Little Red Riding Hood in the Vosges

When I arrived in the Vosges, I had a simple problem: I didn’t know where to go. After visiting the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Jura, what new experiences could the Vosges possibly give me? Compared to the other mountain ranges I visited, the Vosges are confusing: they don’t follow a general direction. There isContinue reading “Little Red Riding Hood in the Vosges”

The Eagle and the Hedgehog – a fable from Jura

Around la Chaux-du-Dombief, in Jura, it is like a pastoral symphony made landscape. Or is it a fable. The village could be a common Jura village, if it wasn’t for its magnificent surroundings. Just North is a long limestone ridge, that steeply plunged into two lakes, lac du Grand Maclu and Lac du Petit Maclu.Continue reading “The Eagle and the Hedgehog – a fable from Jura”

The two sides of Annecy

In Annecy, a random change of perspective made me re-consider my whole impression of the place. I was drawn to Annecy after people told me of the turquoise waters of its lake, its beautiful mountain landscape and its fantastic outdoor sport scene. As I drew closer, all I saw was a town built around cars.Continue reading “The two sides of Annecy”

Deep down in Gorges du Tarn

Quite by chance, I came across the gorges du Tarn. “Le hasard fait bien les choses », it was a happy accident. Driving through the causses, the high plateaux of the South-West of Massif Central, the summer heat kept on pushing me on northwards. After the harvests, the ground was red. Sheep were around – IContinue reading “Deep down in Gorges du Tarn”

Along the Pyrenees 2: into the clouds

I thought there were sea people and mountain people, just like there are cat people and dog people. As a proud Breton, I was a firm sea person. I thought the sea and its tides couldn’t be matched; they create a landscape kaleidoscope that pins my attention to the present moment like nothing else. IContinue reading “Along the Pyrenees 2: into the clouds”

Musée d’Orsay or the spirals of art

On Friday we revived an old tradition, the day-long family outing to a Parisian museum, and we visited the Musée d’Orsay. We had been there many time before, but this time was special. The pretext for our outing was a temporary exhibition, called “Les origines du monde” (“The origins of the world”). The title isContinue reading “Musée d’Orsay or the spirals of art”

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”

Huelgoat and Bretons d’ailleurs

Eventually I tired of the wind along the coast. I was near Roscoff,and it was blowing from dawn to dusk, kicking up the dust and driving off trains of thoughts. I headed both inland and inwards, to Huelgoat. Huelgoat, “the upper wood” in Breton, is pronounced “U-èl-go-a-t”. It is a quaint village in the centerContinue reading “Huelgoat and Bretons d’ailleurs”

In a peninsula far far away… (4/4)

If you head South from anse de Dinan, you will (eventually) reach the southern tip of the Crozon peninsula, the Cap de la Chèvre. The promontory is fairly disappointing at first, especially after Penhir. The view is nothing new. The Marine Nationale holds the best lands, once again. There is another memorial, to the deadContinue reading “In a peninsula far far away… (4/4)”