Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Le Conquet trip

Had a great (too short) holiday in Le Conquet. Stayed in a very cheap but perfectly functional chalet in the holiday village run by the mairie. Two minute walk into centre and five minutes to coast path, so well placed for walking, eating and drinking. I rarely drink alcohol but it seemed the height of civilised behaviour to wander into town for an aperitif before supper. Just as well I revisited the Pointe de Corsen, westernmost point of France, where my new book opens - it has been heartily sanitised with a manicured path and pristine table of orientation. No more signpost to Moscow, Morocco and London. Maybe not such a great loss. Let's hope there are no plans for a tourist circus like at the Pointe de Raz.
Fabulous walk one day down the coast path to the Pointe St Mathieu with its ruined abbey and lighthouse on the cliff-top. Few better sights in Brittany than that, no matter that I've been there many times before. The fort has been transformed into a memorial to those lost at sea, the walls covered with photos of each individual. It's a disturbing and uncomfortable experience.
Partly also on the quest of Michel Le Nobletz, the 17th century missionary who did so much to galvanise Catholicism in western Brittany and invented the taolennou, sheep-skins or wood painted with biblical or allegorical scenes to revive notions of keeping to the straight and narrow in order to attain the ultimate reward in heaven. Some illustrations of these powerful documents in his little chapel above the port at Le Conquet and in the parish church where his tomb rests.

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