In 1997 Anita’s cousin Jacqui married Stéphane in Brittany. This was a great opportunity to have a holiday in Brittany. So we decided to book two Gites. The first week with Anita’s parents and the second on our own.
We travelled down to Plymouth, catching the ferry across to Roscoff. The journey across was I eventful until leaving the ferry when the exhaust fell off. Consequently we spent the first few hours in France communicating with local garages via the AA. The car was going to take 5 days to fix. Luckily we were able to transfer some of her luggage into Anita’s parents car but this entailed a hurried repacking of both our cases into one. Squeezed into one car we made our way to Trébeurdan – unfortunately missing the civil reception, making it very late to arrive at a local Créperie for a reception. Luckily the Church wedding was to be on the Saturday. We booked into the St Samson Golf Hotel, where the wedding reception was to be.
The wedding was followed by a long, but tasty reception meal, consisting of many courses. It lasted until 2am and was followed by a disco which we left at 4am!
A relaxing day spent catching up with Family at Stéphane’s family home.
Then in the evening we traveled down to our first gite in Chateaulin.
We headed off to Quimper, the ancient capital of Kernev (Cornouaille), a region of Brittany. We wandered through the town and visited the market.
In the evening we traveled to Locronan, a picturesque village, one of the most beautiful in Brittany. We wandered through the streets and Anita had her portrait ‘taken’ by an artist who cut out her silhouette with scissors.
We travelled out to Pont du Dinan. After relaxing on the beach, we walked out onto the headland and discovered this natural arch. We had to clamber over some rocks and then went over this ‘bridge’ to the island.
We had to return to Northern Brittany to pick up the car from Morlaix. Whilst there we had to phone our solicitors to progress the completion of the purchase of our current house (strange to think we are now leaving here now!)
Travelling to the coast we rejoined the rest of the family and spent a day at Trégastel beach. We enjoyed relaxing on the beach and swimming out to the islands in the bay. The water wasn’t too cold, but the rocks were very sharp!
We spent the evening in Locquirac having a family meal.
We traveled to the west coast visiting Douarnenez then on toPont du Miliar and Pont du Breizhlac. There was a strong swell that day which made for some splendid views of the waves crashing against rocks. The sea was too rough to swim here – so we carried on to the Bay of Souls where we had a dip in the sea
We visited the historic town Concarneau. From the outside the town did not necessarily look impressive but inside the picturesque streets were enhanced by street artists and musicians. Inside the walled town were lots of lovely little shops, where we bought some souvenirs and sampled some ice cream from a choice of about 50 flavours. We did a tour of the walled promenade with a commentary on Walkman that described the History of Concarneau. Only a voluntary donation required to borrow it and it was well worth a listen.
On the forecourt we saw a group of musicians playing Celtic Breton Music which we liked so much we bought the CD.
In the evening we traveled to Pont Aven
We visited the local village of Playben to see a traditional Breton festival. Everyone wore traditional dress, all hand sewn. It was fascinating to hear the music and watch the dancing.
Having left Chateaulin early we headed for our second Gite located in the Loire region in the village of Erbray. On route we passed through Quimpèrle, then stopped off in Josselin.
Monday We ravelled to the town of Vitré where using a guide-book we walked through the old streets and around the Chateau walls.
Leaving Vitré we journeyed on to the Chateau at Fougères. We had great fun clambering up and down all the many turrets and towers.
Tuesday We drove into the Loire Valley, whee we visited some vineyards at Beaulieu du Lattay and the Rose Garden at Foué la Fontaine. Finally we drove to Saumur. Unlike Fougières, Samaur’s chateau was very much a stately home, which we were able to look around.
Wednesday We drove the short distance to Voireau Reservoir, where we swam and relaxed on the beach. We also hired a pedalo and traveled around the lake.
Thursday We journeyed to Clisson, which is known as little Italy due to it’s architecture.
We had a great lunch outside of Clisson, before looking around the gardens of the nearby stately home at Menezhom. The gardens here went down to the river’s edge and followed the interesting footpath across the weir and viewed the Italian Architecture. Friday We traveled to Chateau Gontier and took a boat trip along the river.
In the evening we arrived at Le Lude for the “Son et Lumière” show we had read about in the Guide Book. The Chateau was impressive although we were too late to go inside. From the bridge we observed the rows of seats where we would later see the show once dusk had fallen.
The show was impressive. Countries from around the globe were depicted with music and pictures and fireworks. It was a great way to end our holiday in France