I initially planned to stay at the Camping Municipal in Quimper, on arrival the reception was closed, for the day, at the height of summer. I cannot say I was impressed by this, or with the site; it was functional at best. I say this time and time again, if you aren’t happy with a location, move on, there is always somewhere else, somewhere better. But on this occasion, I decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth and used the site as a car park. I unstrapped the bicycle from its carrier and headed into the town; a journey of less than 2 miles.
Quimper is the ancient capital of Cornouaille and has a its own distinct character. The town gets its name from the Breton word Kemper, meaning the merging of two rivers, the Odet and Steir. I thoroughly enjoyed my brief visit to Quimper, this quaint town has a lot to offer the tourist. Strolling the streets, taking in the ambiance of the town and a coffee, does give one a feel for the place. I wish I had longer to explore the musée des Beaux Arts and musée Départemental Breton, to see their regional art and exhibits, but I needed to find a place to stay for the night and Cancarneau was calling me.
I love France, I admire the way they embrace ‘motorhomers’ and provide numerous Aires for us to visit their towns and cities; at times, they are free or at least reasonably priced. An overnight stay on the Aires in Cancarneau cost €2.
At first, I was not overly impressed with Cancarneau, it looked like a typical French seaside resort, it did remind me a little of Dieppe. That was until I happened upon the Ville Close (Walled Town), entering this part of Cancarneau was a complete and pleasant surprise. The narrow shop lined streets and ramparts offer the opportunity to breath in the sights of this wonderful town. I simply could not get enough.
Cancarneau is a must see for anyone visiting this part of Brittany. Sometimes, just by wandering around, we encounter the most wonderful places.
When I turned up at the Quieron Aires, it was mid-afternoon, dark and raining. The ‘motorhomers’ were clearly packing up and leaving. I was feeling very alone and wondering if this was the place for me. But I love the coast, I love the smell, the sights and sounds and being only a couple of hundred metres from this rugged coastline was too enticing. So I did the only thing I could, I unstrapped my bike and cycled along the coastline to the town of Quiberon. Fortunately, on my return, the sun did come out to play…
Quiberon is a peninsular in the Morbihan department, the town itself is situated at the end of the peninsular and has its own unique flavour. But for me, it was the coastline that captured my heart. Is there anything more special than watching waves crash against rocks, as the sun dips below the horizon?
Arzon is located on the far side of the Bay of Morbihan, away from Quiberon. After several days staying on Aires, it was time to wash clothes and sort myself out. Therefore a stay on a campsite was required. I stayed at the Camping du Menhir, this is a great location and site. The receptionist working during my visit, did not speak English, so we were reliant on my French. I’m glad to say we survived, but a user error with the washing machine did test our communication skills slightly, but we got there in the end.
Arzon is a popular tourist destination, the Petit Mont (Cairn du Petit Mont) has megalithic art from the Neolithic period. Sadly, the Germans in the second world war built an observation bunker here, because one can view the whole Bay of Morbihan from the headland.
Arzon, has several small ports and beaches along its coastline. I found the beaches, whilst small, to be very popular and without no good reason.
Rochefort en Terre
En route back to Dol de Bretagne, I aimed to take in both Rocheforte en Terre and Josselin. Rochefort en Terre, is a small town, but full of character. It has been voted one of France’s most beautiful towns and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s a little tight driving through the town, but there is plenty of parking for all sizes of unit.
Josselin, is a medieval town dominated by its castle. The town has a fair number of half timber houses, similar to those found throughout parts of Brittany. The town centres around the square and the nearby Basilica Notre Dame du Roncier. The Aries is only a short walk away.
As I prepared to leave Brittany, I reflected on what was a hectic, but fun filled time. In less than two weeks, I had travelled most of its coastline and managed to see some of the interior. The diversity of the architecture, the land and seascape, is fantastic. I felt I had tasted Brittany, but not quite savoured it. Brittany Je t’aime, Je reviendrai.
As I headed for my ferry, I was determined to spend a little of my remaining time exploring Normandy…