Crepes in Roscoff and the Keremma dunes

Trip Start Aug 02, 2012
Trip End Aug 02, 2013

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Flag of France  , Brittany,
Monday, May 20, 2013

On the 19th, we set off to do a scenic drive from our campsite in Landrellec, making our way to Roscoff. It was one of those gray, Vancouver days with heavy clouds, impending rain and no sun in sight. We stopped off at a pottery and artwork show in the garden of a pottery workshop. It was a great garden with lots of interesting artwork and we enjoyed wandering around for a bit. We then followed the coastline for the most part, making a quick stop in Locquirec to look for lunch (to no avail) and in Carantec for some views of an offshore fort and lighthouse, from the Pointe-de-Pen-al-Lann. Just outside Morlaix, we noticed dozens of spectators lining the banks of a river. We pulled over and went to join them, curious to find out what was going on. It turns out it was the first annual home-made, themed, raft "race". The teams were all dressed up according to their theme (from "disco" and “Hawaiian” to “old time Mississippi”) and were trying to paddle down the river as fast as they could. There were flares, stereos blaring, and rafters splashing the other teams with water – this clearly wasn't a serious competition. We stood and watched them float by for a few minutes, wondering if some of the rafts would actually make it to the finish line. We camped that afternoon in St-Pol-de-Leon and since it was raining, decided to go into Roscoff the following morning.

The next day, we wandered into Roscoff just before lunch time so we had enough time to browse the menus. We found the “Crêperie de La Poste” partway through town and it had an excellent selection of crêpes. The interior was cosy, with large wooden beams supporting the ceiling and a fireplace in one corner. Megs and I both went for the scallops with leeks for our savoury crêpe and it was served steaming hot, with a slice of lemon. Both the crêpe and filing were delicious and we were soon on to our dessert ones. Megs opted for the “Poire Belle Hélène”, which is one with pears, whipped cream, hot chocolate sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I chose the “Crêpe de la Poste” with banana, salted caramel sauce, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and flambéed with Cointreau. When they brought out my dessert, they brought out a little copper pot with the Cointreau in it. The waitress lit the Cointreau and as it was still flaming, poured it all over my crêpe. It all happened so quickly, I hadn't had time to get my camera out! The crêpes were so delicious that I was seriously contemplating returning for dinner or the next day for lunch. We then set off on our walking tour of the town, which turned out to have some nice views and interesting buildings, especially the church with its semi-cylindrical wooden ceiling. There were small information panels in front of each of the major stops throughout town, which I always find makes a walking tour more interesting. Roscoff is known for its seaweed and onions (which are AOC “Appelation Origine Controleé” protected) but both museums on these subjects were closed on account of it being a holiday. On the way out of town, we saw the house where Alexander Dumas (famous author of “The Three Musketeers”) stayed when writing the “onion” chapter of his “Great Dictionary of Cuisine”. We returned to camp mid-afternoon and decided to go for a swim in the indoor, heated swimming pool. It was supposedly heated to 29 degrees, but it was still a bit cool and we were really hoping there was a hot tub. Regardless, it was still nice to use the campsite’s facilities and were glad for a hot shower afterwards. We got all dressed up in our nicer clothes to go out for dinner in Roscoff that evening as we had seen some potentially appealing menus when we had been looking for lunch. We went into town but a couple of the restaurants we had been interested in were closed. Determined not to go back empty handed, we picked up some kouign amann for dessert. Back at camp, Megs whipped up a tasty salad with eggs, bacon, apple and cheese and we had a kouign amann for dessert.

The following morning, we walked from camp into St-Pol-de-Léon to browse the market. It was a standard food market but you were left with no doubt you were in Brittany – cider, kouign amann and other Breton baked goods, artichokes and seafood. Brittany accounts for 70% of France’s artichoke production, which explains the numerous fields we’ve seen throughout the countryside. We picked up a sponge cake glazed with blackcurrants, cherries and other berries which would see us through tea for the next few days. We walked back to the campsite and headed off to the Keremma dunes. The dunes are a partially natural phenomenon that began in the early 1900s when a local wanted to start farming the marshlands and began creating polders and draining off the water. The dunes are not significant in height but are a few kilometers long along the coast and now are home to many migratory birds. We walked a three kilometer loop through the dunes and spotted a few interesting birds (baby swans, sandpipers and a Tadorna, a brown chested duck with a red beak), and lots of rabbits that would all zip off into their holes at the first sound of you. It was an enjoyable walk but we were sure glad to get out of the wind and warm up on our drive to our next campsite just outside Camaret-sur-Mer.
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