Saturday, May 26, 2012

Good Things and Less Good

We did five "things" today, three in the original plan and two ad-hoc.

Thing one was to take a nature walk along the Traouïéros river valley. And do not ask us how to pronounce that. Tra-oo-ee-ay-ros? (Move your mouth like Dory in the "speaking 'whale'" scene from Finding Nemo.) Anyway it's a little creek that has cut a steep valley through those granite boulders and there is supposed to be a walking trail, but the only guide book to mention it was quite ambiguous and Google maps had no idea. And there were no signs. But with half an hour of searching and by asking a friendly person, we found it!

David waves to show where the trail is among the boulders.

Marian celebrates climbing yet another long stairway.

So we walked a kilometer or so out and then back through nice green woods.

Thing Four was a visit to the City Aquarium in Trégastel, which we found by accident while looking for a fresh baguette on the way to Thing Two. Looked interesting but it wouldn't be open until 2pm, so on to Thing Two.

Thing Two was to visit a church in Lannion which a guide book claimed had a "magnificent" view from its porch. It is built on the edge of a steep hill and has a nice view of central Lannion, if you wanted one, which we didn't, so on to Thing Three.

Thing Three was a stop at Chateau de Kergrist. This place has papered our town of Perros-Guirec with posters advertising an exhibit of mechanical sculptures. So we threw that into today's mix. It didn't turn out to be much. At first we thought the place was closed, it was dark and deserted and no tourists around. But there was someone to sell a ticket after all. The sculptures were cute, robots and big insects and such assembled from junk mechanical parts, but no info on the sculptor or anything. We walked around the grounds of the place a short while, too.

Chateau looks good from a distance. Close up, not so much.

Marian was fascinated by a huge old topiary Yew tree in a back garden.

Frankly this place was a disappointment. One can sympathize with the family that has owned it for five generations; maintenance must be horribly costly. But they aren't keeping up, that was clear to anyone walking around the place. And the advertising posters that drew us in rather overstated what they had to offer.

So back to Trégastel to the Aquarium, which is small but very nicely organized and presented. The site is unique, a vast pile of those pink granite boulders with the building worked into the gaps and caves among them. This site has been a chapel, and during WWII it was an ammunition bunker. Now it is an aquarium centered on the local tidal pools and North Atlantic fisheries.

There is an aquarium insinuated among those boulders.

The exhibits are worked in among the rocks.

There was a class of French kids there. They apparently had been given an assignment. Each had a sheet of paper, possibly a list of questions to answer, and each was intent on finding whatever it was they had to look for.

We only saw one fish that was new to us.

The Lompe, or Cyclopterus Lumpus

Finally, Thing Five came up on the way home through the center of Perros-Guirec. Marian recalled that a guide book said that the town church, Église St. Jacques, was a "must-see," and fortuitously we saw a parking space near it. It's not pretty on the outside,

Church from 14C, Octagonal thing mushed on in 17C.

...nor indeed on the inside, very dark with heavy romanesque columns.

But the organist was practicing which was nice, and there are a number of very old polychrome figures.

"Rood beam" with figures from the 15th C.

St. Laurent, 16C polychrome wood figure

That was pretty much it. For more pics of polychrome figures, more green woods along the Unpronounceable River, more gannets, and so forth, check out the Perros-Guirec Gallery where Marian organizes everything with informative captions.

Tomorrow we shift again to "fresh woods, and pastures new."

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