Friday the 13th

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Flag of France  ,
Friday, May 13, 2011

Today Michael showed us around Brittany.  It is very unlike the rest of France.  It is very hilly with tall rocky cliffs that overhang the ocean.  Brittany is in France but the local people have often kind of done there own thing.  They have their own language and many of their own customs.  Still everyone speaks French.  We had an simple but amazing breakfast of hot chocolate and croissants, then drove down the small windy streets through small villages of old stone buildings to the coast.  It is strange, but there is always a lot to write about on days that are less than spectacular, but on great nice days like today, there's not much to say.  We stopped at several overlooks and walked around on the cliffs, and drove to a beach that was used during WWII to smuggle out Allied Forces while Germany occupied France.  In the early afternoon we stopped at a grocery store and then drove to one of Brittany's classic windmills overlooking the ocean and had lunch. After lunch we explored a larger coast town called Paimpol, and a little bit of trivia, it is a sister city to Vermillion, Ohio.  We wandered the streets for a while checking out the shops and ships, and of course getting ice cream before we left.  Down the road from town is a ferry that heads out to an island off the coast.  During this time of day the tide goes way out in the sea and reveals huge rocks on the ocean floor.  I guess until gps was invented there used to be tons of shipwrecks here, and in response there are tons of lighthouses.  We found a boat on the beach and took a short voyage.  Overall, Brittany is a great little area that is both different and relaxing.  The weather is usually not good here apparently, there are many postcards joking about this, but it was perfect while we were there.  Dinner was unbelievable.  In France dinner is an event and Michele and Tata went all out for us.  I'm not sure exactly how many courses there were, but the ones I can remember were apartifs with crackers, pate, salad, the main course of chicken, cheese (amazing), and then fruit and cream for dessert.  It took at least a couple hours and the whole time everyone was talking.  Michael had the unenvious job of being the middle man and translating for everyone.  In France wine is called 'vin' and in Brittany it's called 'gwine'.  And in pure french fashion we had a good after dinner political debate.  
I wish I had more to stay, but at least the pictures turned out good.  This was a great part of our trip, one that we never would have been able to experience on our own.  If we had the chance we would have loved to have been able to stay longer.

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