France down the middle

Driving through France is like taking a road-trip through Europe, on fast-forward. Such is the variety of its landscapes. But each terroir has its unique identity, too. Setting off South from Paris, once out of the tangle of ring roads and suburbs, I hit the south of the Bassin Parisien. Huge cereal fields fill theContinue reading “France down the middle”

Cap Fréhel and the coast of Emerald

La côte d’Emeraude, the “coast of Emerald”, is between Cap Fréhel and Saint Malo, on the North-Eastern coast of Brittany. This part of Brittany is less typical, less of a picture-perfect postcard than many of the places I have visited so far. The local stone is pink sandstone, not granite. The local dialect was Gallo,Continue reading “Cap Fréhel and the coast of Emerald”

Trégastel – Vallée des Traouïero

The coast of pink granite is truly a lovely landscape. Big pink granite, rounded off by the elements, line the coast of Trebeurdun, Trégastel and Perros-Guirrec. They look like voluptuous hippos, hauled up on the beach, sun-burnt, sleepy. Saint Mamert, Pancrace and Boniface are called the “Saints de Glace” “Icy Saints”, as between the 11thContinue reading “Trégastel – Vallée des Traouïero”

The mine of Locmaria-Berrien, or the best kind of explorations

Two narrow canals, one fed by the lake in Huelgoat, one by the rivière d’Argent, go throughthe woods and around the valley, à flanc de colline, mid-slope. The upper canal is full of trouts. It is home to mallards and wagtails, and crosses enchanting beech woods. The green leaves, still tender at the end ofContinue reading “The mine of Locmaria-Berrien, or the best kind of explorations”