Nomadic people of France

During my wanderings I have met the nomadic peoples of France. Several times on the road as I looked for a place to stay, I saw signs for “Aire pour gens du voyage”, “site for the travelling community”. I hesitated. Technically, literally, those are set up for people like me. But “gens du voyage” isContinue reading “Nomadic people of France”

Along the Pyrenees 3: Saint-Bertrand-de-Commingues

The village of Saint-Bertrand-de-Commingues was a turning point as I made my way east along the Pyrenees. It was the first time I felt I was going towards the Mediterranean. It was the first day of unblinking sunshine in a while, and I welcomed the dry heat, after the cool, damp high mountains. But theContinue reading “Along the Pyrenees 3: Saint-Bertrand-de-Commingues”

Tréguier – a tale of two cities

Tréguier, a pretty ville de caractère, or city of character, is the capital of the Trégor, in the west of the Côtes d’Armor (22). It is famous for its beautiful cathedral, and its 15th and 16th colombages houses, with picturesque wooden beams. Thanks to its river port with easy access to the Channel, the cityContinue reading “Tréguier – a tale of two cities”

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”

Home-coming

“Heureux qui, comme Ulysse, a fait un long voyage”“Happy who like Ulysses has had a long trip” Many French people won’t know the end of this sentence, but I would hazard a guess that most have heard it some time. It’s the first line of a poem by Joachim du Bellay, a sixteenth century poet,Continue reading “Home-coming”