Carly Bond

June, 2015:

Des vacances en famille en Bretagne – Day 11

We went to find a much better, more picturesque beach today, not too far from where we are staying, at town called Perros-Guirec. There are 2 fabulous beaches here, the first one (the one we actually stayed at for most of the day but the smaller of the two) is called Trestrignel. It was very much like the beaches that we had been frequenting in Southern Brittany, in that it was very flat. The sea went out a long way but it was such a gradual descent that it was so safe for Stanley. For the most part we had the place to ourselves so we could just let him run around as much as he wanted. 

      The sea was much colder here than at the beach last week, but it didn’t stop me going for a dip. I love swimming in the sea, but I didn’t stay out there long as it was so cold it was making my body ache.

After lunch and a nap for most people (apart from me I might add), we went for a drive round to the next beach called Trestraou. This is much bigger, more popular and more touristy of the two and there were many more places to eat and drink. We stopped off for a coffee…which turned in to a crepe stop for some & Margarita stop for others…yep the latter was me (well I am on my holidays after all & 4pm *is* Margarita time isn’t it?) 🙂 

P.S. Apologies for the mainly beach photos today. 

Des vacances en famille en Bretagne – Day 10

After the long time we spent in the car yesterday we decided to just have a fairly relaxed day today. So we headed for a beach nearby called Kermagen. The man who owns the gite apparently goes to swim here every day, and although not the most picturesque of beaches, was still a nice place to pitch up the picnic blanket and chairs & let the little man have a DIG!

This beach is more on an estuary that on the sea itself so the tide goes out a long way with the boats that are moored up all being beached for quite some time, however, the tide does start to come in fairly quickly. My dad went for a long walk onto a peninsula which soon became an island later on in the morning.

After lunch we set off to a place called Paimpol, which was another harbour town & would love to go back on a different day when more shops are open. But we had a lovely beer on the front while the little man had a very timely nap then walked around the town buying a few souvenirs. There was also a display of pigs on the front (like the Larkin Toads in Hull of anyone saw them)


It was then back to the gite fairly earlish to get the little man into bed for some well needed sleep…with the adults having a BBQ in the sun, even if it is a little bit cooler than previous nights.

Des vacances en famille en Bretagne – Day 9

Today we were travelling from Southern to Northern Brittany for the second part of our 2 week holiday, so unfortunately there is not much to write about today. We decided to take the non-motorway route to make it a bit more scenic so we drove through a number of little towns & villages.

We stopped for lunch at a place called Corlay, just a place we came across but had some lovely fishing lakes next to a chateaux which made for a very picturesque stop off. 

 We made it to Kerbors, our next destination about 4pm and the lady who lives on site showed us around…it is amazing & smells beautiful with fresh cut flowers in nearly every room. The upstairs is just full of toys for the little man, including a retro fisher price kitchen and loads of dolls & prams which he headed straight for as I’m sure he’s been missing the ones he plays with at nursery.  

 

The garden is huge with swings, a sand pit, flowers, vegetables and even chickens. The fridge was full with eggs, jams, compotes, artichokes and potatoes, all home-grown or homemade. We have been made to feel very welcome.
 

Des vacances en famille en Bretagne – Day 8

Today we decided to not travel too far with the little man as we’ve to travel 2.5 hours tomorrow to our new home for the next week so we split up from my parents for a change. 

We started by visiting a place called Parc de Keraveon which was a chateaux & it’s grounds, however, when we got there we realised the chateaux was in fact a private hotel and all there was was a few walks around in the woods. There was a children’s play area so it was great for the little man to run around but not somewhere where we’d rush back to. 

      After the chateaux we went into our local town, Erdeven, for lunch where the hubby had oysters!! They looked gross but he enjoyed them! 

 An afternoon of DIG was to follow but before then we went a short drive to a place called Crucuno where there was some stone dolmens. 

We love to DIG…more to the point I love to be able to read my book for a little bit which I never really get the chance to do anymore! Add that to a lovely swim in the sea, it was a delightful afternoon. 

 As we are are off early in the morning we decided to go out for tea, so as a Father’s Day treat we took my parents out to a local restaurant (the same one we went to for lunch), it was so nice. Such a lovely end to a lovely week! Roll on the next 7 days in Northern Brittany ?  

 

Des vacances en famille en Bretagne – Day 7

Today we decided to have one last visit to a town before we head up north on Saturday so we chose Concarneau which is just a bit closer to where were are based than Quimper.  
 There is nothing much in the main town but there is an old town within a fort that can only be reach by a footbridge. This is made up of really quaint cobbled streets with restaurants, cafes and shops. Lovely flowers line the windows boxes of the old buildings making for colourful streets bustling with tourists & locals alike.

We had lunch out today and again we all tried the local speciality of crepes ‘ble noir’. Mine was called Provençale which consisted of Egg, cheese, ham, ratatouille and garlic butter. Yummy! Sitting outside with a glass of white wine watching the world go by is my kind of heaven 🙂
 
After we had walked along the promenade for a little bit we decided to head back in the direction of home along some of the coastal routes. This took as a little longer than we’d hoped due to some traffic issues & getting lost inside Lorient city centre, however, we did see some lovely beaches near Guidel which I would have loved to have spent some time on.

Once we were back at the ranch, it was fish on the BBQ for tea. The weather was still lovely & warm so we ate outside on our little patio. It was delicious…thanks very much to the chef 🙂
  

 

Des vacances en famille en Bretagne – Day 6

The boys went to play golf today so it was a day at the beach for me, mum & the little man. We went into Erdeven for bread for lunch and we said hello, ordered bread, said thank you & goodbye with not a hint of English! The way is should be 🙂

We headed to Kerhillio beach, which was a 5 minute drive from our doorstep and it was beautiful. Couldn’t be any safer for a toddler who actually overcome his fear of the sea within minutes. No shells, no seaweed just miles of beautiful safe flat sandy beach. We had a lovely time full of digging, splashing, making stone circles, building sandcastles, knocking down sandcastles & finding treasure (which was a green power ranger hiding in the sand)  


We spent almost 4/5 hours on the sand before we went for a drive along the coast to Etel, a little town very close to Erdeven, which is a quiet little fishing town that had a man made beach which looked so inviting alongside the beautiful Etel estuary where there was lots of fishing boats & speed boats moored up in the harbour (which was full of huge star fish).


Then it was on to Saint-Cado, a very small village which we were advised to visit by my mother & father in-law who were there only last year. We were not disappointed when we came across a lovely sleepy village with beautiful views across the Etel estuary. This once thriving oyster community was now a quiet scenic tourist spot with visible roots to the past. To be honest we could have stayed there much longer watching the sun set over the estuary but we had to get back to the ranch for tea.

It’s still 10pm at night here & the sun is shining & it is still extremely warm. The little man has only just gone down to bed. It is, very much, a lovely way of life.

Des vacances en famille en Bretagne – Day 5

Vannes was todays destination of choice, which is another walled city not far from where we were staying. This one was beautiful. In my opinion, much nicer than Quimper…I’m not sure why, it was just the feel of it as we came out of the car park onto a lovely port inlet lined with yachts. First point of call was obviously coffee…but the port area was great for the little man to just wander around. We were able to sit & enjoy a drink while he tested how far he could get away from us, stopping to chat to the locals on the way. Once our coffees were finished, we embarked on the DK Eyewitness Travel walk around the town, which took us to a number of medieval buildings which were all wonky & very ‘The Shambles’ like (A street in York for those that don’t know), along with another Cathedral which wasn’t as spectacular as the on in Quimper.        

We had taken a picnic today so to go with it, a trip to the Boulangerie was needed. Fresh French bread is amazing and to go with it, for afters we bought another Breton speciality called Kouign-amann, which is a puff pastry Danish type thing. Not to my liking as it wasn’t sweet enough but it was pleasant enough.

Once we’d walked around the town a bit more, taking in the medieval quarter and the ramparts, we decided to take a drive around the ‘Golfe du Morbihan’. Lots of little towns & inlets filled with quiet fishing villages and at the end a place called Port Navalo, which was a lovely little beach, however, not so great for building sandcastles.

On the way home we stopped in Carnac beach for a lovely tea…we have definitely got into the continental swing of things as we were eating out at 8pm at night…which always makes you feel like you’re on your holidays 🙂

Des vacances en famille en Bretagne – Day 4

We decided after a local day yesterday we’d head out to the town of Quimper which is about an hour or so from where we are staying in Erdeven.

It was a lovely town with Tudor style crooked buildings and a big cathedral in the Centre Ville. It was fairly quiet as it was Monday and it seemed that some of the shops were just to get ready for the sales.

  For lunch we decided to try a local dish of crepes & every one of us couldn’t decipher all of the ingredients on the ones we’d ordered but in the end mine was delicious. Some kind of ratatouille & warm goats cheese wrapped in bacon, all on top of a lovely crepe! For the little man it was a fromage crepe which he loved. Mmmmm…Once we’d wandered round the town we decided to drive on the slower roads and stopped at a place called Benodet. It was a little town on an estuary with a few shops/cafes and you could catch river cruises too. It was a bit cold but as we’d been sightseeing all day we decided to let the boy have a 10 minute DIG even though the sand was a little disappointing.

Then it was back to the ranch for the Spaghetti Bolognese that we were suppose to have last night ? All in all, another very successful day!

Des vacances en famille en Bretagne – Day 3

Today was the first real day of our holidays and as we had driven pretty much for 2 days we decided to just stay local. The lady who looks after the gite had told us about a market in the little nearby town of Carnac, so we packed up the car with everything you could imagine. The weather was cloudy but we’d been told summer had arrived so before we left the gite I’d already had 2 outfit changes 🙂 Full length trousers, 3/4 length trousers which would be changed for a skirt later in the day…well you can just never be too careful 🙂

We jumped in the car & went on the 15 minute journey to Carnac. It was bustling with people of all ages and the stalls suited that. It was a, kind of allsorts of things, type of a market, with clothes, belts, shoes & bags available along with loads of different kinds of local foods…cheese, meats, olives & fish to name a few. Most of which looked amazing, some of which looked weird & wonderful.
We decided to try some of the local delicacies (goats cheese, salami sausages & Breton Gateau, which is a yummy biscuity cake thing) to have on our beach picnic, then we headed down to Plage de Legenese, which was beautiful. The sun had come out completely as this point, so perfect time to go ‘DIG’ on the beach.

We had a lovely picnic, built sandcastles, splashed in the very cold sea and went crabbing…well ok, daddy did…I read a book for change 🙂 We stayed there for most of the afternoon and by this point the sun was out completely but luckily we had brought the little man’s summer tent which was helpful for a bit of shade.At about 5 we decided to head back to the car and go to another town called Quiberon, which is a place on the end of a peninsula. We had a bit of a wander around before deciding to head to a restaurant for tea. This was not planned at all as we had Spaghetti Bolognese back at the gite but who wants that when mussels are on offer. It felt like we were a bit early for tea (about 7pm) so we held off for a little bit until we found a little restaurant called Quai Ouest.

It was a really good decision to make as the food was delicious, the service was excellent & they were very accommodating of a very well behaved Stanley (considering it was an hour past his bedtime) 🙂 It was such a nice change to be eating outside, late(ish) at night in such a lovely relaxed environment and the Moules Mariniere come highly recommended 🙂

Des vacances en famille en Bretagne – Day 2

We were woken at 7am (6am British Time) by some lovely twinkly music…when I say lovely, I mean annoying. I mean who wants to be woken at that time in the morning by anything!

The crossing had been lovely & calm and after the day/night before the little man began to eat us out of house & home to a point where I started worrying that I’d brought enough snacks.

Once we had disembarked from the ferry, we decided to go into the port of St Malo to have breakfast and have a look around as we didn’t need to be at our cottage until 4pm in the afternoon.

St Malo was a beautiful place. Lovely walled city & with the sun shining & the temperature at about 24 degrees it was just my kind of place. First stop was ‘Le Petit Déjeuner’…mmmmm Pain au Chocolat, baguette, butter & jam, orange juice & tea…my kind of breakfast!


Then we went for a walk round the town, find a little park for the little man to play in for a while and then on to the walls. It was lovely & we just wished we’d had another couple of hours to have lunch and go on the beach.


But it was back to the car for the final 2.5 hour journey down to just outside Vannes to a little place called Erdeven. Stanley was getting a little fed up on this journey, with a stop for lunch in Elven, and a stop for shopping & fuel but we finally made it at about 4.30pm. The gite was amazing. Light & airy and full of space…the garden was just perfect for Stanley to play in…a much earned runaround for being a well behaved boy on the way down. And…if you wanted to know…we made it all the way here with only one episode of Peppa Pig in the cabin on the ferry! Go Stanley! 🙂

What will tomorrow bring…who knows! But right now, I can hear a local market & a beach calling me 🙂 Au Revoir