After spending the previous day hiking close to the Hotel de la Plage and then visiting the savage Pointe du Raz, Mr. Misadventures and I headed to the town of Douarnenez. Most of the larger towns along the Bretagne coast serve as fishing ports in addition to be manufacturing and packing sites for sardines and tuna. They are hard working towns who’s lives are tied to the sea and not much else. It is a good place to buy fish direct and many of the French sardines that you buy in the store, whether it is in France or the U.S., come from this area.
These towns also usually have marinas for sailboats and restaurants which are typically referred to as “porte de plaisance.” A good thing to note while following road signs in these towns!
We headed to Douarnenez to pick up picnic supplies and spent some time in their local traiteur (deli), boulangerie (bakery) and fish market. The fish market also sold vegetables, fruits and cheeses, so we picked up a few items for the next few days.
While there I also saw my first creperie assembly line. I am used the the single or double creperie pans that you see on the Parisian streets or like Ms. Misadventures uses at home, but this was the first time I have seen several being used in the following fashion (p.s. the YouTube embedded video widget is being temperamental, if you can’t see the video below, check it out here.):
Having taken their video as well as staring at them for awhile, I felt obligated to buy their work, but I have to say I was disappointed when I later tasted them, as the quality was not that great. Oh well. Picnic supplies in hand we headed out of town, but not before stopping at the marina. There I saw something else I had never seen before, a boat cemetery. I so wanted to figure out how to get to the little island that was across from the marina so that I could get close-up photos, but it was impossible. I am sure it is for safety reasons as the boats were falling apart and not safe to venture on.
We left Douarnenez and made our way towards Port de Saint-Guénolé where they are famous for their sardines that stand up in glass jars called sardines de Saint Gue. But first we stopped for a picnic where we enjoyed our purchases and cider from Cidres Domaine de Kervéguen. There is nothing better than an open air picnic close to the sea with fresh food items to make you enjoy the simple things in life!
We stopped in tiny Port de Saint-Guénolé, visited their farmers market and sardine factory and then bought some of these babies:
We bought them to bring home and when it came time to pack them, which I let Mr. Misadventures handle, they were placed into our dirty close bag with a tiny amount of bubble wrap. When we got home and opened up the suitcase, I could smell something was wrong! One of the bottles had cracked and sardine oil got all over a pair of my jeans and a pair of Mr. Misadventures jeans – it took about 10 washings to get the smell out and I swear I still smell it!
With these special sardines off our “to-do” list we headed to Locronan for the afternoon. This is a 16th century town that used to export hemp, which is naturally occurring around the village, all over the world. Many of the buildings have been kept in original condition from this era and it is an interesting place to walk around and photograph. It is also where several scenes from A Very Long Engagement (Un long dimanche de fiançailles) was filmed.
Not surprisingly the church is the main feature of the town, and although I explored inside, I found it lacking after last October’s Mont-Saint-Michel’s beauty.