Tripping diary, travelling stories of people and places far from mine

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

France, Roscoff

Roscoff, house over hill in a cloudy weather
Roscoff is a little fishermen's town to the north of la bretagne. Beautiful architecture, quiet, and quite cold in winter. Not much nightlife, at least in weekdays.

Roscoff, France, bretagne style churchThis is a typical church "a la bretagne".

Roscoff, boats, bretagne, low tideOne remarkable thing about Roscoff is the noticeable difference in the water height when the tide changes. When the tide chanegs, it reaaally changes. On low tide the bay empties of water, and boats rest on the floor.

Roscoff, France, bridge to nowhereThis is a bridge that has no sense when the tide is high, the place it leads to is covered in water in high tide, but when is low it arrives to a big stone if i recall well.

Roscoff, house on a hill, on stormy weather
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Monday, December 26, 2005

France, The island of Ouessant

Island of Ouessant, flowers, and lighthouse
I was invited on a trekking weekend trip to la Île d'Ouessant. Somehow an uruguayan like me ended up in the island farther to the west of france, in the french department of finistère, the end of the earth, as once they thought it to be, beyond that only sea.

Island of Ouessant, France, travel by boatBeforehand I had no expectations, I knew it was an island we where going to, and that we would walk like there's no tomorrow (I guess that's trekking) but nothing else. I found myself in the charming company of around 20 or 30 french of an average age of 50, myself being 26 at the time. The whole experience turned out to be very different, but in a positive kind of way. The adventure started travelling to the port in Brest where you take the boat to reach the island.

Island of Ouessant, France, trekkingAfter almost an hour of travelling by boat on a rather uncalm sea we arrived to the island. I was completly wet, drenched in salty water, as I decided to stay outside the boat to appreciate better the landscape and every now and then a wave crashing to the boat rained over me. It may sound silly but I don't regret it.

The rather small demi desserted island has some romantic mystic to it. The place is a grassland with almost no population, surrounded by lighthouses planted every now and then. They told me that the most powerfull lighthouse in the world "lives" there.Island of Ouessant, France

We walked around 20 kilometers per day, around the perimeter of the island. I found the place the perfect spot to retire on a book reading and mind resting holiday since it's as calm as it gets, the presence of the sea is everywhere providing that feeling of solitude and calmfulness that a sea horizon and the sound of the waves can provide, and you are sourrounded by that.

Island of Ouessant
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Friday, December 16, 2005

France, Rennes

Marche d'lis, Rennes, France
I spent four months living in this city, and I grew very fond of it. It is actually a beautiful place to live, very neat and secure, the only thing I missed was having a beach in the city, but other than that the place is in several way the perfect place to live.

There are two universities in the city, having thus a very young population, and very good nightlife, with lots of places to have a good beer (very good beer also), and the typical beverage of the Bretagne region, cider, great cider.

I had the time of my life there, met wonderful people; I guess I’ll just let the
pictures do the talking.
Urban landscape of Rennes, good graffiti.
Graffiti, Rennes, France
Place du St Anne.
St Anne, Rennes, France
On the way to St Anne.
Rennes, France
Republique, and the river that crosses the city.
France, Rennes, Republique
Rainy day chez alfredo.
France, Rennes, rainy day
Parc du thabor, beautiful place to have a walk.
Parc du Thabor, Rennes, France

Cheers! Rue d'la soif, Rennes, France
Rue de la soif, sante! (street of the thirst! cheapest beer in all rennes)
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France, Mount Saint Michel

Mount Saint Michel France
This is another place which came straight out of a fairy tale. While standing in front of it I couldn’t help thinking it had fallen from the sky, as it is one really big piece of rock standing alone in the beach, surrounded by a plain of sand and water to one side and grassland to the other. The place is just amazing, breathtaking.Mount Saint Michel France

The legend goes that the archangel Michael revealed himself to one monk around the year 1000 and told him to build a house for God on the top of the mount in the beach. The place has seen it’s share of history pass by. One of the most amazing thing to learn was that it went through a 30 years siege, and didn’t fall, unbelievable!. I guess supplies coming from the sea are the explanation for it. It used to be an abbey for a very long time, it has about three different architectural layers, from Romanic to gothic, I believe.Mount Saint Michel France

The place retains that gothic mystic to it, which can be experienced while wondering in the stone chambers that used to shelter a host of monks. It was amazing to see such a big fireplaces where I could walk beneath it without my head touching the ceiling of it. By the way if you go there in autumn or winter take gloves as it's freezing cold, my fingers went numb and taking a picture was a decision not taken lightly.

There are a couple of days in the month when the tide rises and the whole place gets to be surrounded by water leaving only the road leading to the abbey uncovered. I didn’t see it but they say the sea rises around half a kilometer in half an hour, which is an amazing thing to presence. Mount Saint Michel France

They told me the French, in particular the normands of the zone amuse themselves by watching the restricted parking as it floods totally these days in the month when the tides rises, and from time to time they get to see the naïve tourist’s car drowned.

Mount Saint Michel France

After visiting it, it came as no surprise to find out that it's actually the second most visited place in france, after paris, and in particular by japanese tourists. Who would have said it?

Mount Saint Michel France
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