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With the camper we want to travel in 21 days from Dunkirk to Belle-Île. Almost the whole of June is available for the journey through Normandy and Brittany. But is France's north really suitable for camper vans? We found out with the camera in hand and report here about our mixed feelings.

 

Restrictions due to low season and only on the surface campervan-friendly

 

This blog post almost didn't exist. Although Brittany and Normandy offer breathtaking landscapes and an excellent cuisine, our daily travels sometimes presented us with various challenges, not to mention disappointments. In the meantime, in particularly frustrating moments, we said several times: "No, we don't advertise these regions in the form of a travelblog".

Several times we had the feeling that the travelled regions only wanted to be attractive for tourists during the absolute peak season, namely the French holiday season in July. Too often at the end of June we stood in front of closed restaurants, camping sites or even in almost extinct cities. At the Rosagranit coast in Ploumanach we wanted, like many other tourists, to have dinner in the evening, but in the whole village there were only two open restaurants, all completely occupied and fully booked. All other restaurants were still closed. There would have been enough guests. One could think to have found out slightly sarcastically why France has to struggle with such a high (youth) unemployment: Probably because nobody works - except in July. For a region that is ambitious in terms of tourism, this is poor.

For motorhome travellers there is another serious point of frustration: parking motorhomes in public parking lots is almost impossible. Height-limiting beams prevent motorhomes from entering almost all central car parks. Presumably so that motorhome owners are more likely to drive to the local campsites. This in itself is an approach that we can understand against the economic background, but which only makes sense if the campsites are actually open. Small consolation: There are a lot of motorhome sites with supply and disposal. Unfortunately, these are often located far outside the villages. Due to the lack of alternatives, we often had to park on camper sites and often had to pay for whole overnight stays, although we only spent a few hours on site. In our eyes this country is therefore only superficial.

If one would simply pronounce overnight bans on parking lots instead of height barriers, the visit of some places would be less complicated and more pleasant.

Now that we got rid of our frustration right at the beginning of this article, we can leave out the beautiful things like cuisine, culture and nature in the rest of the blog entry.
Have fun with our photos and tips!

 

1. Day: Porta Westfalica - Dunkerque

 

Dunkerque is to become the starting point of our journey. At 7:30 am we leave Porta Westfalica and make a stopover in Mühlheim an der Ruhr. Here we get the so-called ACSI card from a camping outfitter close to the motorway, with which we expect discounts at various camping sites in the low season. At the end of our holiday the 26€ Campingcard has earned us a discount of one (in numbers "1") Euro - in our case a complete failure.

Our dog Trüffel spends the trip in the foot space of the co-driver, it is the first time motorhome with dog. We are curious what awaits us. Around 15:15 o'clock we reach the parking lot in Dunkirk.

 

Mirrored bunker at the beach of Dunkerque

Mirrored bunker at the beach of Dunkerque  - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 long-time exposures of max. 30 seconds

 

From the dunes in front of the campsite we see something silver on the horizon shining in the sun. Looks like a huge cuboid wrapped in aluminium foil. As we get closer, we realize that it is a bunker completely covered with mirror shards from the Second World War.

 

Michelle's mirror image in the shards glued to the bunker

Michelle's mirror image in the shards glued to the bunker - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art

 

A kind of art project from the year 2016: the broken fragments of mirrors, in which the face of each observer is reflected, offer infinite space for interpretation.

 

Remains of bunkers from the Second World War

Remains of bunkers from the Second World War - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

A few 100 metres away are the other bunkers. Not as grey as they used to be, some only covered with graffiti, others transformed into real works of art by graffiti. We do know the bunkers on Denmark's west coast, but we haven't seen such a bunker village as here yet. The complex here consists of several buildings with catacomb-like accommodations and guard buildings.

 

Graffiti with historical reference at one of the bunker remains

Graffiti with historical reference at one of the bunker remains - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

Admittedly, it feels oppressive and wrong to take German photos of the bunkers. Nobody should think that we like what happened here just because we take pictures of it. Only a few days ago the D-Day remembrance celebrations took place here. During the storm on these bunkers probably countless people lost their lives. This must never happen again on European ground.

 

Bath cabins on the beach of Dunkerque in front of a threatening rain front

Bath cabins on the beach of Dunkerque in front of a threatening rain front - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 long-time exposures of max. 30 seconds 

Towards evening we head west, into the city centre of Dunkirk. We stroll along the front row of beaches, past the bathing huts to the restaurant "Face à la mer". The French cuisine welcomes us with mussels in garlic cream and white wine stock and the weather with a warm light in a threatening, dark cloud scenery.

Daniel was in France for the last time in 2005. At that time nobody spoke English, especially not by himself. Today we were addressed several times directly in English, when the locals noticed that we were not completely capable of the national language. A development that in itself was accommodating. In a bar we were even addressed in perfect German. Crazy world. Should that be the case everywhere now? Yes.

 

 

2. Day: Dunkerque - Cap Blanc-Nez - Stella Plage - Dieppe

 

The day begins with an instant coffee in the motorhome. It doesn't taste like freshly ground coffee, but it's a tradition, for us it's just part of it. We set off for a short detour to "Cap Blanc-Nez", a stretch of coast on France's chalk cliff coast. In good weather one should be able to recognize the war rocks in front of Dover. Today this is not so. In the foggy air above the English Channel the visibility is very limited. We walk a little around the Cap Blanc-Nez and once again we notice the traces of the war. The hills around the Cap are dotted with bomb funnels, which can still be seen today. No wonder, because the Germans had installed a casemate facility here, which was able to shoot tons of projectiles into the cities at England's south coast. 

 

 Chalk cliffs at Cap Blanc-Nez

Chalk cliffs at Cap Blanc-Nez - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 long-time exposures of max. 30 seconds

 

In advance we had read a blog that recommended a free parking space in Stella Plage. Directly behind the dunes one can park here with the camper van and reach the wide beach in only a few minutes on foot. This should be great especially for dog owners to be able to let the four-legged friend walk without a leash. The blog was right about the parking place and the beach, but Stella Plage is a ghost town. The city planned on the drawing board was almost deserted, half decayed restaurants and bars as far as the eye could see. We dare to doubt if this looks different in the high season.

 

This is what Stella Plage looks like and Macron is probably to blame for it. Uh-huh.

This is what Stella Plage looks like and Macron is probably to blame for it. Uh-huh. - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

After an extensive walk along the beach we return to the camper site and decide to continue our journey towards Dieppe. The afternoon is still young and we also want to have dinner somewhere in civilisation tonight. Stella Plage is almost scary, there are definitely more beautiful places. 

 

Our dog "Trüffel" having fun at the wide beach of Stella Plage

Our dog " Trüffel " has fun at the wide beach of Stella Plage - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art

 


 

3. Day: Dieppe - Étretat - Phare D'Antifer - Honfleur

 

Our plan from the previous day was only partly successful. In Dieppe we stopped at a fish restaurant the evening before and ate the first seafood platter we had longed for. Unfortunately it was very expensive, but not very good. The crabs had probably died of old age. At least we stopped at a small bar afterwards, that was a nice conclusion. The mobile home parking place in Dieppe is basically a better parking place and therefore not worth mentioning. The only advantage is that one gets quickly to the city.

Thus, before we leave in the morning, we buy some fresh pastries and fruit for the way and then we start our way to Étretat.

 

Michelle on the rocks of Étretat, in the background the famous rock arch

Michelle on the rocks of Étretat, in the background the famous rock arch - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art

 

Ètretat is definitely worth a visit, especially for those who like to take photos. The chalk cliffs and the famous arch are excellent motifs. There is only one thing you should not do here, and that is to rely on Google Maps navigation if you want to follow the route on foot to the rocks. We walk up a mountain for three quarters of an hour and then realize that the navigation app wants to guide us over a fenced golf course. Well, that's how Daniel comes to do some sport.

 

The northern chalk cliffs of Étretat

The northern chalk cliffs of Étretat  - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 long-time exposures of max. 90 seconds 

 

 

The southern chalk cliffs of Étretat

The southern chalk cliffs of Étretat  - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 long-time exposures of max. 90 seconds 

 

We're heading for Honfleur from Étretat. Here a beautiful harbour town with old houses, romantic alleys and good restaurants awaits us. If only it weren't for the search for a suitable pitch for the night. There are about 300 motorhomes parked on the designated motorhome site, the site is packed, no chance. As an emergency solution we want to drive to another local campsite, which can only be reached by a particularly narrow lane.

When Daniel narrowly escaped a nervous break due to the narrow street, we notice that also the camping site is completely occupied. Another campsite, a little further outside has already closed, and so we search on satellite pictures at Google Maps for suitable sites. Finally we find what we are looking for. There are already 15 other motorhomes on a parking lot that is used by buses. The place is free, we stand directly at the water, definitely better than the official and overcrowded place.

 

The port of Honfleur at the blue hour

The port of Honfleur at the blue hour - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 long-time exposures of max.120 seconds 

 

After an extensive dinner in the "Le Bistro du Port" our mood gets better again. The day has been quite a good one for us, especially the frustration with the pitches in between. The blue hour rewards our efforts with beautiful views in the historic old town of Honfleur and all the trouble is forgotten.

 

View into the romantic back streets of Honfleur

View into the romantic back streets of Honfleur - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 individual shots

 


 

4. Day: Honfleur - Nez de Jobourg

 

In order to get to the Nez de Jobourg, roads and car dimensions present us with some new challenges. Sweat-bathed we finally reach our free parking space again with a view of the lighthouse.

 

View from the cliffs at Nez de Jobourg

View from the cliffs at Nez de Jobourg - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 long-time exposures of max. 30 seconds

 

We walk over the cliffs, Daniel climbs down the steep rocks to take pictures. If we hadn't bought something for the barbecue, we would probably have stopped for dinner at the "Auberge des Grottes", a cute restaurant with friendly and cordial service, where we stopped for a beer after our hike.

 

This is a great view from our pitch at the Cap de Jobourg: In the distance the lighthouse lights up at night.

This is a great view from our pitch at the Cap de Jobourg: In the distance the lighthouse lights up at night. - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

5. Day: Nez de Jobourg - Mont St. Michel - Cancale

 

For those who want to watch Japanese tourists squeezing their way through supposedly romantic old town alleys on holiday and buy soft ice cream or plastic souvenirs made in China in the light of flickering LED advertisements, Mont St. Michel is a real must-see. If you don't belong to this group, stay away. Take a look at the following pictures and imagine small, almost deserted alleys in the romantic lantern light. It doesn't get any better than in your imagination.

 

View on Mont St. Michel

View on Mont St. Michel - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 long-time exposures of max. 30 seconds 

 

This picture of Mont St. Michel is a lie: It looks deserted, but it is only because of the long exposure.

This picture of Mont St. Michel is a lie: It looks deserted, but it is only because of the long exposure. - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 long-time exposures of max. 30 seconds

 

After the overcrowded Mont St. Michel we continue to Cancale, the oyster capital of France. We quickly find a camper van site near Cancale, from here we reach the restaurant "Au Pied d'Cheval" in only 15 minutes on foot. With warm service we sit outside in the sunshine and drink Chardonnay to the best seafood platter of all times. What a cute restaurant with a great outdoor terrace. But the name of the restaurant comes from the tool used to open the oysters: a mixture of horseshoe and crowbar is used to crack the oysters - an ingenious construction that also seems to work: We do not find any shell pieces in our oysters. 

 

The best seafood plate of the holiday in Cancale

The best seafood plate of the holiday in Cancale - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots 

 

 

6. Day: Cancale - Rothéneuf - St. Malo

 

The beach of Rothéneuf was actually on our list as a possible pitch. But since we were here early in the morning, we only visited this place without an overnight stay. Instead we munched our breakfast from a bakery near Cancale. During the morning walk we took the following pictures.

 

Dried algae on the beach of Rothéneuf

Dried algae on the beach of Rothéneuf - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 long-time exposures of max. 30 seconds 

 

Low tide at the beach of Rothéneuf

Low tide at the beach of Rothéneuf - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 long-time exposures of max. 30 seconds

 


Our pitch in St. Malo is far outside. The way to the city centre is not necessarily nice, one walks past the ferry terminals and the freight harbour. Also otherwise St. Malo has not necessarily hit us from the stool. The city is strongly influenced by tourism, with all the disadvantages that this entails: expensive food of bad quality, overcrowded places, garbage. Only at the north side of the city walls ending in the water we take a long time picture of the surf, drink a cider and then go back to the camper van. St. Malo - you can do that, but you don't have to.

 

Waves at the walls of St. Malo

Waves at the walls of St. Malo - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 long-time exposures of max. 20 seconds

 



7. Day: St. Malo - Dinan - Fort La Latte - Cap Fréhel

 

Dinan actually consists of two parts: The upper old town and the small harbour "Port de Dinan". Both districts knock us down, whereby we like the harbour area much more than the upper oldtown. We have lunch, the sun shines, which is a nice day. Those who like can spend the night in a camper van very close to the "Port de Dinan". Today, we only use this parking place for parking (and actually we don't have to pay for the whole night).

 Port de Dinan

Port de Dinan - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots 

 

We continue to one of the most famous and impressive caps of the French Atlantic coast, the "Cap Fréhel". Here, too, Daniel spares no effort and danger for the perfect cliff photo. Michelle can't watch it at all, nor can truffles. But the difficult descent is worth it, great pictures are taken.

 

View from the cliffs of the Cap Fréhel

View from the cliffs of the Cap Fréhel - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 long-time exposures of max. 30 seconds

 

You can't hear anything down on the cliffs where Daniel takes the pictures. No tourists, no cars, only the dull waves on the rough cliffs, the seabirds and the wind. It may sound artificial and hackneyed, but such moments are rare in life. This rocky promontory has something meditative and calming that we have never experienced before. Nothing else is important down here, just the moment - and perhaps to watch where you step.

 

Cap Fréhel and its lighthouse
Cap Fréhel and its lighthouse 
- Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 long-time exposures of max. 30 seconds

 

8. Day: Cap Frehel - Abbaye de Beauport - Plougrescant - Ploumanach

 

On our way to Plougrescant we pass the "Abbaye de Beauport" and visit it. A ruined church that was reconquered by nature. Unfortunately the Abbaye has closed and we can only admire it from the outside and through fences. 

 

The Abbaye de Beauport

The Abbaye de Beauport - Nikon D7500, Sigma 17-50mm F2,8 DC OS HSM | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

Let us come to a highlight of the trip, that is the coast at Plougrescant. Here stands the famous "house between the rocks". But this place has even more to offer. This coastal section appears almost unreal with its different landscapes that are so close to each other. While we look in one direction into a kind of rock desert, we look in the opposite direction into a green meadow landscape and feel reminded of the hobbit empire of Lord of the Rings.

 

The "House between the rocks" in Plougrescant

The "House between the rocks" in Plougrescant - Nikon D7500, Sigma 17-50mm F2,8 DC OS HSM | HDR-Composition of 9 individual shots

 

As in the Shire: Landscape on the opposite side of the "House between the rocks"

As in the Shire: Landscape on the opposite side of the "House between the rocks" - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 individual shots 

 

The weather today is mixed. The sun is not shining, grey clouds are hanging in the sky, in between it is drizzling. And that's a good thing, because the weather suits this landscape. In between the sun shines through the clouds and plunges individual areas of nature into a golden light, which is typical for us in Brittany. It doesn't bother us that we often wear a rain parka, somehow it feels as if it has to be like this.

 

 

Rocky landscape like on another planet in Plougrescant

Rocky landscape like on another planet in Plougrescant - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art

 

 

Typical Brittany: The sun shines through the clouds and bathes the landscape in a unique light.

Typical Brittany: The sun shines through the clouds and bathes the landscape in a unique light. - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art

 

Towards evening we reach our present pitch, a campsite on the Rosa Granit coast near Ploumanach. For dinner we want to go to the city and according to the woman at the campsite reception, it is only a 30 minute walk to the campsite. So we set off. It follows the most beautiful walk for a long time.

 

On the way to the lighthouse of Ploumanach

On the way to the lighthouse of Ploumanach - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art

 

 

The Pink Granite Coast near Ploumanach

The Pink Granite Coast near Ploumanach - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

 

 

 

Lighthouse of Ploumanach

Lighthouse of Ploumanach - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

As beautiful as the walk is, if you take a lot of photos, you won't make it in 30 minutes. After 1 1/2 hours we reach the city. This is one of those sobering evenings. Of 12 restaurants, only two are open, but they are completely occupied and overcrowded. Also other tourists desperately look for a table in the restaurants. Too bad. Potential wasted in our eyes. On this evening there is spaghetti with sauce in the motorhome.

 

Old chapel on the coastline of Ploumanach

Old chapel on the coastline of Ploumanach - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots 

 

 

9. Day: Ploumanach - Roscoff


Today it's all about Roscoff. First we visit the botanical garden. A non-profit association manages here with much love and work a large area, which is in no way inferior to the famous gardens in the south of England. A visit is worthwhile in any case. 

 

Cactus pavilion in the botanical garden of Roscoff

Cactus pavilion in the botanical garden of Roscoff - Nikon D7500, Sigma 17-50mm F2,8 DC OS HSM | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

Also today we stand on a free parking lot south-west of the city centre of Roscoff. On foot we go inland, eat crépes, drink cider and visit the fishing port. Only in the evening we notice that our pitch is directly in front of an abandoned "ghost castle" with a terrible history.

 

Nothing goes on here: Ebb tide in Roscoff

Nothing goes on here: Ebb tide in Roscoff - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots 

 

 

View over the garden fence in Roscoff

View over the garden fence in Roscoff - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots 

 

Daniel waits longingly for his crepe in Roscoff, after all the cider is already there.

Daniel waits longingly for his crepe in Roscoff, after all the cider is already there. - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art

 

 

Fishing boats are waiting for the tide in the port of Roscoff

Fishing boats are waiting for the tide in the port of Roscoff - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

10. Day: Roscoff - Mont's D'arrée - Huelgoat

 

Today's tour takes us inland. At the highest mountain of Northern France we visit the small mountain chapel "Mont Saint-Michel de Brasparts". The climb up here was worth it, the view is breathtaking.

 The old mountain chapel on  Mont D'arré

The old mountain chapel on Mont D'arré - Nikon D500, Samyang 8mm Fisheye | HDR-Composition of 9 individual shots

 Fish-Eye photo inside the mountain chapel at the Mont D'arré

Fish-Eye photo inside the mountain chapel at the Mont D'arré - Nikon D500, Samyang 8mm Fisheye | HDR-Composition of 9 individual shots 

 

On the altar of the mountain chapel travellers from all over the world have placed small souvenirs and presents. On handwritten notes on the altar the visitors ask for the fulfilment of their wishes, health, peace, justice. Let us hope that the wishes will come true.

 

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The altar of the mountain chapel at the Mont D'arré - Nikon D7500, Sigma 17-50mm F2,8 DC OS HSM | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

Arriving in Huelgoat, we set off for the forest. In a gorge, huge, roundish stones, like shaped by a giant, await us, which are washed around or under by watercourses every now and then. Along the old water mill we make our way deeper into the forest.

 

Long-term exposure of the old water mill in Huelgoat

Long-term exposure of the old water mill in Huelgoat - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art

 

We make our way deeper into the forest of Huelgoat and squeeze ourselves through the narrow rocks

We make our way deeper into the forest of Huelgoat and squeeze ourselves through the narrow rocks - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art

 

Daniel explores the rocks in the forest of Huelgoat

Daniel explores the rocks in the forest of Huelgoat - Nikon D7500, Sigma 17-50mm F2,8 DC OS HSM

 

If you have seen enough rocks, you can end your trip with a cute creperie in the forest. A hearty "Galette" or a sweet "Crépes" as well as a cider will help you to process your impressions.

 

 

11. Day: Huelgoat - Le Phare Petit Minou - Roscanvel - Camaret sur mer

 

Today is the day when you could go on a beach holiday. The bay at the Phare Petit Minou and the sunny weather invite inevitably to it. Unfortunately, there is still a longer tour on our list, which is why we skip the part about bathing.

 

A sunny day at Phare Petit Minou

A sunny day at Phare Petit Minou - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 long-term exposure shots of 30 seconds maximum

 

 

 

The lighthouse Phare Petit Minou seen from its bay

The lighthouse Phare Petit Minou seen from its bay - Nikon D7500, Sigma 17-50mm F2,8 DC OS HSM | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

 Phare Petit Minou

A sunny day at Phare Petit Minou - Nikon D7500, Sigma 17-50mm F2,8 DC OS HSM | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

View of the Strait in front of Phare Petit Minou

View of the Strait in front of Phare Petit Minou - Nikon D7500, Sigma 17-50mm F2,8 DC OS HSM | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

Next stop on our tour is Roscanvel with the "Îlot des Capucins", on the Crozon Peninsula. On the Crozon Peninsula you really seem to hate motorhomes. Parking is forbidden almost everywhere, but campsites do not open until July. Thanks for nothing.

 

Daniel on a cliff ledge of the cliffs of Roscanvel

Daniel on a cliff ledge of the cliffs of Roscanvel - Nikon D7500, Sigma 17-50mm F2,8 DC OS HSM

 

The strategic fort "Fort des Capucins" was built in 1848. With its artillery batteries, it controlled access to the Strait of Brest. During the Second World War, the island and its buildings were severely damaged by Allied bombing after German occupation. The island is not touristically developed, the access is officially forbidden, but not impossible. Those who want to venture down the narrow rock stairs should wear sturdy shoes and have no fear of heights. Neither the descent nor the stay on the island is completely harmless.

 

Descent to "Îlot des Capucins"

Descent to "Îlot des Capucins" - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art

 

On the old bridge to the island "Îlot des Capucins" you can see Daniel

On the old bridge to the island "Îlot des Capucins" you can see Daniel - Nikon D7500, Sigma 17-50mm F2,8 DC OS HSM

 

This place is creepy. This is partly due to the eventful history of this island, its "Lost Places" character, partly due to the creepy Grafittis and the uncanny silence down here. Inevitably you have to imagine what the life of the soldiers down here must have been like. How did the people here live in everyday life? Did the stationed people long for their wives and families? Were they afraid? How long did the occupying forces know that the Allies were on their way to them? These questions contribute to the fact that a stay on the "Îlot des Capucins" feels queasy and oppressive.

 

The ruins on the "Îlot des Capucins" were conquered by flora and fauna

The ruins on the "Îlot des Capucins" were conquered by flora and fauna - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

 

Some ruins of the "Îlot des Capucins" were decorated with partly creepy Grafittis

Some ruins of the der "Îlot des Capucins" were decorated with partly creepy Grafittis- Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

In the evening we stand on a campsite in Camaret sur mer. In the small village we find great restaurants, bars, the harbour church and a ship cemetery. We can only recommend this place to every traveller.

 

The ship cemetery of Camaret sur mer

The ship cemetery of Camaret sur mer - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

 The old ship is tired

The old ship is tired - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

Highlight of Camaret sur mer for us is the bar "Rhumerie". Here there are not only various Breton beers and handmade coctails, but also various kinds of rum, refined by ingredients such as caramel, almonds, etc. wait for the guest. Rarely do you experience that restaurateurs do their job with so much joy, dedication and cordiality as here. We are thrilled.

 

In the

In the "Rhumerie" of Camaret sur mer the day comes to an end - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art

 

 

12. Day: Camaret sur mer - Locronan

 

Before we leave Camaret sur mer for good, we visit the stone circle and the ruins of the house "Manoir De Coecilian" of the writer and poet Saint-Pol-Roux.

 Stone circles in Camaret sur Mer

Stone circles in Camaret sur Mer  - Nikon D7500, Sigma 17-50mm F2,8 DC OS HSM | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots 

 

 

Ruins of the Manoir De Coecilian house of the writer and poet Saint-Pol-Roux in Camaret sur mer

Ruins of the Manoir De Coecilian house of the writer and poet Saint-Pol-Roux in Camaret sur mer - Nikon D7500, Sigma 17-50mm F2,8 DC OS HSM | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

"Manoir De Coecilian" was once a pretty estate of the poet Saint-Pol-Roux near the coast. The house has a turbulent history behind it: on the night of 24 June 1940, a soldier of the German Wehrmacht attacked the house, killed his housekeeper and injured his daughter Divine. On 3 October the estate was plundered and many manuscripts destroyed. On 18 October 1940, Saint-Pol-Roux died in Brest. In 1944, the estate was bombed and destroyed by the Allies, a large part of the manuscripts remained missing.

 

Painting on the remains of the "Manoir De Coecilian" in Camaret sur mer

Painting on the remains of the "Manoir De Coecilian" in Camaret sur mer - Nikon D7500, Sigma 17-50mm F2,8 DC OS HSM | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

Around noon we reach our campsite in Locronan, one of the most beautiful villages in France. Here we meet the friendliest campsite operator in the world and indulge in culinary delights. We not only buy fine Breton caramel and chocolate products, but also eat in the Michelin restaurant "Ar Maen Hir" - an absolute must-have during a visit to Locronan.

 

A wide selection of Breton chocolate and caramel in Locronan

A wide selection of Breton chocolate and caramel in Locronan - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art

 

 

13. Day: Locronan - Concarneaux - Pont-Aven - St. Cado

 

With a stopover in Pont-Aven we continue our journey. The small town, with its innumerable artists' studios, has become a tourist magnet. Unfortunately, because one notices this at overcrowded sidewalks, restaurants and the hectic crowd. This place is not necessarily suitable for relaxing.

 

Ebb tide in Pont-Aven

Ebb tide in Pont-Aven - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots 

 

In the evening we reach our camping site near the small island "St. Cado". Also here all restaurants have already closed at 19:00 o'clock, only a small bar at the harbour welcomes us for one or two beers and cider.

 

The island St. Cado at the beginning of the blue hour

The island St. Cado at the beginning of the blue hour - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art | HDR-Composition of 9 long-term exposure shots of 30 seconds maximum

 

 

A lonely house on a small island near St. Cado"
A lonely house on a small island near St. Cado - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art |
HDR-Composition of 9 long-term exposure shots of 30 seconds maximum

 

 

14. Day:  St. Cado - Étel - Quiberon - Montlouis sur Loire

 


Today we're going to Belle-Île. We start in St. Cado, first visit the ship cemetery in Étel and then drive on to the Quiberon peninsula, from where we want to cross over to Belle-Île.

 The skeleton of an old fishing boat at the ship graveyard of Étel

The skeleton of an old fishing boat at the ship graveyard of Étel- Nikon D7500, Sigma 17-50mm F2,8 DC OS HSM | HDR-Composition of 5 individual shots

 

To cut a long story short: the Quiberon peninsula is a nightmare for campers and motorhomes. Every parking lot forbidden, height barriers and not even at the roadside you can stop for a small snapshot, because all roadsides are barricaded with wooden posts. Conveniently located camping or pitches? No, not at all.

When we arrive at the ferry terminal to Belle-Île, an extremely unfriendly port employee tells us that there would be no crossing to Belle-Île without a reservation.

We are frustrated and annoyed and leave Brittany early. Another 7 hours later we reach the campsite in Montlouis sur Loire in the Loire valley. Here we buy some crates of wine the next day and slowly start our way home via the "Lac du der" at Giffaumont-Champaubert (not recommended), Luxembourg and the Moselle at Bremm. The France travelogue ends at this point.

 

 Finally a picture of our Trüffle in the camper bedroom

Finally a picture of our Trüffle in the camper bedroom - Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art

 

What photographic equipment did we have with us?

Below you will find affiliate links to the equipment we use:


All the links in this text are Amazon Affiliate Links, and by clicking on an affiliate link I will earn a percentage of your subsequent Amazon purchases. However, this circumstance does not influence the background of my product recommendation. This product recommendation is independent, honest and sincere. 

Bei allen genannten Links handelt es sich um Amazon-Affiliate-Links. Durch einen Klick auf einen Affiliate-Link werde ich prozentual an Euren darauf folgenden Amazon-Einkäufen beteiligt. Dieser Umstand beeinflusst aber nicht die Hintergründe meiner Produktempfehlung. Diese Produktempfehlung erfolgt unabhängig, ehrlich und aufrichtig.

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