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Le Croisic

Early this month, Frédéric and I were back in his hometown in (historical) Brittany and taking advantage of the opportunity to see another part of the region which I don’t know, I suggested an afternoon visit to Le Croisic. Situated at the tip of the Guérande peninsula (just a little further down from Le Pouliguen and Batz-sur-Mer), it is a beautiful small town but a little on the quiet side during the winter – the visitors won’t be coming in until warmer summer months.

But first, we made a pit stop at Plage Valentin of Batz-sur-Mer, which we didn’t visit previously. It is not named after St Valentin (sorry to burst some romance bubble there) but rather, it was introduced by a certain Monsieur Killian who was nicknamed Valentin to be a small “bathing therapy” resort. It gained popularity and the venture took off. Today though, it is favoured by families for beach holiday, given the relative calm of water in this bay in comparison to the other beaches along the coast.

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Our arrival at Le Croisic was greeted by the presence of Jardin du Mont Esprit and a small harbour for recreational boats. We parked the car in the vicinity and boy, we were greeated by amazing sunshine AND very strong wind. Quite a way to make the day memorable! Sunshine = happy, wind = brrrrrrrrr (and messy hair).

What surprised me more was how few people were around that afternoon. It was a Saturday! Most shops along the water front were also shut, saving a handful few where I managed to photograph a few typical as well as quirky items on sale. About two cafés were open and that was it. If this was a Western movie, I would be expecting tumbleweeds to roll past us.

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Our walk along the waterfront took us towards the channel of Pen Bron. This is the only water inlet that supplies the salt water for production of the fine salt of Guérande. Across the channel is la pointe de Pen-Bron, a narrow peninsula which is mainly occupied by a former sanatorium (that is, a residence-based hospital for treatment of tuberculosis) which is today a residence-based hospital for physical therapy and functional readaptation.

With the tide being low, we can see just how shallow for most part the channel is. Small vessels were therefore parked on soil until the next high tide came in, allowing them to be afloat once again. I’m pondering now if one could easily walk across the channel when the tide is at the lowest possible level…

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Instead of continuing our walk along the water front, we took a detour towards the direction of the church tower that dominates the skyline of the town. This led us to the old Hôtel de Ville, a building which retains its charm but at the same time, could easily be perceived as eerie. It looked abandoned and sorely needed maintenance.

Pressed on along the route, we finally came to église Notre-Dame-de-Pitié, the main church of the town. It is said to be built in the style of Breton flamboyant Gothic, it nonetheless manifested an incorporation of some Renaissance style of architecture. We couldn’t visit the church itself because, like most places in town that we’ve passed by that day, it was closed. What a pity (pun not intended).

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Our random stroll from there on, but in the direction of the carpark, showed us more deserted streets but also a few interesting features, like the pipes that channel rain water from roof to the ground. Not only were they brightly painted, they were in the form of a beast’s open mouth. I was thoroughly fascinated – what a genius idea to put a touch of creativity onto otherwise a mundane functional pipe!

Bright daffodils in front of a florist also called to me. It brought back memories of how I used to buy budding bunches about once a week during spring, so there would be a splash of colours on my otherwise paper-strewn desk in the lab. It was a reminder that new season’s awaiting, and how full of life each day would be.

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

We got back to the carpark when I realised we still had not made our way to the Mont Esprit. We were chattering with cold, but thought, hey, we should check it out anyway. Pulling our coats tighter, drawing up the hoodies, we put on brave demeanours and marched on and up a little hill in the park.

Our effort was richly rewarded. From here, we had a 360° panoramic view which included Le Croisic, Pen Bron, Guérande and Batz-sur-Mer. It was incredibly difficult to take photos from up here that day though; the wind was felt even more acutely when we stood at the submit of the helical pomontary and trying to be still was just not possible. We even had to get off quickly because there was real risk of the wind pushing us over the edge!

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Needless to say, given how frozen we felt coming out from Mont Esprit, we were very glad to be back in the car. We sat for a few minutes just to regain some warmth and be comfortable again, before deciding if we should hang around for dinner time and eat at a restaurant recommended to us.

Unfortunately, we were not able to determine if the restaurant would even be opened that evening (no sign at the restaurant of opening hour, nor any menu at the door/window) and we didn’t want to wait for a couple of hours for nothing. Calling would be pointless given there was not a single soul to be seen inside the restaurant either. Maybe next time, perhaps during the peak season when shops and restaurants are more or less guaranteed to be running. It is such a lovely town that it should be livelier than what we observed that day.



Category: France

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4 scribbles & notes

  1. med says:

    beautiful weather and looks like a beautiful place too…somehow very unique looking ;) idyllic welcoming i think

    thx for the virtual ‘holiday’ heheheh

  2. Med says:

    Ok ok…..already added France into my list of must visit places….so now to settle timing n funding hehehehe ;)

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