One of the things I love about travelling is that you meet really interesting people along the way. Occasionally you also meet interesting animals and this was the case in Quimper, a beautiful cathedral city in Brittany, where we met a handsome and friendly Golden Retriever.
We had gone “upmarket” staying in the grounds of Le Chateau de Lanniron in Quimper – a beautiful spot on the River Odet on the outskirts of the city.
The camping grounds were virtually empty so we had the place to ourselves. However, strolling through the grounds we came across said dog and a little while later, his owner, whose daughter was getting married that weekend in the Chateau’s L’Orangie.
While we were being made a fuss of by this very engaging dog we had a long chat with his owner who had retired from having his own radio programme and was now working for a charity that supports young people who have been abused. His gorgeous dog worked with him giving comfort and unconditional affection to his young clients. No wonder our encounter was so heartwarming.
The large grounds of the Chateau were perfect for a leisurely bike ride before driving into Quimper, the ancient capital of Cornoualle – Brittany’s most traditionally Celtic region.
It was so interesting wandering through the pedestrian-only streets of Old Quimper passing the beautiful shops and cafes and the many half timbered houses.
The Musee des Beaux Artes stands in the Cathedral Square. It was built in the 1870s but has recently been fabulously renovated inside with ultra-modern design ideas, making the exhibition spaces light and airy and allowing great exposure of the 700 plus artworks on display.
We particularly enjoyed a room dedicated to the playwright, poet, critic and artist Max Jacob. There many works by Jacob himself but of special interest were the portraits of him by his friends – famous artists including Cocteau, Picasso, Modigliani and Lascaux.
From Quimper we headed for Point de Raz, a promontory that extends into the Atlantic from western Brittany.
We had a fabulous walk along the rugged cliffs which were reminiscent of Land’s End in Cornwall.
Our next major stop was the lovely medieval town of Dinan, perched on a hilltop overlooking the River Rance.
We loved seeing the many fine old buildings, some of which date from the 13th century and walking round the ancient city walls and enjoying the fabulous views. Lunch at a little restaurant up a side street was also very memorable.