While in Pont Croix I was intrigued by a huge, colourful painting on the wall of a church.
It had the evocative title of Dans L’oeil d’une Sirene – In the Eye of the Mermaid.
This turned out to be one of many sumptuous, marine themed paintings by Jean-Noel Duchemin.
His fishy delights were displayed in the Chapelle Saint Vincent and many are painted on large, stiffened, linen shirts or draperies.
The sea obsessed artist paints multicoloured fish, sailors, sirens on multiple materials, especially ones that are recovered if possible.
The end result is a whimsical, colourful, almost childlike celebration of all things seafaring.
Whether it’s weathered fishermen, jewel bright shoals of fish or tender partings of sailors and love ones, there’s a cornucopia of water themed delights.
Another charming little town that we explored during our Bretton adventure is Pont Croix.
We nearly don’t get to see the town itself as I get very over excited with this delightful collection of weathered painted signs outside a seemingly abandoned door.
But I am finally dragged away and we climb up an old cobbled lane towards the centre of the town.
But wherever we look there are gloriously painted doors, whether it’s local sardines or just vivid splashes of aqua blue.
Hot red geraniums tumble from doorways and old watering cans prove to be ideal planters.
Finally we reach the town centre however. It’s an attractive old town with houses dating back to the 15th century.
The Monastery Church of Notre-Dame de Roscudon,below, which dates from the early 13th century, has a 67 m high spire that served as the model for the spires of Quimper Cathedral.
The tall spire dominates the skyline of the town and the facade features impressive ‘lacework’ stone carvings.
While the inside has a decorative altarpiece and other figures and a painted ceiling.
As well as ornate wooden carvings there are a wonderful selection of stained glass windows.
These beautiful, jewel bright, windows are illuminated with the pale Bretton sunshine creating a dizzying display.
Pont-Croix’s cobbled streets and medieval houses are located around a market and a church. The market is held every Thursday morning.
Another quirky feature of the town is a variety of amusingly altered street signs.
From hungry mice to voluptuous reclining women, a religious icon or a weather warning, someone has taken the time to inject a little added interest into the local street furniture.
Next up is a jaunt to Pointe de la Torche – or in Breton – Beg an Dorchenn.
Pointe de la Torche is a promontory located at the southeastern end of the Baie d’Audierne in Plomeur.
It attracts surfers, body boarders, kitesurfers, wind-surfers, waveskiers and land yachters and has been the site of several championships.
Its long sandy beach also has world war two remnants. The Germans constructed fortifications on the Pointe de la Torche, as part of the Atlantic Wall.
One blockhouse or pillbox was used as a squat by the homeless until the 1980s and is now a rescue station.
Others are slowly sinking into the sand, decorated by man and obliterated by nature.
As usual the man is wildly excited about being on a beach and this time it seems to infection is spreading to the smaller being!
It’s a wild and windy walk around the beach with the waves whipping up a white frothy coating on the navy blue sea.
You can spend hours just escaping the crowds, scrambling over rocks and enjoying the views.
A nice change to the usual man made attractions that I like to obsess over. A little bit of wild nature!
Taking a brief break from the usual holiday fare of piles of food and peeling paint . .
Let’s take a look at another of my favourite photographic subjects – fishing tackle!
Yes, that’s right, whether it’s nets and buoys, rusty chains or lobster pots, I love a good furtle around a working harbour!
I particularly enjoyed these neon pink and blue examples. Particularly pretty and girly for fishing tackle!
I also spotted these old paint splattered boards that look rather like works of modern art.
I am not sure if they were just testing boat colour samples on it or merely wiping excess paint off but the end result wouldn’t look out of place in a hyper modern art gallery.
Neither would the decaying but colourful wooden boat that I spotted in the dry dock.
The next day heralds some rather drizzly grey weather but not to be deterred we head to the nearby town of Plobannalec-Lesconil.
This little harbour town happens to be hosting its weekly farmers market.
This involves fresh produce and lots of local meats as usual!
Whether its mountains of spice, roasting chickens or brightly coloured woven bracelets, there’s plenty to nosh on and spend money on.
The man has his manic meat face on as he surveys the twirling chickens and fat coated roast potatoes.
Jewel bright fruits compete with rainbow transportation to be the most colourful spectacle.
While rusty moorings and window catches provide a wealth of tiny details to be captured.
An owl gives us the once over while a joyous looking shrimp looks delighted to be eaten.
The town’s church provides another wealth of decorative details including the intricate iron crosses and colourful ceramic floral wreaths.
I’ve never encountered the ceramic flowers on graves before and thought they were a nice alternative to fresh flowers that wither and decay.
In my final look back at Concarneau I’ve collected together some snaps of the details that I spotted around this pretty little town.
From painted wall plaques to delicately decaying shutters and unique shop signs.
Meanwhile the Next male models take a break from filming to take in the atmosphere . . . .
Then the family ‘happily’ pose for a holiday portrait to capture the relaxing atmosphere . .
Concarneau is known as a ‘Town of Art and History’ and is especially famous for its ‘Ville Close’, the oldest part of the town that was fortified in the 1300s and is connected to the mainland by a bridge.
Here, you’ll find a collection of superb timbered and gabled houses surrounded by flowers, all jostling for space in pretty cobbled streets where you’ll also be able to browse in the local shops.
Step up onto the ramparts and you’ll be able to watch the still-active fishing port as well as the marina with its bobbing boats.
I adore these pastel blue shutters with their little heart shaped cut outs.
The views from the ramparts of Ville Close are pretty spectacular. From bobbing boats and verdant green lawns to palm trees and weathered old stone.
Finally we head back towards the car but en-route we encounter a little speciality food market.
Naturally this means that I have to stop and methodically catalogue various flavoured French sausages in boxes . . .
And creepy naked mannequins. And fishing nets.
Here’s a few more of the meaty products – saucisse a small sausage that requires cooking, and a saucisson – a larger cured, smoked or dried salami type sausage
The Little Red Riding Hood bakery has an adorable fairy tale feel about it with these quaint shutters.
To finish off our tour of Concarneau I spot this tiny little old couple standing guard amongst the olives.
Concarneau is France’s third most important fishing port with plenty to keep you occupied.
The Ville Close is without doubt Concarneau’s most popular tourist attraction. This old stone fortified ‘town’ has just a few narrow streets filled with shops and restaurants, where geraniums tumble from window boxes.
Concarneau has made its living from the fishing industry for hundreds of years and the town remains an important centre: more than 100,000 tonnes of tuna are caught each year by Concarneau-based boats
However, forget stinky fish, I have my eyes on something far more tasty and sweet!
A confectionery shop has caught my eye and I am lured in by the colourful delights on display.
These delicately pastel hued meringues always intrigue me but I am still yet to sample one.
Close up they are even more delectable and sweet tooth inducing!!
Even better is this chocolate king of the jungle. I am surprised the man can keep the mania from his eyes – he is a chocolate fiend!
I enjoyed the quirky pieces on display at crazy shop Votre Boutique Design.
From huge British bulldogs to bright red perspex men, there’s something bound to catch your eye. Although I couldn’t fit anything in my suitcase!!!
Find out more about their zany, colourful interiour designs on the website here.
From the uber modern to more old, vintage details. Concarneau is jammed pack full of them, more to follow!
Continuing our wander around Quimper we’re after food, drink and curios.
Can’t beat some sugary churros and chocolate dip. So we must eat them until we are sick!
We also do a spot of making the streets safer by locking up some hardened criminals.
Then it’s onwards to find some quirky details such as painted tiles and bookshop signs.
A few of the imprisoned criminals appear to have escaped and need rounding up!
Quimper became wealthy from the 17th century onwards due to the growth of the pottery making industry here.
You can find many examples of pottery from cheap and cheerful tourist buys to centuries old, uber expensive, examples.
Below are more of the quaint medieval half-timbered buildings that make Quimper such a delight to visit.
You can roam the back streets in search of colourful souvenirs or (in this case) beach mats!
Musical flutes are always a treat for people who have small children . . . . .
A bit of political paste up – Labour Law? No!
Below are more examples of the town’s past architecture. This cute little tower leans out over the water like something out of a Disney film.
The caffeine addicts need their fix and so drop into a tiny side street cafe for a refuel.
I leave them too it and head off to snaffle out some architectural features and old signs.
Of course, no holiday visit is complete without the obligatory market traipse. So we head to the main, covered market hall ‘Halles Saint-François’.
Opened in 1847 on the site of the former convent of Saint-François, it is the most famous market, located in the heart of Quimper.
From juicy fruits, to nuts, radishes and more – I am in shiny, colourful, snap happy mode.
Salad, spices and herbs are all stacked high and ready to be added to a tasty Breton dish.
The market resembles the hull of a ship with its wooden framed roof.
Double trouble sneak off to sample some curry to round off a day of hectic sightseeing.
The next stop on our tour of Brittany is the pretty town of Quimper.
Not only is Quimper the administrative capital of the Finistère department, it is also generally regarded as the cultural heart of Brittany.
The town is known for its cathedral, atmospheric old quarter and museums but most of all for its annual festival celebrating Breton culture.
The atmospheric old town is where you’ll find many half-timbered houses dating from the 14th century. The streets are named after old job titles.
Below are a gorgeous array of mouth wateringly colourful macaroons. I had to be physically dragged away . .
Quimper gets its name from the Breton ‘kemper’, which refers to the junction of two rivers: the Steir and the Odet.
Quimper’s most impressive building is its cathedral, which is said to be the best example of Gothic religious architecture in Brittany.
Building started in the 12th century and continued at intervals until the 19th century, when the two spires were constructed and new stained glass windows were installed.
The cathedral is named after St Corentin, Quimper’s first bishop – the Cathedral of Saint Corentin of Quimper.
The cathedral lightly bends in the middle to match the contours of its location which was done to avoid an area that was swampy at the time of its construction.
It was the site of a devastating fire in 1620 when the bell tower was burned and the populace apparently saw a green devil in the flames.
The cathedral is full of stunningly vivid stained glass windows. Each with their own story to tell.
The 15th century windows are exceptional with colours that remain rainbow bright despite the passage of the centuries.
The level of detail to be seen on the windows is incredible including these petite little faces and architectural elements.
Next up we make ourselves sick on Churros and explore more of Quimper’s quirky streets.