Posts tagged ‘Bretagne’

April 10, 2021

My travels in the Morbihan XC

And back again to my latest escapades in my beautiful Morbihan, dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne and in my belle France! Under current conditions, hard to move about but we are timing the 10 km right and going out, amazing finding new places!!!yes!!! We took a ride yesterday with the family just to get some air and it was nice again. Sit back and enjoy the story;hoping you like as we did.

I have told you about the town of Baud, very near me, just making the 10 km mark, and we went there again !

Baud has a bit more than 6K inhabitants very near me up the road D768 direction Pontivy. We have come here often as one of my son’s job was routed by here to go/come to/from work. Also, we shop in city center for essentials like the baguette. I have several posts on Baud in my blog so will be brief on this one. One of my latest road warrior side trips.

As with the virus still going around and only now allow to go 10 km from home, we took it nice and easy at Baud. The town is part of the Centre Morbihan Communauté sort of a metro area which combine about 18 towns. I try to give you some history and explanation on this phenomenon below

France has a very large number of towns, over 36,000 of which 10,000 have fewer than 200 inhabitants and 32,000 have fewer than 2,000 inhabitants. From the end of the 19C, the first forms of intermunicipal co-operation were created in the form of inter-municipal unions to enable towns to meet the equipment needs of the territory (electrification, water supply, sanitation, roads, etc.). As of January 1, 2014, there were 12,159 public inter-municipal cooperation establishments (EPCIs) (including 2,145 with their own tax system and 10,014 municipal unions) and 3,182 mixed unions (including 2,216 open mixed unions and 966 closed mixed unions) and 9 metropolitan centers. Promulgated on August 7, 2015, the law on the New Territorial Organization of the French Republic (NOTRe) confers new powers on the regions and clearly redefines the powers attributed to each local authority. This law strengthens intermunicipal co-operation by setting the new demographic threshold at 15,000 inhabitants, forcing certain communities to merge.

The Centre Morbihan Communauté or the Central Morbihan Community towns are Baud, Guénin, Melrand, Pluméliau-Bieuzy, Saint Barthélémy. Locminé Community of the villages of Evellys, La Chapelle Neuve, Plumelin, Locminé, Moustoir-Ac and Saint-Jean Community of the towns of Saint Jean Brévelay, Billio, Bignan, Buléon, Guéhenno, Moréac, Plumelec, and Saint Allouestre.

The Centre Morbihan Communauté tourist board on Baudhttps://www.centre-morbihan-tourisme.bzh/decouvrir/centre-morbihan-communaute/baud/

I have feature in another post but took a shot from the hill of the below castle for a nice shot of the town of Baud and the belltower of its Church St Peter’s (St Pierre) from the 14C renovated in the 20C.

baud

The city of Baud on culture and heritage: https://www.mairie-baud.fr/culture-et-patrimoine/

And one that caught my attention and never had taken pictures here as it is a private property, I dare take some from outside today is the Château de la Villeneuve or new town. I will tell you its history from a panel outside and the Bretagne heritage site.

baud

The Château de la Villeneuve (17C), restored in the 20C. The Lordship of Villeneuve belonged successively to several families. The castle was built on the site of an old building attested in 1448. A first reconstruction probably dates from the 17C. The current castle would have been rebuilt or restored around 1930 by the Le Crom family.

The origins of the Château de la Villeneuve go back to the 15C however, with the Guido family. From this time there are no remains. The castle was rebuilt in the 18C, perhaps under the La Coudrais family, then dismantled in 1930 to be rebuilt set back from the road. A building with a sequenced elevation on the raised ground floor was accessible by a central right outside staircase. Two forward side pavilions framed this central body. The well located to the south of the current castle dates from 1723. In 1907, and for only a few years, this castle was the seat of a beekeeping school which produced melcao, a product made from honey and cocoa.

baud

The Château de la Villeneuve has a double plan in depth and two elevations arranged in five spans: to the north the two lateral spans are protruding and covered with a pavilion roof; to the south, the projection is on the ground floor on the terrace. On each facade, straight exterior stairs lead to the raised ground floor. An in-work staircase turning back, located in the eastern part of the castle, serves the square floor and the attic floor. The pleasure garden to the north is doubled by a vegetable garden to the south arranged in the axis of the castle, extended by an orchard. A retaining wall with stairs and a well mark the boundary between the latter two. A farm attached to the castle is to the east.

It is currently a private property, cannot be visited, visible from the outside, located at the exit of Baud on the edge of the road D724 towards Locminé and Josselin.

Lastly, I leave with the news that the French Republic (France) has voted to allow regional languages as per the constitution a great victory for Brittany and its Breton language. Earlier, I have told you in my Some news from France series, the permission in the Nantes city/town hall to fly the Breton flag, black and white with the hermine symbol of Anne de Bretagne. The flag is raised. And this is former Brittany in what is now since 1961 loire-atlantique dept 44 in pays de la loire region. The decision is known as the Loi Morlac for the congressman of the Morbihan!!! More in French here from France Ouest journal: https://www.ouest-france.fr/education/enseignement/langues-regionales-la-proposition-de-loi-molac-definitivement-adoptee-9ae0f46c-9875-11eb-ba1d-f4b880206b36

And my twin boys have cut the front garden in our house trim all the shrubs and trees and cut the bad grass from the brick trail path to the house. Nice job, appreciated and to worth showing it here with a picture!

pluvigner

And all, hope you enjoy the post , a rather personal one with private property and all. This is my beautiful Morbihan at its best.. Enjoy as we do!!

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

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April 10, 2021

Wine news of France XII !!!

Well here coming back to my a bit regular posts on wines! of France, of course. The very best and again had tasted and/or visit all the major producing countries in our world ! I like to tell you the latest buzz on my favorite subject chosen by yours truly from various French wine pro publications that I received online or on paper.

We do not really know if Christmas was on the balcony, but Easter was indeed in the fire. Since last Monday, temperatures have fallen below zero in several northern wine regions. The nocturnal efforts of winegrowers to limit frost damage were not enough: crops are severely affected in several regions of France. According to the Interprofessional Council for Bordeaux Wines (CIVB), it is “already certain that this spring frost will severely impact the volume of the 2021 harvest”: the frost has “hit hard” on large areas of the Bordeaux vineyard. In the Rhone Valley, the first land rise in temp let fear the worst. Last Friday, according to Météo France, it will still be cold in the early morning in the lands north of the Loire, over a large north-eastern quarter, in the Massif Central and in the interior of Provence, with frequent frosts reaching locally – 4 to -2 degrees on the Grand Est.

Last Monday evening, on the Champagne side, there was still hope to pass between the drops. The Champagne Salon said “we experience disasters every day, at all levels. It is important to stay positive.” Overall, Champagne is doing quite well. A calm behind which hides cellars much less empty than in previous years, the health crisis having led to a significant drop in sales in France and abroad. At Drouhin-Laroze, in Burgundy, the candles have nevertheless succeeded in limiting breakage. But the Burgundy vineyard will undoubtedly be one of the most impacted. There is talk about black jelly, with buds literally roasted by the cold. However, some estates are reluctant to use candles, which are very expensive, preferring the traditional straw fires prohibited in Burgundy such as at the Breton estates, in Touraine, whose plots of Vouvray have been protected, to the detriment of those located in Bourgueil. At Château Coutet, 43 hectares in the town of Barsac, in the Bordeaux region, it was a disaster, with temperatures dropping to -3.9 ° C. Despite straw fires lit every 80 meters, it is estimated that more than 90% of the vineyard has been affected. Even if since 2017, they have been used to this kind of events. April 2021 has a strong chance of staying in the memories of many.

SJB, the Bollinger family holding company, acquires Ponzi Vineyards, a historic estate in the Willamette Valley, in the United States. Domaine Ponzi Vineyards, was created in the late 1970s by Dick and Nancy Ponzi. For its part, the Ponzi family remains the owner of 40 hectares under a supply contract with the estate. The total needs of the winery represent in all and for all 140 hectares of vines. Production hovers around 480,000 bottles, at prices ranging from 25 to 120 US Dollars. SJB which brings together the brands Bollinger, Ayala, Chanson, Langlois-Chateau and Delamain.

These vines largely dominated by Pinot Noir, but Pozzi also produces Pinot Gris and Chardonnay located in Laurelwood. Last June 2020 they joined the AVI (American Culture Area, equivalent of the French AOC) of the Willamette Valley which brings together the terroirs of Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge, and Yamhill-Carlton. The strategy is to get closer to the American consumer who is especially fond of local wines, as well as to the zone where the consumption of high-end wine is the most important. The acquisition of this property forms the basis of Bollinger’s new US strategy. Bollinger is not, far from it, the first Champagne house to attempt an adventure in Oregon. Four years ago, under the leadership of Gilles de Larouzière, the Maisons & Domaines Henriot group became the majority shareholder of the Beaux Frères estate, owned by Michael Etzel, Robert Parker and Robert Troy, in the historic Willamette Valley. Long before that, at the end of the 1980s, the region had been brought to light by the Burgundians Robert Drouhin and his daughter Véronique, true pioneers. Since then, the Jadots, Meo Camuzets and others have joined them. With success…. Now how the wine will be best if all is from France lol !

Soon the rebirth of a forgotten vineyard? Chef Yannick Alléno and the prestigious Domaine Marquis d´Angerville have just replanted 30 acres of biodynamic vines … about thirty km from Paris. It was on the initiative of chef Yannick Alléno that an astonishing adventure two years ago began, that of replanting vines in the town of Conflans- Ste-Honorine (Yvelines 78) . And decided to plant two thirds of pinot noir and one third of gamay, intended to produce a wine that I like, the passetoutgrain. The vines will be cultivated biodynamically, with the help of the teams from the Domaine de Volnay, present to advise and support Laurent Berrurier in his new role as winegrower. In four years, if all goes well, we will be able to taste the first cuvée of Clos Bellevue, and drink to the health of a still confidential vineyard, which we would be wrong not to keep an eye. To be continue…

While canned wine has enjoyed tremendous success across the world, the French still seem reluctant to taste their national drink in an aluminum container. And I hope they don’t follow this!!! Jean-Pierre Robinot ; the Angevin winegrower is about to launch his 25cl cans (conditioned by the Winestar brand) containing a Cabernet-Franc in red and a Chenin in white. Juices in conversion to organic, vinified in nature, intended to be consumed quickly … as we would a soda lol!!!. However, although the French are large consumers of cans, they remain difficult to associate with wine, as if this traditional product could only tolerate a noble glass case. Of course, the canned wine is already enjoying enormous success in the United States. The research firm WICResearch analyzes the phenomenon from all angles and the figures are striking: the supply of wine in cans has tripled since 2018, with some 900 references available today on the US market. Followers of cans for all kinds of beverage, the United States are much more receptive to wine in a metal ring and favor this product, which has become trendy thanks to its multiplied marketing possibilities. Better stay over there!!!

The film star director Francis Ford Coppola (why can he stay with films) understood this well, he who launched several cuvées of his wines sold in packs of four cans (pinot noir, pinot gris, chardonnay, sauvignon) and even a very glam rosé wine called “Sofia”, named after his daughter, also a famous filmmaker. Among the myriad of brands, we can also mention Bev, Love & Exile or Backpack, which focus on fresh, fruity and light wines, with ultra-graphic packaging (and industrially made). Because if this method of conservation does not lend itself to all grape varieties or all vinifications , it makes it possible to broaden the opportunities for consuming wine (picnics , outdoor events, transport) and to rejuvenate its target by targeting 18-25 year olds as a priority to then bring them to more demanding bottles? What if the can formed the fine tasters of the future? . So anything is possible. The only snag in this beautiful story: Robinot cans are priced at 8 euros for 25cl… A high price that seems to contradict the purchasing power of its target. Of course, innovation has its costs but really better stay with sodas!

In the category of nature wines, it seems that the Drappier family is one step ahead of many Champagne winemakers. Brut Zero, a wine without sugar, filtration and sulfur, was released in 1998. An oenological success. The rosé will follow. The first draw comes from the 2004 and 2005 harvests. This wine is claimed to be unfiltered, not discolored, not dose. It feels like a field of strawberries on a beautiful end of summer day. On the palate, some tangy notes, peppery hints and over-controlled acidity. What sounds I like about Drappier: the total mastery of the wine which remains very balanced even when it comes to the most cutting-edge products. It is recommended to serve this rosé at 8 ° C. At the table, it will be the ideal companion for langoustines, shrimps, crabs and other sushi.

In a context of tension between the various candidates for the takeover, Château Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse, premier grand cru classé B of Saint-Emilion, will be sold for 75 million euros to the cosmetics group Clarins, associated with Joséphine Duffau-Lagarrosse. Cosmetics and wine well I guess that is diversification. To note , Clarins cosmetics were the first gift of my dear late wife Martine to my dear late mother Gladys!

The recent owner of Château Fourcas Dupré, Gérard Gicquel, confirmed his thirst for Médoc by purchasing Château d’Agassac from Groupama. It was after many commas, parentheses and dashes that the sale was finalized with a signature, bottom right. Thus, Groupama, which owned Château d’Agassac since 1996, was promoted to Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel last year. This project responds to the development of the family group with ambitious investments in business services, around “hospitality” carried by the Beautiful Life Hotels group with already 10 high-end hotel establishments and in the wine sector with the acquisition of Château Fourcas Dupré indicates the press release. Beautiful Life Group thus consolidates its presence in the Médoc vineyards with a volume of 500,000 bottles. One of my favorite wines of the Médoc, track since 1990.

What to drink with … a sea bream? (Daurade, Fr.) Its flesh is tender, its skin tasty and salty; with a lemon juice seasoning, it gains a tangy touch; roasted in the oven with a little fennel, it is enriched with anise-flavored flavors. It will obviously need an aromatic, fruity, young white wine, not too complicated on the palate. The Domaine Meo-Camuzet Hautes côtes de Nuit a fruity and herbaceous nose, a round and charming mouth with a fat that will round off the salty and iodized character of the fish, here is a great label with ease. More unexpected, but just as appropriate, a Roussette de Savoie signed Guy Justin. Still little known until 1993, its wine was only sold in bulk ; this very pretty estate has another particularity, since the vineyard occupies only a small place there, and the rest of the activity is divided between market gardening and breeding. Its Marestel cru will match sea bream exactly, with a blooming bouquet, hints of dill, citrus fruits (orange) and white pepper. The palate has a roundness very softened by the fat, with a lively finish. Its silky side will rebalance the iodized character of the fish, itself underlined by the minerality of the wine. Nice meal to be had we get ours from a traiteur or ready made take out gourmet place in town! The wines webpage are

Domaine Méo-Camuzethttps://www.meo-camuzet.com/fr/les-vins/17/clos-saint-philibert

Domaine Guy Justinhttps://vins-de-savoie-justin.fr/la-roussette-de-savoie/

And there you folks, en vino veritas; with moderation but do enjoy the wonderful wines of France and the world. We drank it every day with meals…and we love it. The only French way!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

April 9, 2021

My travels in the Morbihan LXXXVIIII

And here I am again taken advantage of the freedom in Bretagne to go out, and had to revist my beautiful capital city of Vannes in my Morbihan dept 56. I was out with the whole gang except the dog and it was a memorable if short trip to the city. Let me tell you again about my latest road warrior and walks in my neck of the woods.

I have to start with the temperature, wonderful sunny day with a start at 23C and finish going home at 26C! And plenty of folks out of course wearing the mask. This is the last few days when we will be penalised for the rest of France and all going back to confinement! The sad part they will allow only 10 km radius which is nothing won’t be able to come to Vannes or even Auray because will need a needed almost emergency motive to do so. Some but not all , of these motives are it could be the death of a loved one or the visit of a family member whose prognosis is threatened. Custody of a child, a judicial or administrative summons Students studying abroad are also authorized to travel. In the medical field, it must be a life-threatening emergency. The patient has the right to be accompanied by a person if his presence is essential. In the professional field, level athletes, health professionals participating in the fight against Covid-19 or taking part in cooperation operations of major interest in the field of health. Finally, exceptions are also possible for “missions essential to the pursuit of an economic activity”.This last means businesses that provide for everyday life such as foods etc.The curfew at  19h (7 p.m.) is maintained . The schools will close for 3 weeks, but the curfew will last for 4 weeks. There in a nutshell we never seen the end of this while those who started it all are quiet and enjoying themselves with bs from the WHO as usual.

Well as our trip to Vannes, my boys wanted to take me to Columbus Café a wonderful place we have come to love and come often. Of course, the food was take out but how about enjoying this wonderful place than eating on the lawn in the Garenne garden next to the old ramparts overlooking the old towers! Awesome. Of course, I had my bagel mozzarella cheese tomatoes , a choco filled cookie, and peach ice tea;nice summer combination. Webpage even in English: https://www.columbuscafe.com/en/boutique/vannes-rue-du-mene-2/

I was able to park on the ramparts next to the garden of the Préfecture du Morbihan which have written before as in all. Here is a new picture. vannes prefecture from ramparts apr21

From there, it was nice shot at the belltower over the Préfecture of the Church Saint Patern.

vannes prefecture over to ch st Patern belltower apr21

Right across you can see towering over the houses the Cathédrale Saint Pierre which is awesome even from a distance.

vannes over ramparts to cat st pierre apr21

The boys had the wonderful lunch in the lawn at the Garenne garden alongside the ramparts while I stay with my Dad as he could not sit down there; the garden with the Tour Connétable in back is awesome always!!

vannes garenne gardens and tour connetable apr21

And of course while there why not marvel of the Tour Connétable (constable’s tower) itself, an icon of the city of Vannes on its ramparts!

vannes tour connetable ramparts apr21

And the nice tower to the right of the above, Tour Poudrière or powder tower closer to the end of the ramparts; always a nice sight and beautiful monument well preserved by the city of Vannes and al.

vannes Tour Poudriere ramparts apr21

And there you go folks, on the way home our always ready baguette tradition and some pastries to help out with the day. Another nice day in my capital city of Vannes! Hope you enjoy the walk and do come when possible again.

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

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April 6, 2021

The one and only Dinard!!!

And this is a twist off of one older post of two towns and I am splitting on my black and white series as already plenty on them with pictures in my blog. I like to show you wonderful Dinard, plenty in my blog on it but this was sort of an introduction to the town. Hope you enjoy as I!  I like to update this older post on the one and only Dinard!

Dinard  is in the department 35 of Ille et Vilaine in the region of Bretagne ; it is a beach town and well visited by British and Americans for its wonderful villas of the belle époque period and the British Film Festival held here since 1990. The official name of the city change from been Saint Enogat until 1879 to Dinard-Saint Enogat until 1921 and finally Dinard since then. It is located in the Côte d’Emeraude on the limits with the department 22 Côtes-d’Armor and the city of Saint Malo where the Rance river makes the separation. Not far, you have the Anglo Normand islands that can be reach in one hour fast speed from Saint Malo or in a few minutes by plane from the Dinard-Pleurtuit-Saint Malo airport (already had British friends visiting me here going this route by plane).

A bit of brief history I like. Dinard is link to the legend of king Arthur as it is told he landed here in 513 to built a fort ,and the name of the town comes from a etymology of Fort d’Arthur. 

One of the first discoverers of the city was William Faber an American aristocrat that had visited the city and felled in love with it so decided to stayed and built the mansion on the pointe du Moulinet, with small terraces that were shown to his Anglophone friends of Dinan and become the origins of the British community of Dinard, after his passing his wife Lyona Faber continue the work. In 1858, the first sea villa was built by James Erhart Coppinger in the same pointe du Moulinet, it is known as the Château du Bec de la Vallée, or the  Villa Castel Mond (as it belong for a time to the couple  Sir Robert  Mond and his wife Lady Mond). From the 1880’s it was the first beach town in France and had its golden age known as the Dinard of the hundred hotels or the pearl of the emerald coast ; with many notables coming and staying here such as Albert Ier, Raymond Poincaré, Agatha Christie, Victor Hugo, Edward VII, George V, Winston Churchill , Judith Gautier, Jacqueline Kennedy, Lawrence of Arabia (in his childhood), Edmond Rostand, and Paul Valéry. Pablo Picasso painted the portrait of the swimmers in Dinard or the Les Baigneuses à Dinard on a series inspired by the nudity of the beaches. The firm L’Ecluse tried to restored many of these mansions and the first and only that could be done was in 1927 to the Gallic Hotel on the foot of the big beach or Grande Plage at  2  boulevard Féart done in a Art Déco style where Pablo Picasso stayed two times. Starting in the 1930’s Dinard saw its decline as the British  stop coming and later followed by the rest.

Some of the things to see here are, the coffins of knights Olivier and Geoffroy de Montfort dating from the 14C now in the Chapelle of the old priory near the beach or plage du Prieuré; the house known as the Prince Noir or black prince built in the 14C; the manoir de la Baronnais ,renaissance style mansion with French gardens built in 1647; The fortress in the island or Ïle Harbour fortified from 1689; The Villa Les Roches Brunes built in 1893 and the Villa Greystones built in 1938; also, the Tennis club is one of the first built in France dating from 1879.  Notre Dame Church and St Enogat Church. The beaches are great and many smaller creeks; but the main four are plage du Prieuré, plage de l’Écluse, plage de Saint-Énogat, and plage du Port-Blanc.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here , and you must come are:

The city of Dinard on its heritage: https://www.ville-dinard.fr/listes/ville-dart-dhistoire/

The Dinard Emeraude area tourist office on Dinard: https://www.dinardemeraudetourisme.com/explorer/9-paradis-demeraude/dinard-follement-balneaire/

The Ille et Vilaine dept 35 tourist board on Dinard: https://www.bretagne35.com/partez-a-la-decouverte-de-lille-et-vilaine/sites-remarquables/dinard/

The Bretagne region tourist board on Dinard: https://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/cap-frehel-saint-malo-mont-saint-michel-bay/dinard-saint-briac-and-saint-lunaire/

And voilà, this is beautiful Dinard, worth the detour me think. Hope you enjoy the introduction and do read my other posts on the city and this one of course.

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

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April 6, 2021

The one and only Dinan!!!

And this is a twist off of one older post of two towns and I am splitting on my black and white series as already plenty on them with pictures in my blog. On a nice Sunday afternoon, and after doing some gardening in the house, I  decided to visit Dinan . I like to update this older post on the one and only Dinan!!!

This came in as an introductory post on the wonderful city of Dinan.  This is the beauty and diversity I have around me, and time for many to come on over , this is a gorgeous region; and if you are into the sea, the goodness of the produce from it and history, then by all means come to Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh.

Dinan is in the department 22 Côtes d’Armor in the region of Bretagne, part of the cities of the Poudouvre traditional Breton country. It is a fortified town with ramparts defended by a castle ,strategic point between Normandy and north of Brittany. The city of  Dinan  was built mainly on a hill and the old town dominates from about 75 meters the Rance river that flows to the north into the Manche between Saint Malo and Dinard. The name of Dinan comes from two Celtic words, Dun meaning a high hill and ahna a protective goddess of the living and keeper of the dead.

Brief history I like. In 1357 the war of succession of the duchy of Brittany joined Bertrand du Guesclin and his brother Olivier to defend the city from the English and Bretons loyal to Jean de Monfort. They face Thomas de Cantenbury in a single combat and were victorious. In 1364, after many attempts the duke Jean IV takes control of the city and had built a donjon known as the Duchess Anne. The fortifications of the city were modernised in the second half of the 15C with the addition of several artillery towers.  A long relatively calm period followed and to note in WWII, by August 2 1944 the 6th Armored Division USA reaches Dinan, heavily guarded by the nazis it takes them to get around it and later come back on August 6 with the 802nd Tank Destroyer Battalion to liberated the city.

Things to see in Dinan , huge amount of sights including many mansions me think are

The city has a wonderful old town fortified and a large area from the harbor and the neighborhood of the Rue Saint Malo covering 90 hectares (222 acres) or almost a quarter of the city. The rue du Jerzual, the hill most famous in Dinan that connects the port harbor to city center/downtown with a difference in height of  75 meters a slope of  35 % . Glad I had a car lol!

The castle or Donjon Duchesse Anne, part of the 2600 meters of ramparts walls. Saint Malo Church, end 15C to end 19C ,gothic and renaissance style with beautiful stained glass from early 20C, English organ, polychrome pipes built in 1889 ;the French revolution destroyed the Church and it was rebuilt and given back to the Catholic cult in 1803; The clock tower or tour de l’Horloge, from the 15C and 45 meters high, still has the bell given by the Duchesse Anne in 1498; the convent of the Cordeliers from the 13C and buildings now dating from the 15C, it held the estates general of Brittany in 1573 , and 1634 convent restored in the 19C and now houses a private school; Basilica of Saint Sauveur built from the 12C was never completed and it houses the cenotaph of the heart of the constable Du Guesclin. Done in the Gothic, classic, and baroque style of construction, with a nice portal from the 12C; the train station or gare de Dinan built in 1931 with ceramic mosaics maps inside showing the railroad lines and a map of the city of Dinan; the station is built in the neo Breton style of Ar Seiz Breur.

The city is rich in museums and we like many but these are the best in my opinion:

The museum castle of Dinan, rue du Château ,history of Dinan from antiquities to now decorative arts, fine arts and religious art. Tour de l’Horloge, rue de l’Horloge f or a tour up 45 meters and the bell of Anne de Bretagne., and Musée Remember 1939-1945 , at 16 rue du Pont de la Haye, showing about 6000 items from cigarette boxes to airplane engines, artillery, uniforms, vehicles, and reconstruction of a blockhaus and history of the resistance in the area.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit to wonderful Dinan, and you should are:

The city of Dinan on sights: https://www.dinan.fr/8/decouvrir

The Dinan Cap Fréhel tourist officehttps://www.dinan-capfrehel.com/notre-destination/destination-dinan-cap-frehel/

The Côtes d’Armor tourist office on Dinanhttps://www.cotesdarmor.com/sites-incontournables/dinan/

The Bretagne tourist board on Dinanhttps://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/cap-frehel-saint-malo-mont-saint-michel-bay/dinan/

And voilà, this is beautiful Dinan, worth the detour me think. Hope you enjoy the introduction and do read my other posts on the city and this one of course.

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

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April 4, 2021

Church of Notre Dame of Cholet !!

And on my update route again, and what a thrill it has been for me to revive these older posts due to current situation. I know there is a lot more to do but I am moving on and now with more time ho ho ho. Let me tell you about the Church of Notre Dame of Cholet!!! Hope you enjoy as I.  This was a surprise, did not realize that this town could have such a beautiful Church. As a lover of Architecture and History, these fascinates me and I go a great length to visit them all; working on it!

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I am talking about the Notre Dame Church of Cholet. It is right in city center/downtown of the city  at the parvis Jean-Paul-II , and surrounded by the old town and a great square Travot.  The short end of it tells us that here was a castle and the now Church was just a chapel of the castle, then the parish Church was built and over and over again on the same spot the current Church occupy today. This region has suffered greatly in the 19C due to the voracious French revolution, that only destroyed many religious buildings but murdered many of the folks in the area of the Vendée or wars of the west as they were called.  The people here has taken to rebuilt these religious buildings  , and the current Church was initially built between 1854 and 1887. It is considered one of the best work and preserved of buildings from the trouble 19C in the region.

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It is told that the first sign of a Church here was from the 11C and by around 1185 it became the parish Church.  For a long period of neglect, and after the French revolution it was used as a stable and then a prison.  The deterioration was imminent and by 1812 danger of fallen stones from its walls , the Church was closed to the public. In July 1814, the remains are demolished and new Church took over in the Poitevin style with a lantern tower bell tower below the altar, on ordered of the Duke of  Angoulême this was finished in 1820. The new Church was soon found too small and the fourth Church on the spot is built starting in 1854 and finished in 1887.  It was built of stones in a neo Gothic style of the 13C; it has a choir with five Chapels and a transept. It is capped with two steeples, each with a slender, pointed arrow, surmounted by a wrought iron cross, rising to 65 meters above the square.

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Let me tell you some of the wonderful things you can find inside.

First, the ceilings are magnificent high and clean and just gorgeous, with beautiful stained glass in the walls recounting the story of the birth and last judgment of Christ.  There is a nice pulpit chair and a baptismal chapel with engraving that is just gorgeous. The towers front façade were recently clean and renovated and work is continuing on the rest of the Church while it stays open.  There at this time a Nativity Scene quite nice.

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The building outside is huge or it seems that way to me. The reconstruction has been a success. There is a wonderful statue of my favorite Joanne of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc) on the left side wall half way the nave.  You have an organ from 1903 renovated afterward on several times but just gorgeous encrusted on the wall from the bottom up and a big rosary window above it.

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There are several Chapels  showing the Virgin and the Enfant Jesus, St Peter’s, the Last Judgment , and Christ at the Cross. The impressive statues at the back in white stone are one on St Remi baptizing Clovis for the foundation of France and St Genevieve battling Attila the Hun defending Paris (St Genevieve is Paris patron Saint). Impressive.

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The Cholet tourist office on the church: https://www.ot-cholet.fr/eglise-notre-dame-cholet.html

The Cholet Catholic parish on the church: https://www.choletcatho.net/paroisse-saint-pierre-notre-dame

The city of Cholet on its churches: https://www.cholet.fr/chaines/dossier_29_eglises.html

Overall, this is a very nice Church of Notre Dame, that could be mistaken for a Cathedral. Big, spacious, bright white color showing throughout ,and nice statues. Just for it alone and the place Travot  in Cholet, could be worth a visit.

Enjoy it and help preserve for humanity’s sake. Another jewel from my belle France. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 4, 2021

And we have Roscoff!

This one was going way north in my lovely Bretagne, always searching for new places in my magical world of France. Going over to our neighboring dept 29 Finistére is an usual habit by now, and this time got to the extreme north ; therefore, we have Roscoff! This is an update of an older post in my wonderful ride to revive memories of always. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Doing my road warrior swing thru Finistére , we went by car to Morlaix and with time decided to take a plunge into Roscoff a bit further. This was a good choice as we enjoy the sea breezes here.  The town is very touristic and seafarer, with lots of British influx due to the Brittany Ferry trips. We came by car along the D58 road, very nice done road and very little traffic almost alone on the road !!!  We hit first the ferry port and saw the many cars lining up to go over the manche… This is a busy port indeed with 85% British visitors , almost like been in UK….   We went by the Casino de Roscoff at port de Bloscon as well very nice and conveniently located by the ferry boat harbor.

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We ,then proceeded by car to the lighthouse or phare right off the street coming in by the fishing old harbor ;this lighthouse is 24 meters high and has 95 steps, the square top was started in 1914,as well as the optic lense and done in 1917.  Funny we follow the petit train into the narrow streets all the way to the parking behind the Church Notre Dame de Croas Batz that itself was started built in 1520, with the belltower from 1576 and all done in granite. There is a marker on the wall as you come from the embarcadére to ile de Batz showing the spot where Marie Stuart of the Scotts once lived and also a plaque commemoration across from it. Queen at age 7 days! she crosses into Roscoff history as girlfriend of future king of France François II , she lands at Roscoff by the Chapel of Saint Ninien , (today destroyed) on which remaining façade there is the writing of this event.

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We went to the pleasure boat marina of Bloscon . The embarcadére or cruising terminal to the island or ile de Batz, very nice indeed, we went down on the side of the Ibis hotel to the stony beach and you a great view of the passerelle to get the boat here,nice. It is done several times a day but cancel in case of high tides with coefficient greater than 100.

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The town is very lovely with vibrant activities and plenty to shop for souvenirs and eating places. I rather think the beaches are great in season and one must come early for space.  The petit train is always a nice family riden especially if small children.

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It was already late and as not planned to visit here ,we headed home, just our routine one day or weekend trips in our area and writing about it for eternity ::) . It goes to say, we will be back in season as it is nice for longer stay by the ocean . The road back was not the same as the one coming to Morlaix and then Roscoff. I always try to find out new routes . We took the same road out of Roscoff back to Morlaix on the D58 briefly on the D712 and then on the D769, and then by La Feuillée change to the D764  and continue to Carhaix-Plouger to hook up with the N164 dir Rostrenen. At Mûr de Bretagne (since joined another village and change name as a whole to Guerlédan) ; we got off heading into the D767 direction Pontivy, at Pontivy we took the D768 direction Baud, and here the road D768 direction Camors into our town. The ride along the Mont d’Arrée is fantastic.

The Roscoff tourist officehttps://www.roscoff-tourisme.com/fr/decouvrir/6-destinations/roscoff/roscoff-vous-accueille/

The Finistére dept 29 tourist board on Roscoff: https://www.toutcommenceenfinistere.com/article/de-roscoff-la-baie-de-morlaix

The Bretagne region tourist board on Roscoffhttps://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/pink-granite-coast-morlaix-bay/roscoff/

The City of Roscoff on tourism: https://www.roscoff.fr/-Tourisme-.html

And now home writing about the new adventures. This is Roscoff ,worth a detour and we will be back when possible. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

April 3, 2021

My travels in the Morbihan LXXXIX

So I go again doing my new road warrior trips around my beautiful department 56 of Morbihan in my lovely Bretagne of my belle France! This was done yesterday as we were all home and Good Friday so went to nature. We have been in town before several times and passed by this nature reserve but never in it until yesterday. Proof that we have so much to see need to find the time to do it!!!

You need a car to come here or a long walk after taken bus line 7 from Vannes. By car we came onto the N165 expressway into Vannes by the parc du Golfe take the underground tunnel of Kerino into the town of Séné. One in town follow the signs for the Reserve Naturelle. Easy

And you come into the Reserve Naturelle des Marais de Séné, a wonderful nature park. I rather translate the official site for proper info as this was all new to us as well. It was nice, and found out we can do picnics here too!

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There is a section with paid access (in yellow on the site map) with 2 trails and 5 observation points for 4 km of trail. Allow 2 hours of visit. The paid part is fully equipped with covered observation points. The observation points are closer to the marshes and allow better observation of wildlife. Signs are installed under each window to help you distinguish each species. You will find a binocular rental service at reception (2 euros per pair) , at this time the service was not available due to sanitary measures , and activity leaders are on site to help you better appreciate the richness of the marshes.

There is also, section of free access (in red on the site map) with 2 trails and 1 observation point and 2 observation platforms for 4.5 km of trail. Allow 2 hours of visit. At the end of the road, 2 km from the Nature Center.
Remember to take your observation equipment (and hiking shoes or boots in winter) to observe the landscapes and shapes of the ancient salt marshes. Less developed than the paid access trails, it is more of a hiking trail here.

During the curfew, the nature reserve closes at 17h30 February and March: Every day: 14h – 18h (ticket office closes at 16h). April to June: Every day: 14h- 19h (ticket office closes at 17h). July and August : Every day: 10h – 13h & 14h – 19h. (ticket office closes at 17h). September 1 to 15: Every day:14h – 18h (ticket office closes at 16h). September 16 to January 31: Closed (except groups & nature walks). The free-access red trail remains accessible all year round!
Paid access admission for adult is 6 euros.

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The Marais de Séné Nature Reserve is located in the estuary of the Noyalo river, the easternmost part of the Gulf of Morbihan. The physiognomy of the coast, flat and low, as well as the weak agitation of the water due to the attenuation of tidal currents and waves, favor the deposition of fine particles suspended in the water, which accumulate and constitute two very specific natural environments: In the bed of the estuary: the mudflat, also called the “slikke” (word from the Dutch), a vast mud plateau revealing at low tide, dotted with channels. On the banks of the estuary, submersible at high tides: salt meadows or grass, also called “schorre”. Mudflats and salt meadows are two intimately linked natural environments, installed in the continuity of one another.

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The old salt marshes separated from the estuary by dikes are home to a remarkable semi-natural habitat: the coastal lagoon. On the scale of French territory or Europe, this habitat is rare because it is located on low and sheltered coasts. The lagoons are characterized by the presence of a water table during all or part of the year, undergoing wide variations in salinity during the annual cycle, with in particular summer periods of oversalinity. They host specific plant and animal species whose presence is linked to the maintenance of more or less regular relations with the marine environment: appropriate management of water levels is therefore necessary to maintain it.

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A bit of history I like

The salt marshes of Séné were developed between 1723 and 1742. As in the rest of western France, the decline in salt production is noted in Séné from 1850. At the end of the 19C and at the beginning of the 20C, the marshes were sold to farmers and salt workers. Before the 1914-1918 Great War, salt farming already seemed endangered in Séné. The last salt worker ceased operations in 1951.

The idea of a nature reserve was then brought up for the first time. In April 1979, the donations collected by the SEPNB (Society for the Study and Protection of Nature in Brittany) during the Amoco Cadiz oil spill, allow the purchase of the old saltworks of Petit Falguérec and the neighboring meadows. , representing an area of 14ha. On August 21, 1996, ministerial decree n ° 96-746 classifies 410 ha on the west bank of the Noyalo river as a Nature Reserve, the management of which was entrusted in October 1997 to the Amicale de Chasse de Séné, Bretagne Vivante-SEPNB and the town of Séné. In 2002, a 120 ha nature reserve protection perimeter was set up, bringing the area of the protected area to 530 ha.

Some webpages to help you enjoy your trip here are:

The official Séné marshes nature reserve: https://www.reservedesene.bzh/

The city of Séné on the marshes nature reserve: https://www.sene.bzh/nature-et-environnement/reserve-naturelle-marais-de-sene/

The Friends of the nature reserve of Séné: https://amisreservedesene.fr/

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist office on the Gulf of Morbihan things to see: http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/home/discover/morbihan/the-main-destinations/the-gulf-of-morbihan

Hope you enjoy this trip into the nature trails of my Morbihan, full air near the coast by the Gulf of Morbihan, one of the most beautiful bays in the world (Great Bays/Condé Nast). And the reserve naturelle des marais de Séné is unique!

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

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April 1, 2021

Church Saint Louis of Brest!!

And here here, this is a find indeed.In my wonderful time upating older posts I came into this topic that was briefly mentioned in older post but feel deserves a full post of its own. Therefore, here is my take on the Church Saint Louis of Brest!

You 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 on the ruins of the old Church Saint Louis. It is very near the market St Louis (see post) ; hope you enjoy it as I and glad found it!

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The old Church Saint Louis was built from 1686, consecrated in 1702; but was not completed until 1785. Name for king Louis IX or Saint Louis. The painting ;the Martyrdom of the Maccabees, from the high altar of the ancient Church of the Seven Saints was there. The presence of this painting in the old church of the Seven Saints illustrates the confusions which have occurred over time between several more or less legendary accounts of “Seven Saints”, the Seven Saints founders of Bretagne, the Seven Saints de la Rade de Brest, the Seven Saints children of Saint Félicité, the Seven Saints of Tibur children of Saint Symphorose and Saint Gétule. Severely damaged by bombings during WWII as well as by reprisals from the nazis, during the summer of 1944, the church was finally razed to the ground during Reconstruction.

The new Church Saint Louis was built between 1953 and 1958. It is 10 meters above the old one, some ruins of which are still visible in the basements of the current church. The Church of Saint-Louis is the largest French church rebuilt after WWII and its architecture was inspired by 20C Swiss churches. The building is 95 meters long, 27 meters wide and 24.5 meters high under the vault; flanked by an imposing reinforced concrete bell tower, the size of which was reduced compared to the first sketches with the momentum cut by a copper lantern on one side and its baptistery on the other, a bay pierced at the above the nave illuminates the high altar. Its Logonna stone facing contrasts with its concrete walls and the west wall, almost blind, responds to the east glass wall in a symbolism of Evil and Good; the west wall is also blind due to bad weather. The red doors recall the blood of Brest residents who died during WWII, the shape of the doors evokes that of submarine doors: it would be a reminder of the maritime history of Brest. The stained glass windows which constitute a strong point of the whole: representing four Breton saints ,Pol de Léon, Corentin, Guénolé, and Saint Yves   and seven other saints and prophets; respectively in the choir, the southern side of the nave and the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.

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The chalice has a very particular history which is linked to the most dramatic hours of recent history in Brest. The chalice was made with the gold and silver of the jewelry worn by the victims of the Sadi-Carnot shelter in WWII. After the tragedy, the gold and silver jewelry of the victims were collected. The families had expressed the wish that with solid silver a chalice decorated with precious stones recovered from the shelter would be made.The Stations of the Cross was delivered in April 2017. The latter explains that the film The Passion of Christ by Mel Gibson inspired it. This Stations of the Cross has the particularity of having an additional station: station number 15 on the theme of Mercy.

The Parish churches of Brest including Saint Louishttps://paroissebrestcentre.wordpress.com/bienvenue-a-la-paroisse/un-peu-dhistoire/

The City of Brest on heritage: https://www.brest.fr/un-territoire/decouvrir-1578.html

The Brest metropole tourist office on Bresthttps://www.brest-metropole-tourisme.fr/decouvrir/actualites/que-faire-a-brest-en-fevrier-mars-54795

And voilà! credit is given to a nice monument in wonderful Brest, where we have lots of good memories with the family told in many other posts in my blog. You are good to visit Brest and see this nice Church Saint Louis!

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

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April 1, 2021

Océanopolis at Brest!!

And this is a very nice place worth the detour alone. Brest has many interesting sights but for the family this rank high, the Océanopolis at Brest! Its an aquarium pretty big and well managed. As in my several posts on Brest in my blog hope you enjoy it as I.

So let me bring you up north of my Bretagne and into the seafaring tradition of the Bretons. The sea is all around us and is part of the history and traditions of this region so no surprise that one of the best aquariums are here too.  I have written before about Brest of course, but believe showcasing this aquarium or Océanopolis of Brest is worth it. I say it is worth a detour, wonderful place indeed. It is impressive enough arriving on the point of the city next to the harbor and sea making a roundabout turn to get into it and there you have it , again , a wonderful place to visit, and good for the whole family.

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Océanopolis is a center of scientific culture dedicated to the oceans, located in Brest, near the marina of the Moulin Blanc. Rue Cormorans. The shape of the first building, the temperate pavilion, is reminiscent of a crab. Océanopolis opened its doors in 1990. The first goal was to offer a showcase to the sea science through the temperate pavilion. In fact, Brest brings together 60% of European research on the sea. Fully refurbished in 2000 with the addition of the polar and tropical pavilions, Océanopolis proposes a scientific approach to the marine environment as a whole. For this, about 50 aquariums from 50 to 1 000 000 liters for the shark basin are offered to the public. In addition to the basins, different supports (video, interactive kiosks, panels…) provide additional information on the biology of species, the protection of the environment, the functioning of ecosystems. The center is cut into three pavilions, corresponding to three different environments: temperate, polar and tropical. 10 000 animals and marine plants of 1 000 species can thus be discovered in this complex. Océanopolis includes 8 700 m2 of visiting areas and 4 million liters of sea water including 1 million for the shark basin.

A bit of history I like

Éric Hussenot, marine biologist passionate about marine mammals and Jean-Paul Alayse, oceanographer and specialist of basins, have a joint project of Aquarium-Museum from the beginning of the 1980’s. These two researchers from the CNRS write the thesis “Project for the creation of an aquarium-museum in Brest” highlighting the potential of the ecosystems of the Sea of Iroise. In 1988, the work of Océanopolis, called “The House of the Sea”, began. It opens its doors to the public on June 21, 1990 with the label of center of Scientific and technical culture. By creating in 2000 two new pavilions (one showing the polar ecosystems, the other the tropical marine environment), the center passes from the simple aquarium stage to the ocean Discovery Park.

Océanopolis is divided into zones or basins such as:

Pavillon Bretagne : The first pavilion of Océanopolis, the temperate pavilion was designed to serve as a showcase for marine and scientific activities in the region. From the bottom of the Atlantic continental Shelf to the fine sand beach, we discover animals and plants of the Breton coast in reconstituted environments in the nearest reality. At the end of the pavilion, visitors have the opportunity to familiarize themselves even more with the fauna and the coastal flora thanks to the demonstration puddle where they can touch the inhabitants of the seaside: starfish, anemones, sea urchins… Among the animals that can be seen in the basins: bars, marine seals, bats and spotted local sharks.

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Pavillon Polaire : Opened in 2000, this pavilion presents the fauna of the north and south poles. At first, it is the penguins and birds that inhabit the sub-antarctic islands that visitors may encounter.  A little further afield, a transitional space allows us to learn more about the food relations in the poles and the Inuit people living in the Arctic. In a second step, the Polar Pavilion proposes to discover the Arctic fauna.

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Pavillon Tropicale :  Open at the same time as the Polar Pavilion, the tropical Pavilion is built as a four-step journey through the tropical seas. At the entrance of this tropical pavilion, the visit begins with the lagoon, a new aquarium that allows observing from the surface of the water the species of a tropical lagoon of shallow depth. Each stage of the visit then corresponds to a tropical zone and one or more basins as well as a theme. The Pacific Ocean and the Sharks, the Indo-Australian archipelago, the coral and the inhabitants of the reef, the Indian Ocean and the large tropical fish families, the endemism of the Caribbean regions. The visit of the pavilion ends with a walk in an equatorial forest, carried out in partnership with the National Botanical Conservatory of Brest.

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Outside the Océanopolis building is a marquee that welcomes a new exhibition every two years. Océanopolis has expanded by creating a new outdoor space dedicated to otters and sea lions. This space of 300 m2 is specially designed to discover two new coastal ecosystems, one northeast Atlantic and the other Californian. Océanopolis also offers general public lectures available for free. Océanopolis also hosts annual cultural and scientific events, such as the Oceanographic Adventure Film Festival, the Science Festival or the night of the researchers.

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The Marine Mammal Studies Laboratory of Océanopolis (LEMM) was established in 1989. Its mission is to study the coastal populations of marine mammals in Brittany. The species studied are mainly: the grey seal of the Mullein Archipelago and the Sept-Îles, the great dolphin of the island of Sein and the archipelago of Mullein. It is part of it and tours can be arranged with the Océanopolis.

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Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

The official Océanopolis webpage: https://www.oceanopolis.com/

The Brest tourist office on Océanopolishttps://www.brest-metropole-tourisme.fr/sortir-bouger/loisirs/brest-parcs-loisirs/oceanopolis-6200

There you go, again , a wonderful trip with the whole family and fully educational with fantastic views of the basin in all pavillons. Hope you enjoy Océanopolis at Brest as we did. And looking forward to be back when possible.

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

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