Sunday, June 3, 2012

Miscellaneous Day around Quimper

The first thing to accomplish in Quimper was to find breakfast. The hotel serves one, but it's not very good. (How do they manage to find soft, spongy baguettes and tiny, non-flaky croissants—in a French city? It takes real shopping skill...) So we set out on foot to find an open café. Well, sorry to report, you cannot get petit dejeuner in central Quimper on a Sunday morning. Certainly not at 8am when we started looking, and not at 9am either, although the café with a sign about petit dejeuner a 9hrs at least had somebody on the premises to tell us that no, they don't serve until dix heures. Next door, though, the man said he had pas de croissants but if we had our own, he'd make us coffee to go with them. So we went into the market hall and found a live boulanger, got some croissants, traipsed back to the central square, and had our breakfast. Have not had this problem so seriously anywhere else.

Through all this walking about, clouds were rolling in and out with occasional spits of rain. But now there were fairly large blue patches racing by, alternating with dark clouds. So we decided to climb Mount Frugy. This is a hill just across the river from old Quimper from which the tourist office would like you to think you'll see great views. It's a moderately steep climb up sloping, paved paths through trees.

There were hardly any views going up, and the top was completely full of houses and trees. So we started down feeling a bit miffed at the guidebooks, but we took a slightly different route, and about halfway down found a view of the cathedral. This was what we'd been looking for the whole walk: a view over the cathedral with bright sun and dark clouds behind. Marian framed up the perfect composition...

...and here it is.

That's it, the perfect pic of Quimper cathedral.

Just can't stop with one pic even when it's the perfect one.

This view has the full length with the buttresses.

And a wee study of the lacy stonework of the galleries.

Down the hill and back to the hotel and assemble our laundry and go out and do the wash for the last time in France. We've been toting a big box of laundry soap tablets in the back of the car, using up two a week. Now Marian took the whole box into the laundromat and gave it to a nice gent who was there doing laundry with his two small kids.

By the time we'd put the clean laundry away, it was well past lunchtime. We walked back up to the Place au Buerre and had another crêpe for lunch. Only one of the five crêperies on that street was open this Sunday afternoon, but they were doing a great business.

So, what to do with the rest of the day? Marian pointed out that we had skipped one item from yesterday's plan, a nature walk on a freshwater marsh near Mousterlin. So we went off to do that.

The sea-front promenade here was full of French families out for a Sunday stroll. People with dogs, people with prams, people with elderly parents, all chatting and walking.

A little way back from the sea-wall was the fresh-water estuary lake of a small river, and here we found more water birds than anywhere else in Brittany.

Several cormorants in the tree top. Below, egrets, a great blue heron and a night heron.

We walked another 2km here, bringing our total for the day to something like 6 (about 3.5 miles). After a soothing drink at a nearby café (there is always a nearby café), we decided to continue exploring the sea coast and drove to the end of a tiny peninsula, Île-Tudy. For a day forecast as "mostly cloudy, showers" the weather had turned out quite nice as we surveyed the harbor mouth.

Click for very large panorama of sea and sky.

Some very nice classic sailboats were passing.

Any Arthur Ransome fans around? This boat is about the size of the Swallow, and has the same standing-lug rigging.

For supper we couldn't stand the thought of yet another trek into central Quimper, looking (probably in vain) for an open restaurant, but the only places open close-by were fast-food ones. Passed on the Indian, passed on the Asian, and for supper had: Subway sandwiches. We blush.

We've now closed out the Quimper gallery at smugmug. It has quite a few pics not shown in the blog.

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