Tuesday, August 27, 2019

le Conquet

If you come to Brittany without a car and if you don't really want to rent one, you're likely to track carefully the bus routes and schedules and you tend to pick excursions that are along a bus line. For us, there is an obvious choice for an outing: the wee town of Le Conquet. Ed and I had made our way to this western-most point in France more than eleven years ago. It was pretty then. I'm sure it hasn't changed much since!

The day is a tad cooler and a lot grayer, but of course, Brittany does offer plenty of salty breezes and cloud covers, so we're not surprised. It's good weather for an outing.

But first -- breakfast. It's a routine now: I walk up the hill to the better bakery. This time I add to the bag of croissants a "far Breton" -- a local custard cake with prunes.

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We sit down to our morning meal.

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And now we're ready to go!

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A quick walk to the bus stop, the bus comes, we get on board.  It's not a long ride: all of 11 minutes.

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It's market day at Le Conquet and so I'll offer you a few photos of this very typical Breton summer market.

 (oysters, snails, mussels...)

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Always the strawberries. Always the artichokes.

(these vendors seem a bit at odds with each other... familial squabbles?)

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(Artichokes for dinner tonight...)

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(Cauliflower, carrots...)

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(Crabs, lobster...)

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We can't resist those berries: delicate and delicious. I pick up some from this strawberry grower:

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 Le Conquet's market is definitely not a tourist place. We hear only French. But families abound.

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Including this one!

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Eventually we leave the market...

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... and turn toward the coast. Le Conquet is at that point where the Atlantic Ocean rolls in to its south, and the last of the English Channel waters hit the shore to the north. It's a beautiful coastline: a bit rugged, but not too harsh. With plenty of coves and distant lighthouses...

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... and the occasional imposing Breton house that seems to tower over it all.

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It is not the kind of day that begs for a swim, or even a big wade in the ocean waters, but a little wade is just fine.

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No, Snowdrop, not more rocks!
Just these! Oh, and that one!

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We turn toward the inlet, where the fishing boats come in.

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The rest of France benefits from Brittany sea catches.

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Here, we find a small church -- it's nearly 500 years old. Definitely worth exploring.

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We continue down the shoreline...

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Then turn in toward the center of town to find lunch...

(a pause for lite shopping...)

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We're lucky to get a table at one of the best creperies around (and there are a lot of them...) -- Louise de Bretagne. With a high chair!

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Snowdrop is still resisting the crepes. Not so Sparrow! With ham -- mmmm!

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And now it's time to find the bus stop and make our way home, where Sparrow, full of buckwheat and ham, readily falls asleep. The rest of us take it easy as well. You have to rest so that you're not tired for dinner!

Tonight we actually have an evening reservation, up the hill, at a place that is inside a local hotel. It's called L'Archipel and it may be the only more serious restaurant within walking distance of our beach side home.

This is our Brittany indulgence: we share the extraordinary local oysters, and there is a small bit of a Brittany lobster floating around, along with fish and, well, a plate of pasta. With sprinkled cheese.

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The walk home is buoyant! At 9, it's still light outside. The half hour trek is all downhill. How good is that!

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We said no thank you to dessert at the restaurant.  We'd already subjected the kids to a very long wait for dinner. Let's just put our a plate of cookies and break up a chocolate bar at home.

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... and look out the window and admire the beauty of the water that laps the shore of a Brittany beach.

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By 10:30, the kids are (almost) in bed. Amazing how late bedtime can get when you're full of the wonders of the world around you.