Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Brittany - Celtic Arthurian Landscape & a Rogues' Nest to boot!

Brittany, along with Cornwall and Wales, is one of the last refuges of the indigenous British people. An independent kingdom up until the 1500’s, it has always had its own identity separate from the rest of France.

It has its own flag, its own language (which resembles Cornish), its own music which is similar to Irish – but with a few extra notes for good luck. They even have their own bagpipes! A place so close to France, and often disputed between warring duchies and countries, the place is steeped in history. You can barely walk over a hill without finding some ancient earthwork, dolmen or castle.


Port Dinan from the viaduct to Dinan. I can see my favourite pastry shop...



Brittany has always had a special place in my heart – for many years it was the location of my family summer holiday – and what awesome holidays they were for a history and outdoor enthusiast. I have family there in the gorgeous medieval city of Dinan (think French York). And now that I live in the Channel Islands, I am very close indeed.

Of course the food and drink are awesome – with such fine delights as elderberry ale, buckwheat whisky, sparkling ciders, sweet pastries, apple baked shortbreads and stuffed brown buckwheat crepes. And the seafood? Well... wow.
Bonnet Rouge - red elderberry ale. Quite clearly I didn't have time to take a steady photograph... there was ale at stake after all!

I am going to do a series of posts on my brief foray a couple of months ago, showing Dinan, Dinard, Lehon, and of course the Corsair city of Saint Malo. Here are some taster photographs:


Dinan



Walking the river from Dinan to Lehon



Abbey at Lehon



Abbey at Lehon



Entrance to Saint Malo - with a very piratical looking vessel...



Saint... Cervent? I think... This is the river Rance - separating Saint Malo from Dinard.



More on this bad boy to come... (the ship - not me)




German gun emplacement, chewed up by American fire in WWII. Note the unexploded shell in the middle! I pity the germans that were inside for the noise alone.