Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Quaint Brittany towns - Concarneau and Quimper

We tendered into Concarneau in Brittany and given the options to tour Pont Aven or Quimper, we chose Quimper because it seemed there were more to see because it's bigger (greed at work here).  In retrospect, we should just as well have visited Pont Aven which is a shorter drive and possibly prettier with legacies from artists like Gauguin and Emile Bernard.  Nevertheless our visit to Quimper was fun, while a bit rushed and the bonus was the town was not crowded because it was Sunday.  One can't have everything afterall...

Quimper was the capital of the Finistère department in Brittany and had been settled since Roman times.  The town had some interesting houses as you can see below and reputedly had the best crepes in Brittany.  We spent a couple of hours in the town, starting with a visit to the Cathedral of Saint-Corentin, built between the 13th and 16th centuries, followed by a walking tour of the old town.  Of course our visit wouldn't have been complete if we didn't manage a taste of the famous crepes!

Back in Concarneau, we explored the medieval Ville Close, a walled town on an island in the harbour, connected to the modern waterfront by a drawbridge.  Traditionally it was a shipbuilding centre but now is mainly a tourist shopping area although the shops were quite unique.  The Fishing Museum was surprisingly interesting and we lucked out being there on some sort of national day when entry was free.  Merci et Vive la France!

Quimper is at the confluence of several rivers so lots of bridges
Gothic Cathedral of Saint Corentin

The Cathedral is light-filled, quietly elegant

Gorgeous windows and graceful lines

Houses in old town Quimper

Place du Beurre - not surprisingly encircled by creperies
The creperie that made us this delicious crepe

Quimper - quiet on a Sunday
The Ville Close in Concarneau - we had a walk along the ramparts with interesting views into people's backyards and back windows...

The central square in Ville Close
One of the quaint shops in the square
The Fishing Museum had interesting exhibits, including this giant sewing machine used for sewing sails

View of the marina and new town from the ramparts

Sunday pastime that's not in front of a screen
Tendering back to the ship
Next port:  La Rochelle - one of my favourites on the cruise

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