We’ve had the dog’s view of our holiday in France. Here’s the human’s view.

We were in Brittany staying in a gite (suitable for dogs and wheelchairs) at St Paul de Leon, about 10 km south west of Roscoff. I had imagined this section of France, facing Cornwall but largely unvisited by the British, as being like Cape Wrath in Scotland, – empty wilderness, battered by Atlantic storms, but in fact it was low rolling hills, beautiful beaches with white sand and rocks, and although the weather was cloudy and cool, in fact it was never really cold. It was fine agricultural land, well tended, and here were numerous small and ancient towns, with buildings in grey stone, and churches with weirdly decorated spires.

We drove to Plymouth, had a walk on the Hoe, nodded to the statue of Sir Francis Drake and had a meal. Then the wait to get on the ship which was a bit slow in getting underway but was fine when they checked us in. We got the key to our cabin at check in; they parked us right next to the lift. We found our cabin to be spacious and comfortable.

I however was tired, so we retired to our respective beds. I always sleep well in a boat, Sometime in the night, a drunk couple came back to their cabin beside ours. “Monsieur, Madame.’ A French crew member enquired solicitously, ‘Are you OK? You have pressed the emergency button.” A slurred male voice replied,’ No we haven’t touched it. It was like that when we came.” Muffled giggles came from within the cabin. The French steward dropped his charming manners and snarled, Yes, you did; you pressed it twice. If you press it again, you will be arrested.’ He stomped away and we heard nothing more. But I thought, arrested? Do they have a cabin to detain arrested persons? Who would do the arresting? The remark seemed to give our hiccuping neighbours some pause for thought, for we heard no more of them. Somewhere in the night, I woke and thought Charged. Not arrested. Charged. It’s not quite the same thing.

We left the ship without incident, bought some groceries, and made our way to the gite. It was satisfactory and comfortable. There was a field nearby full of peonies. I was very excited by this – I had never seen a field of peonies in flower -what colour would they be? When later I discovered that they were artichokes, I was very disappointed. (A lot of bother to prepare for Elisabeth and the eating not worth the effort.)

We had some lovely meals though – ranging from simple creperies, to a 2 star Michelin hotel, plus a 2 star Michelin hotel that we abandoned, to a delicious no choice menu in a shack in a wood, served by a waitress who had a swan like neck

This part of France is not much visited by the British – we only saw one other British car. It had lovely sandy beaches, with sand dunes, rocks and rock pools, and many rivers which at low tide were completely empty with just a tiny stream left running in the dark mud. I had never seen this before and at first wondered if it was a tsunami indication, but it happened every tide. There were also islands with causeway walks out to them.

We saw our first swallows in France this year, and heard the cuckoo. Larks rose up beside us on the grass behind the dunes with their heart catching song. We saw avocets and several pairs of shell ducks.

We visited a tropical garden in Roscoff where amazingly exotic things grew right beside the sea on an unpromising piece of rocky land. We visited a market selling livestock, rabbits and quail among the more usual things, in a very beautiful small town with a lovely market square and charming street. We found a lovely campsite in a town called Locquirec to which we think we might go back at some stage with our caravan.

John and I, walking in Morlaix while Elisabeth and Robert took Milo for the obligatory worming session by a Vet, came across one of those shops selling paintings It was our last day, and there was a large painting of avocets in the window. I like that, I said to John, and in one of these decisions where neither of you hesitates that makes for the best purchases, he said, So do I; let’s have it. The shop was shut but we had a coffee and waited. We bumbled round the shop like the tourists we were; the lady was quite surprised when we said, apparently without any discussion, we’d like that painting. So now it hangs on our wall, reminding us of our lovely holiday.

We commend this part of France for anyone wanting a quiet break, near the Channel ports, in a forgotten part of France that’s still France-for-the-French.

About adhocannie
I am a good natured woman with a long memory and a swift tongue. I like loooking at things and thinking about them. Also food, clothes, travel, reading, sewing. I try to see the ridiculous in things, but sobriety of reflection keeps edgting in. I have husband, children, grandchildren, friends... I feel rich in things that matter. I am a happy exile. I like writing. I do not like talking about me (though I do.). You willl be much more interesting.


  1. Sheena says:

    If I hadn’t already wanted to go there, I certainly do now!

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