and modern rooms including Standard, Superior, Prestige, Junior and Family suites. They all have a refined decoration, in soft colors, conducive to rest and relaxation.

perros guirec plage trestraou promenade to restos shops jul20

For more comfort, the Prestige rooms and the Junior suites offer a lounge area while the Superior rooms offer a terrace. Open Bar Soft Drink: in a lounge area, snacks and soft drinks are offered free of charge from 14h to 02h. Guests can enjoy a wellness center with spa, hot tub and hammam at an additional cost. Guests also have access to a gym and massages can be booked at an additional cost.

Walkers can continue their walk by taking the chemin du sentier des douaniers (see post) to discover the unique setting of the côte de granit rose and the 7 îles.

The official webpage of the BW hotel is here: BW les Bains et Spa Hotel Perros Guirec

The chain Best Western on the Bains et Spa hotel at Perros Guirec in English: Best Western on hotel Bains et Spa at Perros Guirec

And there you two wonderful properties facing a wonderful beach at Trestraou in Perros Guirec. We will return, worth it , recommended. Enjoy it

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

July 31, 2020

Perros Guirec: Nautical center and cruises!

So here I am in wonderful Perros Guirec , been here before , love it. This is my first trip here without my dear late wife Martine, many souvenirs flashing by and we must move on with them. One of the prettiest beach resort in France and very well taken. We had a rental at a hotel later will tell.  For now , let me tell you briefly on the nautical center and the cruise terminal.

Perros-Guirec is located in a protected natural site, in the middle of an unusual landscape where the land and the sea are dotted with pink granite rocks with shapes that seem as if carved by the wind It derives an important part of its resources from tourism. During the summer, the city takes on another dimension both in terms of entertainment and population which multiplies by about 5. It enjoys a reputation as a family seaside resort, thanks to its several magnificent fine sandy beaches like Trestraou (more later) and Trestrignel (see post) bordered by remarkable villas and its coast composed in part of blocks of pink granite with impressive shapes or the Côte de granit rose.

At the wonderful Nautical center at the end of the promontory of the plage Trestraou beach you have everything you need for a nice boating out on your own and with able trainers/teachers. You can discover sailing, improve your skills, rent equipment or simply let yourself be guided during a nautical trip. Come and enjoy a unique navigation area, along the Côte de Granit Rose, off the archipelago of  the Sept ïles or 7 islands . A team of qualified professionals and a modern infrastructure guarantee your safety and comfort. Located at end tip of Plage Trestraou beach.

Perros Guirec

Perros Guirec

Perros Guirec

 

Perros Guirec

The city of Perros Guirec on the Centre Nautique or  nautical centerCity of Perros Guirec on the nautical center

The plus here you can embark on a wonderful vedette boat to take a tour of the coast of granite rose and the Seven islands. Embark on an excursion aboard a comfortable speedboat and discover the largest bird sanctuary in France: the 7-islands archipelago. You will be able to observe an exceptional flora and fauna with gannets, seals, and puffins. On the way back, you will follow the Côte de Granit Rose and will be able to admire exceptional rocky formations. The Sept-Îles, archipelago of small islands off Perros, the largest is Île aux Moines with its lighthouse and fort; Ile Riouzig is one of the largest ornithological reserves in France for seabirds or the Sept-Îles Nature Reserve.

Perros Guirec

Perros Guirec

Perros Guirec

perros guirec

perros guirec

 

The city of Perros Guirec on the vedette cruise: City of Perros Guirec on the vedette boat cruise

For the bird lovers in French the Sept-Ïles Nature ReserveSeven Islands nature reserve Perros Guirec

The Armor Navigation vedette boat for the cruise to Seven IslandsArmor Navigation on cruise of Seven Islands

There you go folks a place for pure ocean air fun, all over and constant satisfaction, a perfect family trip. We will be back too. Hope you enjoy this opening post on Perros Guirec one of our favorite spots in my lovely Bretagne right up there in the north of the Côtes d’Armor dept 22. Hope you enjoy enough to try it you will be delighted.

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

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