Bretagne trip: Sun, Rain, Bike. Part 2.

Part one

Saint Brieuc

It was predicted that it would rain last night. I expected our tent to be wet but it was dry when we woke up. I have to excuse myself for my poorly written articles. I write in english to practice and practice makes perfect. We were happy that the tent was dry for we left Saint Malo that day. And yes, the previous random sentences were intentional.

We packed our stuff and left Saint Malo. It started to rain when we biked to the train station. We bought our train ticket for Saint Brieuc.

It was raining when we arrived around noon. We arrived at to the hotel – finally!- when it rained heavily. We visited Saint Brieuc when the rain had toned down a little bit. Saint Brieuc was the only town that we visited in Côtes d’Armor. It was a rather small to medium size town with a rather small old town that could be visited in one to two hours.

The town kept the old remaining from the 14th and 15th century such as the Hôtel des ducs and the Maison le Ribeault. The old hall is located in the Place du Martray.  The chapel Saint Brieuc Notredame de la Fontaine and the Cathedral of Saint Etienne were two of the remaining catholics churchs in town.

The recent architecure from 19th century covered the administration and government building such as the Hôtel de ville, post office, art museum and Saint Michel church. The old train station was transformed into a mal.

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Saint Michel church

Further visit can be done to Saint Michel cemetery with a view to the sea, also the tertre aubé, a high point with view that was ruined by the highway.

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Saint Michel cemetery

After about four hours of visit we were back to the hotel.

Here’s a thing. I’m an asian, and our hotel was located just beside an asian buffet, thus noone had vote for restaurants that evening.

And after being disconnected from the rest of the world, we had power!! and internet!!

Saint Brieuc – Morlaix – Carantec – Saint Pol de Léon –  Roscoff

The next day we left Côtes d’Armor for Finistère! There were more places in Côtes d’Armor that we wanted to visit but could not because we did not have enough time such as Guingamp and Lamballe.

Finistère can be splitted into north and south Finistère. Our first stop was Roscoff. From Saint Brieuc we took a morning train to Morlaix. Morlaix’ train station was located at the uphill and thus we had to biked down until about sea level altitude. We did not stay in Morlaix and only took a couple of pictures along the way.

The road from Morlaix to Roscoff via coastal road was beautiful. We crossed some other cyclists and shared the road with cars. The direct distance from Morlaix to Roscoff is 33km but we stopped by the villages on the way to Roscoff.

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view towards Morlaix from the coastal path

After 14km for example we arrived in Carantec to see the Pointe de Pen-al-Lann that gave a view to Château du taureau. We continued towards the island of Callot but was inaccesible since to road was submerged due to the high tide.

We visited Saint Pol de Léon that was located just before Roscoff and had our lunch at Rocher Saint Anne.

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view towards Roscoff from Rocher Saint Anne

We passed by Roscoff to arrive to our camping in Perharidy. We did about 52.42km. Despite the campground that was located just beside the beach, due to the grey and rain-stop-rain-stop weather we could not take advantage of it. From Pointe de Perharidy we got a splendid view towards the island of Batz.

It was a thursday and they had the miss camping competition at our camping. I was sadly too tired to witness the event and slept despite the loud music.

Our tent was completely wetfrom morning dew. We tried to dry the tent as much as we could before leaving the camping. We headed to Roscoff to visit the city. Roscoff was a small city but very touristic. We did a quick tour from the phare to the old town and cathedral. We passed by a shop and ate a delicious warm kounig-amann. heaven!

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Roscoff in the morning

Roscoff – Landivisiau – La Roche – Landerneau – Saint Jean

From Roscoff we took the train to Landivisiau via Morlaix. In Morlaix we had to carry our bike through the underground passage to find out that the train to Landivisau was placed at the same platform with our previous train from Roscoff. What a waste of energy.

The train headed to Brest but we stopped at Landivisiau. I think this was probably my favorite biking of the two weeks. There was no beautiful view really. It was a normal departemental road, mixed with cars. However, it was calm, the cars were respectful (I haven’t mentioned this but everytime I biked around small villages I felt that I was going to die. Every cars looked like they want to hit me), and we crossed other cyclist as well. It felt so good when you see other cyclist wave their hand towards you as a friendly gesture.

We passed by La roche Maurice. La roche can literally be translated to “the rock”, which was a small town with a castle built on the rock. The castle was under renovation but we could visit the ancient castle anyway.

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La Roche Maurice

From La roche we arrived at Landerneau, parked our bike close to the tourism office and walked. The town was again small to medium size with Elorn river passed through it. The river can be crossed by the Rohan bridge, the only inhabitad bridge in France – with houses, shops, and peoople living on it.

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view to Rohan bridge with Elorn river

From Landerneau we continued to our camping in Saint Jean. Although short in distance, the biking was diffucult due to the ascending road. My knee was not very well that day. Taking the roundabout – France is a roundabout country, like everywhere –  I almost got hit by a green car driven by an old man with his wife who obviously did not see me.

The camping was located on a river side of Elorn. We got our space just beside the beach; I think it was the nicest camping that we had during the holidays. I forgot how many stars the camping had but we had an indoor swimming pool. A small walk linked the camping with Saint Jean church.

Saint Jean is very close to Brest and if we walked the coast line we would arrive to the Iroise bridge.

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Iroise bridge from coastal path near the camping

Saint Jean – Plougastel – Brest – Camping du Goulet

By now we had picked a habit of waking up around 7.30am. After 4km of biking we arrived in Plougastel-Douglas. The first 2km was difficult due to the ascending road. I was amazed by the calvaire that can be found outside of the cathedral. It was a four-sided sculpture tower with story of Jesus carved in detailed.

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The calvaire in Plougastel

It was 9am and people was queueing for bread. In Bretagne they had different kind of bread that we don’t find in Grenoble: polka, zig-zag, etc. The calm road brought us to Pointe de Kerdeniel. We went first to Pointe de l’armerique but apparently it was closed for public – a military site. From Pointe de Kerdeniel we got a nice view towards the rade of Brest.

We passed by Saint Christine chapel before arriving at Albert Louppe bridge, a small bridge for pedestrian, cyclists or small vehicules to cross to Brest. Next to this bridge is the cable-stayed Iroise bridge, a highway bridge.

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Iroise bridge

We arrived at Moulin blanc beach. I wasn’t eager to swim. It was a hot day but rather grey. I put my feet inside the water, and I just lost my mind. I changed my clothes, put my swim suit and swam. The water was rather cold but it was a really hot day. It felt nice.

I insisted that we go to Oceanopolis. First of all, I don’t encourage putting animals inside cage. But, I read about the research, the people that works inside, and the natural protection and conservation they’re trying to do, and I was sold. The place was divided into three pavillions: polar, tropical and tempered. sometimes they add a temporary pavillion.

I saw penguins, sharks, fishes, otters, sealions, and other animals. I was happy. The entrance fee was rather expensive though.

From Oceanopolis we headed to our camping, not in Brest but in Saint Anne du Portzic.

It was hell.

The direct way was to pass as close to the sea. We passed by the ports, then we had ups and downs, and I meant ups and downs. It hurted my knees. We passed by a military base and it was the most annoying 5 to 10km of my life – exageration implied. I wasn’t very happy when we arrived at the camping although it was nice. We also had nothing ot eat and since it was out of question that I would go out again, I ate pizza and ice cream there.

It was planned for a rainy day the next day, we cancelled our second night in Brest and planned directly to Plouharnel in the Morbihan. The train would not be easy.

When we woke up the next day, the rain hadn’t came yet. The tent was wet due to morning dews. We went to Brest by another route to avoid the hilly road.

It was sunday morning. We parked our bike close to the castle. We took pictures of Tanguy tower and Pont mobile de recouvrance. Under the bridge was where the military stored their boats and ships. Crossing the bridge we arrived at Siam street, the main street of Brest, empty and grey.

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Tanguy tower (left) and Pont mobile de recouvrance (right). Photo taken the day before when it was sunny.

We walked along the street towards the city hall and passed by the sunday market. It smelled bacon. It was raining and I smelt bacon..

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view towards Siam street

It was a first sunday of the month and we thought of getting a free entrance to the musée des beaux arts.. just to find that they were close on sunday morning. bummer.

We finished Brest by visiting the castle that now served as a naval museum. The entrance fee was 6€ with audioguide included. The museum took place in three parts of the castle: Madelaine tower, Twin tower of paradise and the donjon. We could see the Prefecture Maritime that controls the maritime administration of France. The one in Brest covered almost the north west side of France. The museum talked about Brest as the maritime heart of France since old time. Several expeditions to conquer third world ended in bitter ends. The museum also explained about the actual navy defense of France.

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One of the tower inside the castle complex

Almost noon, we biked towards the train station. One hour, enough time to charge my phone and camera.

Part three
Part four

 

 

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Bretagne trip: Sun, Rain, Bike. Part 2.

  1. Pingback: Bretagne trip: Sun, Rain, Bike. | johanes.chandra

  2. Pingback: Bretagne trip: Sun, Rain, Bike. Part 3. | johanes.chandra

  3. Pingback: Bretagne trip: Sun, Rain, Bike. Part 4. Finished | johanes.chandra

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