Where Did You Get That Hat?!
Aswell as food recommendations, the St Nicholas du Pelem locals told us not to miss the annual spectacular at the Abbeye de Bon Repos – the festival de Son et Lumiere.
Although we knew that the whole festival de Son et Lumiere would be in French (and we only parlez a petit peu) we decided to go as the ex pats in the Sports Bar were not the only ones to recommend it. Literally everyone we’d spoken to since arriving in Britanny had told us it was a must see.
The Abbaye de Bon Repos has been in ruins since the 18th century but it’s now used as a museum and arts space. We were advised to get there early for a good spot and wrap up warm as the main show seldom began before 11pm. I would also add take a flask and some snacks to that advice as once you’re in the show area there’s only pick and mix and black coffee available ?
What a show! It went on for hours and told the history of the local area from the Neolithic era right through to when the Abbeye was set on fire in the late 1700s. Dottie fell asleep at about midnight so she missed quite a few centuries! But the rest of us were pretty overwhelmed!
It’s difficult to explain what I saw because I’ve genuinely never seen anything like it before. More than 500 people and animals took part along with fire eaters, jousters and pyrotechnics. At one point they burnt a cottage to the ground!! It was visually incredible and on such a massive scale! I learnt that an awful lot has happened in this quiet little part of the World!!
The show is so popular that we struggled to get tickets. My Dad eventually found some in Rostrenan which is the local market town.
The market is held every Tuesday morning and is popular with locals and visitors. You can buy all the foods you would expect from a French market: la fromage (cheese), du pain (bread), la fruites de la mer (sea food), but also children’s clothes and live animals!!!
I resisted the temptation to by myself a couple of chickens (incidently I would have called them Liza and Judy) but did buy some local jam for our Christmas box and a Breton hat that Dottie will almost certainly hate me for in years to come.
Oh and there was a crepe van!
It was an eventful trip to the seaside. Dottie did a wee in her pram and Beth and her Grandparents swam so far out to sea that I could barely see them anymore!
I’m chuffed to bits with this development. I love snorkling but Beth has never wanted to give it a go as she didn’t like to venture too far from the shore. Now she’s found her sea legs, I may have a new snorkling buddy ?