Friday, July 10, 2015

St Malo, France: A Brittany Photo Album

We hadn't planned to visit Brittany, tucked there in the nortwestern corner of France.  But we had extra time so we went in that direction and not much happened.  Sure, we had a couple of hot days, then some rain, and John got a cold. We also saw beautiful countryside and the Atlantic Ocean.  We ate shellfish and warm crepes folded into quarters and wrapped in paper, still warm from the griddle.  This land was made to be explored by bicycle.  Just roly-poly enough to build up an appetite, and if your timing is good you will have a tailwind, and if not, just wait a couple of days and the weather will change 180 degrees. See, not much. So this post is mostly pictures and few words.  Enjoy!

We met the Atlantic Ocean again near busy Port Navalo.  There isn’t enough space in the harbor for all the boats apparently, so they need to stack them on racks like packages at Costco.

We took a short ferry from Port Navalo to Locmarlaquer.  A fellow passenger described it as a “petite bateau”, which it surely was.

The area around Carnac has megaliths older than Stonehenge by 100 years.  Here is Pierre’s Place, a small tomb.

We got really excited on this first group of megaliths we found after winding around country roads following signs on the road like a scavenger hunt.

The rocks were placed between 5000 and 2000 BC in an alignment over 4 kilometers long. 

Rocks all in a row, a real megalith farm.

We sought shade under the bridge on a hot day in Belz for lunch, looking over an inlet where local guys were out fishing on their lunch hour.

Charming Breton homes along the inlet at Belz.

A day at the beach, Brittany style.

Leaving the west coast we crossed inland to reach the north coast, traveling quiet country roads through agriculture fields over roly-poly terrain.

A rainy morning along an old rail trail that took us over the Montagnes Noires to the town of Carhalx-Plouger, an important crossing of multiple railways, canals, and rivers during the 19th century.

The nicest days are those after a rain event.

Signs like this are all over the countryside, leading to places that don’t appear on any of our maps.

A typical Breton home -- simple square houses with steep-pitched roofs, white-washed and trimmed with local stone.

As we reached the Cote de Granit Rose (Pink Granite Coast) near Tregastel the more upscale homes were built completely from local materials.

Dewy mornings require spreading out our tent at our noon lunch spot, here at the lovely park in Lannion.

Morning views of the rocky Cost de Granit Rose near Ploumanach.

Flowers are in full summer bloom now, and these “snowballs” are colorful accents to the landscape.

The people of Brittany are proud of their heritage and the black-and-white flag is displayed everywhere.

Half-timbered houses in Dinard.  We have been surprised to see so many in France, and they are usually in an area that was previously heavily forested.

Quintessential French blue, in Dinard.

Every once in a while we cross paths with an old Citroen.

Looking across the water to the old town of St Malo in the distance and the ferry dock in the foreground.  View is from our campground on the peninsula to the south.

Our campground in St Malo was located on a high point with a WWII memorial where the thick metal bunkers installed by the German army still show the scars of bombardment.

The tides are extreme around St Malo, so a wall keeps the water contained at low tide for those who choose to swim in the chilly Atlantic.
The town of St Malo was 80% destroyed during WWII, but rebuilt.  It is possible to walk the two kilometers on the ramparts of the old city.

A solid building of St Malo, getting some roof repair.  The workers were roped up like rock climbers.

The streets in St Malo are narrow and winding.  This tower is claimed to be the oldest building in the city, from the 15th century.

Small islands offshore from St Malo get completely surrounded at high tide.  People were wading out in the shallow water as the tide was receding in the afternoon.

Timing is everything if you plan to go sailing out of St Malo.

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Bonnie said...

Beautiful color of blue water, the pic of the island barely offshore. Fascinating. Also intrigued by those megaliths! Will do some research on that. They would make nice landscape additions to the gardens in June Lake, as well! Cheers to you guys. Bonnie

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