August 22, 2013

A stopover in Bretagne (Brittany)

Bretagne - a little piece of my heart is there

Brittany Coastline - sea and beach
The beautiful coastline of Britanny
A short stop-over in Bretagne (link to Brittany Tourism) on the way to new adventures...

France has been close to my heart for a long time. I don't know if it is the attitude towards food that does it, the beautiful landscape, the language or the charming French people, who just like me talk with their hands – or if it a combination of all of these factors.

Regardless I find France an interesting part of the world to visit; Not the least because I want to improve my French – and it is step by step getting better, just don't ask me about the grammar...

Me and my good friend F
Fact is that once I am ready to take a break from Asia and return to Europe I am very strongly leaning towards spending some time in France;

To become fluent in French yes, but more than that -  very much to learn more about the French food culture; I learn some every time I visit, but there is so much more to discover.

There is so much to see and do, so much to explore in France, the biggest country in Europe, at least when it comes to landmass - beautiful coastline, high mountains, big open fields, forests, little towns and villages, big cities. France has it all - and if you top that up with local food specialities in every corner of France, I am sold. For a foodie like myself, there isn't much more to add - France is hard to resist.

Britanny's own flag, the black and white.
In August 2013 it was time to return again. After my visit in Poland, a country I very much enjoyed but haven't had a chance to blog about yet, I returned to Düsseldorf for a night, only to travel out to France in the morning, together with a French friend who was going back to the family in Brittany (Bretagne) for holiday – and I was invited to join - a great opportunity for me to see another side of the country and to really use my French - and using the language is the only way I can improve it.

Getting from Düsseldorf to Brittany is not straight forward, most of the trains in France go via Paris, and there aren't good connections from Düsseldorf to any airports in Brittany. The most efficient if you want to fly is probably Nantes but that still requires some hours of driving; My friends from Bretagne therefore normally drive. The drive is however over 10 hours long – not something recommended to do on your own unless you take a break in between, preferably stay in a hotel over night. Luckily we were two and could take turns - because we needed to be there the same day as we left Düsseldorf - there was a party to attend in the evening.

Mussels in Fouesnant
We left Germany early in the morning and arrived in Quimperle (see link for the official website) in the evening. After dropping of our bags we went to the town of Fouesnant (see link) and the wonderful summer fest, L'éte en fete, a well organised outdoor party with everything - great people, music, mussels, crepes and, of course, cidre (Cidre Breton, apple cider, the dry variant with alcohol, a speciality here.) Brittany has a lot of specialities, not the least the wonderful crepe caramel - crepes that are served with a caramel sauce made with salted butter, rather than the Nutella or chocolate that is so common in the rest of France.

The rest of the weekend was spent in a similar manor: Plenty of good food - I ADORE the fish and seafood in France and especially in Brittany (I wrote about it here), great people and wonderful views. I had a chance to see more of Quimperle, which is very beautiful, but also went to a Celtic festival in Lorient (Lorient Interceltique - see link), which I really enjoyed - even though the crepes were better in Fouesnant.

Beautiful Quimperle
I am amazed by how much Brittany has to offer! And yes, I will definitely come back again! And again. And again. 

No comments :