City of pirates and mysterious Megaliths

The drive from Amiens to Rennes, the capital city of Brittany, was easy and uneventful. We camped outside Rennes in a village called Cesson Sevinge, a suburb directly to the east of Rennes. Our spot in a car park edged a pretty municipal park with a section of the University of Rennes on the opposite side.

The pretty park in Carson Sevinge where we camped

We had planned to visit the the Musée des Beaux-arts which displays works by Botticelli, Rubens and Picasso and also the museum of Brittany but they were both closed until midday so we decided to head on to St Malo and “do” the museums another time.

We love to camp near water – whatever form it takes

St Malo is a marvellous walled port city which has a long history of piracy. Saint-Malo became notorious as the home of the corsairs, French privateers and pirates. As we walked through the cobbled streets of the old town it felt like we had stepped back in time.

St Malo’s city walls
It was fun cycling round St Malo

Hard to believe that in World War II the historic walled city of Saint-Malo was almost totally destroyed by American shelling and bombing as well as British naval gunfire. The Allies believed that the Axis powers had thousands of troops and major armaments built up within the city walls – though there proved to be fewer than 100 troops manning just two anti-aircraft installations.

You could walk on top of the city walls ( see little figure on the left)
There were some delightful little corners such as this half timbered arch

Thankfully the city was lovingly rebuilt over a 12-year period from 1948 to 1960 and now it looks as though nothing untoward had ever happened.

Who would have thought that this street was just rubble before the rebuilding of St Malo?
One of St Malo’s sweet cafes
The view of the city walls and beyond from the beach
Another gracious St Malo building

We had a lovely lunch in a cafe just opposite the cathedral where I tried for the first time, a galette, Breton style – a pancake made with buckwheat flour with a savoury filling. Excellent!

Our cafe was very cosy
Our window table was great for people watching
The Breton galettes didn’t look particularly attractive but they tasted good

After a quick look at the Cathedral we visited the museum of St Malo which is housed in the large keep in one corner of the city walls.

Beautiful stained glass in the Cathedral

The museum is devoted to the history of St Malo and to its famous people. Documents, models of ships, paintings and weapons showcase the town’s maritime past. We were also able to climb up to the top of the tower where we took lots of photos and enjoyed the great views.

The entrance to the museum
A view with a difference from the Keep
Always love looking at sail boats wherever we are
Looking down on St Malo

From St Malo we headed to the tiny village Pleslin-trigavou where we spent the night in a very nice free site. Close by to our camping spot – just a short cycle ride away- we iwere able to view the site of the designated third most important megalithic site of Brittany – The Champ de Roches (Field of Rocks).

At this site there is a splendid collection of megaliths erected between 6000BC and 2000BC by pre-Celtic people.

The magical Champ de Roches (Field of Rocks).

There are 65 menhirs or standing stones of white quartz aligned in five rows orientated east-west. The megaliths were initially standing but 55 of them are now lying on their sides which makes the site look like a random field of rocks.

They may look scattered but there is a definite order to the menhirs

The tallest menhir at 3.5 m tall, is still standing up. The purpose of these megaliths alignments has remained a mystery to this day.

Such an intriguing place

An intriguing Archaeological find during excavations conducted at the site in the mid-19th century adds to the mystery – hundreds of (3000-year old) bronze axes were discovered.

We were the only ones there that day

We were the only people visiting that day so we were able to wander at will through the megaliths. Call us crazy but we could both definitely feel a different atmosphere or energy as we walked amongst the stones. There has been much written about the power of standing stones and I suspect much of it is nonsense but I am convinced we weren’t imagining what we felt.

Th site was very atmospheric
A tiny private chapel we found near to an old manor house in Pleslin-trigavou

Published by

Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s