Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ménez-Bré

We continued our drive across Brittany through Saint-Brieuc and Guincamp on our way westward. For some reason that I don't remember, we stopped driving the northern coast of Brittany and made for Brest and the second most western point of mainland France (we'll get to the actual western most point later).

The chapel of St.-Hervé at the summit of Ménez-Bré. That's Ken in the little fiat we had rented.

On the way, we saw signs for Ménez-Bré, a hill (302 m) with a church on top. Why not check it out ? The guide book said there were some nice views.

Detail of one of the chapel windows.

We drove up the approach and the landscape around the hill was pretty barren, except for small shrubs and grasses - a testament, I suppose, to the winds that whip across this bit of land between the Atlantic and the English Channel. Not another person or car was in sight, and the little stone chapel of Saint-Hervé stood silently at the summit.

The steeple atop the stone chapel of St.-Hervé.

The chapel was closed up, so we didn't see the inside, but the exterior was very nice so I took these pictures. I don't know why I don't have photos of the view from there. Maybe there was nothing much to see ? I don't remember (which adresses Claude's question as to how I can remember everything - I don't).

We drove on to Brest after our brief stop.

3 comments:

  1. I hope you have a photo from Brest- that's where my Dad's ship docked when he came to France in WWI. He started off in the calvary and ended up in the artillery. He was in luck and the war ended by the time his ship arrived, but he saw lots of death since it was 1918.

    Many soldiers died of flu on the trip over and were thrown overboard. My Dad was 20 years old then and didn't talk about it much. He did mention that he liked French bread and the people.

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  2. evelyn, I don't think I have any photos of Brest. The place was bombed pretty badly during WW2 and the new city is built in that 50's style block architecture. I think it was also raining when we drove through, so we didn't explore much. I'm sure there are interesting places to see, but we didn't stay long enough to find them.

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  3. Hi WCS
    I too had a similar encounter with Menez Bre just last week, on the last day of my 2100 mile trip round France on my old BMW motorcycle and sidecar.

    I noticed it on the map as a place with a panoramic view, and, as had some time to spare before catching the ferry from Roscoff back to Plymouth, decided to take a look. What an amazing place!
    You have certainly captured the spirit of the place - great pics of the chapel.

    The only people I saw up there was a man walking a dog, and a young guy on a very old bicycle, singing loudly in French a jolly song in a style reminiscent of a classic French onion seller. He greeted me warmly, spoke quickly in French which I could just about understand as asking me if I was lost, and something about it not being the Alps, and rode away singing as loudly as ever.

    I tried to take some pictures of the view, but could not capture the magic of the 360 degree spectacular panorama.

    Certainly worth a visit.

    By the way, if you'd like to know more about my trip, visit my blog at: www.dicksbmw.blog.co.uk

    I haven't written up the actual trip yet, but you may like the pics of my outfit, and about how I got it together to make the trip.

    Best wishes

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