Coasting around Brittany

We began our day traveling to the town of Douarnenez, about five miles from our gîte, and home to the closest dry cleaner we could find. After ten weeks, some clothing items just needed a bit refreshing, we had to admit. But somehow, they need less than they get in New York. Maybe we’ve been overdoing it all these years.

This coastal fishing village is beautiful and historic. It was a major source of sardines for almost 600 years. Why, in 1575, it exported 2,500,000 sardines to the city of Nantes. Imagine being the person who had to count them. And while it was busy with canneries and many people were employed, all of them were not happy about it. In 1925, a famous 48-day strike by the women factory workers (know as penn sardin) for better wages finally had a positive result for them after national publicity shamed the cannery owners into meeting their demands. Seems like things have settled down now.

Then we went to see the Atlantic from another angle, Pointe du Raz.

It is a place of crashing waves and strong winds. Although it is not quite the westernmost point of France, its isolation and dramatic views make it one of the big tourist destinations in France. After a long walk to the cliffs, some very strong winds and bracing air, we rewarded ourselves with some of the sea creatures that swim all around here. Evidently there are few days as lovely and blue as this on the Pointe. The gorse and what could have been heather are in bloom and it’s gorgeous. Guidebooks highly recommend seeing the cliffs as a storm is coming in from the Atlantic, which is not uncommon but something we were very glad to miss.

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