Brittany is paradise for people who enjoy camping, travelling to places very similar to the British coast, and visiting variations of Stonehenge, arranged in a line rather than in a circle.
We went in a convoy of three cars, one with a touring caravan, the rest with tents and prayers for good weather. Our first destination was a farm house near Saint Malo, in the north-east of Brittany. When we arrived in the evening, we were greeted by the farmer looking like an astronaut and the house swarming with angry bees: he had decided it was time to take their honey and they didn’t like it. He reassured us that they would go away eventually, and that they hated him and not us, but my sister was in hysterics and wanted to join our friend who had been offered to pitch his tent in the field in front of the farm house.
The bees did go away, and everybody settled down for the night. Early in the morning there was a frantic knock on the door: it was our friend, pale and shaking, with the remnants of his tent rolled up in a ball, and in the background the victorious shape of a cow that had tried to invade his tent. Is there any tent or caravan insurance for bovine attacks? We promised to find room for him for the next night and started making plans for the day.
There was a huge standing stone we wanted to see in Dol-en-Bretagne, the first tidal power plant near Saint-Servan, the fortress of Fougères and the French version of St. Michael’s Mount in the border between Normandy and Brittany. There are about 5000 standing stones in Brittany, and although nobody really knows why they were erected, they gave rise to a lot of legends; one tooth-shaped stone is called “Gargantua’s tooth”, which makes you wonder how big this giant was supposed to have been. Older legends make him some kind of fertility god who shaped the landscape with his foot-prints into valleys and hills, and it is anybody’s guess how he made rivers.
Our next campsite was further west, in Loquirec near Tréguiers. We wanted to see the unique stone altars representing the passion of Christ in six locations: – Pencran, Plouring les-Morlaix, Le Martyre, Lampaul, Guimiliau and Thégonnec. These calvaries carved out of the local stone show scenes of the crucifixion by scuptors who must have used local village people for their models; some of them look surprisingly life-like and really not much different from modern locals you meet in the street.
Our next destination in the south-west was a disappointment, as Bénodet campsite had no water and turned us away. Carnac was almost a hundred miles from there, but we had no choice. The campsite there is absolutely amazing – not only is it a five-star one – it is right next to the famous standing stones of Carnac.
Our camping holiday in Brittany was a success from every point of view.
Author: Sara Emerson is a travel maniac and she writes about the countries she have visited to share her experiences and favourite places with others.