July 25 : Old Ghosts Live Here
Did you hear the waves last night? Did their soft cymbal crashes keep cadence with the beat of your heart? Was the music they created the soundtrack of your dreams? Did their sweet ocean mist create salty dew on your lips as you slept?
I dreamt of waves. The long galloping type that march silently forth to escape some far off calamitous storm. The ones that sweep across a placid sea on cold mornings. They creep up calmly on quiet shores and, disturbed by submerged sand and stone, rise up to become beasts of raging white water. The ones that hurl themselves at the land with long, wispy manes of ocean spray trailed behind, crumbling into a boiling, gurgling froth that eventually falls weakly on waiting sands.
I dream of these waves and I am fearful and calm at once. Drawn and repelled. The sea is a beauty I cannot resist. From the earth we come and to the earth we shall return…but I wish, that when my day comes, I am returned to the waters. Let the sea embrace me on my final journey back to you.
Hey! How about breakfast?!?! This wonderful little place is just a few steps away.
YUM! Andre’s anxious to go. Today is a gray, moody day. Clouds hang on the coast and for many miles inland. We’ll likely not see the sun but that will not cast a shadow on our day. We have more ridiculously beautiful sites to see.
By the way, we are here (see map below) and we are driving to Nantes today.
Our first stop is Pont Aven which literally means “river bridge”. It’s tiny. It’s super adorable. And it was a gathering place for many impressionist and post-impressionist painters, including Paul Gaugin.
The coastline in this part of France isn’t like home. California sits on the edge of two tectonic plates which creates a jagged knife edge – the land plunges into the sea in most places.
Here, the land and sea seem to lazily intermingle with wildly different results. There are coastal plains, rocky bluffs, dunes, marshes, tidal bays, tidal rivers, tidal islands and even more tidal things.
The place we’re headed sits on an island in a bay called the Morbihan. There are 40 islands in the Morbihan and that number can change with the tide. We could probably spend weeks just boating the coves and crooks of the Morbihan but today, we’ll stop in a small, sleepy coastal village, rent a couple of kayaks and paddle over to a small island called Gavrinis.
On Gavrinis lies a cairn or a burial tomb. It’s very similar to tombs found in Ireland, England and Wales. It’s old…like 3,000 years old…older than Stonehenge old. The stone art might look familiar but it predates Celtic people by many years. But this cairn is still closely related to cairns in the British Isles.
This is Château Suscinio and it might call itself a château but I say it’s the most castly looking castle that ever was…
- Moat? Check!
- Drawbridge? Check!
- Watchtowers? Check!
- Courtyard? Check!
- Cold stone decor throughout? Check!
- Milady’s quarters? Check! Yes, definitely check!
On to Nantes and our stay for the night…a converted 19th century, stone chapel. It’s been a long road so far. It’s time to relax. The hotel has a spa and you’ll be pampered and prepared and returned to the room where I will be waiting for your glowing body. We’ll relax in the soft bed and quickly fall asleep from exhaustion. Good night, dear.