Friday, May 28, 2010
I had been advised that the Crozon peninsula was something special – and so it proved. On the way, another visit to the brocanteur at Plonovez netted Ian McEwan’s Saturday; one of John Updike’s Rabbit books; 2 le Carres; another Paul Scott (Jewel in the crown, the best known of his quartet); and 2 unknowns – Linda Grant’s When I lived in modern times which won her the Orange prize in 2000 and Alison Johnson’s A House by the shore, a tale of restoring an old manse in the Hebrides and running it as a hotel.
Chateaulin was my first destination – just 15 minutes’ drive away. As I cruised alongside the canal which flows through it, I suddenly realised this was the place Daniela and I had morning coffee in 1999 after our night on the camping site on the hill above. Indeed, for years, I have had a recurring vision of this stretch of canal! This seemed an important sign – which was confirmed when, a few kilometres further brought into sight a Breton church in whose yard I had photographed Daniela. And then suddenly, on the left, I was looking down on a large expanse of sea. Crozon itself was a bit disappointing – but views of Brest at Lanveac and the estuary at Landevennc made up for it. I am now quite clear that this central part of Finistere – somewhat maligned by the residents of Morbihan for its weather and low density – is in fact the best for me. And that Plonevez is as good a location as any – with its ready access to sea north, south and west and near to cities such as Quimper.