With the sandwich-making business sold, we needed a proper holiday. Even though we had decided to leave Torquay and move to Kent, we thought that there would be quite a long time before we found a new home. So we booked a crossing from Plymouth to Roscoff in Brittany for a two-week break. As it happened things moved much quicker than we imagined, and we completed the purchase of our new house in Canterbury a week before we boarded the ferry.
After a chilly six hours on deck, our first night was spent in our port of
arrival - the pretty town of Roscoff. But after our first French
breakfast of croissants and chocolat chaud, we headed south to our first
gîte - a self-catering cottage. It was situated in the small town of
Locmariaquer on the Golfe du Morbihan. Locmariaquer and neighbouring
Carnac are famous for their prehistoric megalith alignments, which we duly
visited. But we were also impressed by the mediaeval streets in the
centre of the nearby city of Vannes and, further along the coast the
picturesque town of Pont Aven - where many famous artists stayed.
Locmariaquer itself was surrounded by beautiful beaches, which provided Benson and us with several enjoyable - if bracing (the weather was bright, but chilly) - walks. And of course we had to take a boat trip around the islands of the gulf. But after a week it was time to pack up again and head back north.
Our second gîte was on a farm, so no strolling into town each morning for our freshly-baked baguettes and pains au chocolat! But the nearby coastline was just as good as that we had seen the previous week. In fact, the natural rock formations of the 'Côte du Granit Rose' - to the west of our local town of Plougasnou - were stunning. There were also some nearby chateaux; Kerjean (rubbish) and Trevarez (beautiful, with fabulous gardens full of rhododendrons and azaleas). We also took a trip to the far western end of Brittany - first to the resort of Morgat, then to the Oceanopolis in Brest (a sea-life centre).
The nearest large town to where we were staying was Morlaix, but we were far more impressed with Saint Malo (which Phil had briefly visited when he was a student in Normandy in the seventies) and nearby Dinan. Both were very touristy, but understandably so given their beautiful settings. Too soon however it was time to drive aboard the ferry back to Devon - and our last few days living in Torquay.
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