This blog is posted mostly everyday when we take a break from our usual retired Life as former full-time RVer's and travel overseas.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Never Let a Little Rain Get in the way of a Good Time



Dawn is breaking, it’s early morn, the car is waiting, we’re so happy we could cry, so come with me, we’re leaving in a rental car, but we’ll be back again. That is a little lame compared some of the ones I’ve written in the past, but Brittany is so wonderful I’d rather spend the time exploring its wonders than writing song parodies. But even at that, it requires a great deal of research to find the special places we visit. The most amazing thing about this photo? The book Linda is looking at is written in French. Has she gone native on me?


A view walking up towards town from our gite.


This picture was taken at the exact same spot many, many years ago. It is why we love to walk around the towns we visit, you never know what you will find down the next street or alley.


Another street in town, only the TV antennas on the chimneys date the buildings.


The large roof just right of center in the photo is our gite.


The previous photo was taken standing behind this small chapel which is on the hill above the river. The plaque on it indicated it was built in the late 1800’s on the site of an ancient fortification that had long before been destroyed. History so old it was lost in the dim past. Put into perspective, one has to chuckle at what we Americans call history.


One of several carved and painted statues in the chapel.


Another of those Linda flower photos that mysteriously appear when I download her photos. I don’t have a clue where she saw this one.


Our gite was once a warehouse building in the thriving port of La Roche Derrien. But as is the case, nothing is forever, and with the passage of time, by the early 1800’s, new ports became more important.  So it wasn’t long before La Roche Derrien became just one more town bypassed by progress. While our gite is in a repurposed building, just downstream is an old building that is slowly yielding to time, its front façade already buckling under the weight of the many decades that have passed by.


Though a side window one can see a rusted bicycle frame. I wonder what tales it could tell or what stories could be written about what happened behind this window in past centuries. Ah, to be young again and to have actually acted upon that urge I had to write. So sad but true, time waits for no man. Those who dream a fantasy life are doomed to unhappiness, those who wish but don’t act are filled with regret, and those who hope seek in vain. Do it now is all I can say, Philosopher Bob.


Steps leading to nowhere just a few feet from our gite. Oh, to know what it once was.


Yesterday we visited the cemetery where the women of the disappeared fishermen erected their memorials to those who were lost at sea. Today we saw some of the original memorials in the entrance to this small church.


A widow greaves for her husband.


Three brothers? who disappeared off Iceland plus two others, one dying at nearly the same time. What must their family have felt? What reward drove men to so risk their lives? To understand the times and the people, read Pêcheur d'Islande (An Iceland Fisherman) published in 1886 by Pierre Loti. Available on Project Gutenberg, link here. Disclaimer: I haven’t read it yet. Side note: if you are not familiar with Project Gutenberg, it is a gold mine of older outstanding books, and one that I have frequented since the days when Prodigy was the best way to access the internet. Does that date me or what.


Yep, another small town by the sea. What a commercial oyster producers yard looks like.


Woman on a mission. Not many people walk this path but those who do are rewarded.


The view at the end of the trail. This was where the women of the area came to watch for the return of the boats from Iceland. As we stood there, a light mist of rain falling, a lone sailboat, its sail furled, slowly moved past us. what joy must have been felt by the women who saw their loved one’s boat pass this very same place on its return from Iceland. It was Sara N. Dippity at her absolute best.


It may not look like much, it may be slightly out of focus, and if truth be told we probably had no business being on this road in the first place, but we were, because we can.


It was road that quite literally ended in the water. Without a doubt, we are likely the only Americans to have ever ventured to this place. But then again, it is what we do when we travel, though I think Linda would oftentimes prefer to travel a more well trod path.


Back roads? Back roads doesn’t begin to describe the roads we were on today. Linda was watching the GPS as we drove along and saying over and over, “There is no road here,” which wasn’t true since were were definitely on a road at the time. Lost, we weren’t lost, it was just that the GPS didn’t show any way to get to where we wanted to go. Plus the picture doesn’t do the road justice as the pavement was only as wide as our car.


Surprise! A lighthouse lantern in the park beside the marina of a small fishing village along the Brittany coast. To say we were excited doesn’t begin to describe it.


Not just a lighthouse lantern, more like a work of art.


Flower photo by Linda.


Flower photographer photo by Bob.


Another day, another lunch overlooking a marina, another instance of no English. No longer does Linda frown, now she smiles because she knows that no matter what it is that she orders, and even though she she doesn’t know what is is, it will be awesome.

We have finally figured out this restaurant thing. It is after the tourist season. The restaurants that cater to the tourists in these small towns are closed and we go by many that are indeed, closed. The ones that are still open are the ones that the locals frequent, in other words the ones that serve great food. No wonder every meal we have is so good. Once you know the secret, picking a good restaurant is easy.


Great food doesn’t begin to describe it. Fish and chips of the House, done to absolute perfection. Is it any wonder we linger over food like this?


Going to the “toilette” as they call it in these restaurants can be quite an adventure. I think the sign above the urinal is showing all the things your are not supposed to do in it. Of course I could be wrong, but then again, it’s all French to me. I do love how they have a cover over the urinal so the women sitting on the toilet behind you won’t have to see certain things when you go. Never underestimate the intelligence of the French. Observant Bob.


Another day, another meal over looking a marina, another picturesque setting. It is really getting tough putting up with this day after day. NOT!!


This one was just so awesome I had to post it.


Ever wonder how little boats grow up to be big boats? it’s hard to see but there is a black tube going into the little red boat. I think in France they force feed the little boats just like they do the geese when the produce foi gras. The little boats become big boats that look good but aren’t good for much. Then again, I could be wrong like I was that one time in 1953 when I misjudged a step in hopscotch at school, but it is highly unlikely I’ve ever been wrong again.


Much ado about nothing. it never rained a drop and before we left it it was once again blue skies. What is not to love about Brittany.


Linda, the little girl. See the crab in the store, touch the crab in the store. I only wished it had grabbed her with its claw. To hear her scream would have been worth taking her who knows where to get her finger stitched up.


American woman living like a French woman leaving the market with her bag of groceries. Many people say they want to live like a local but don’t. We don’t say anything, we just live Life. It’s not what you say you’re going to do, it’s what you do that matters.


No Loire Valley or Cote du Rhone wine for me, I learned my lesson, and learned it well. I’ll stick to the German wines of the Alsace region if I have to drink French wines. I may not be a wine cono-sewer, but I know what I don’t like and I know what I like.


After Linda lit the fire I built, she whipped up this awesome snack. As always, we only eat one meal a day at a restaurant, typically having a light snack for dinner. The only exception is when we are in Germany when it is pork three times a day, and whenever it isn’t we wish it had been. Tonight it was camembert topped with tomato on a baguette that she toasted. It was the perfect end to another great day in Brittany. How did we ever get so lucky?

1 comment:

  1. I am not even fond of fish, but the pix from lunch made my mouth water!!! My significant other half is prodding to go to Brittany next fall .......