Friday, 15 February 2013

Ploumanac'h, The Pink Granite Coast, Brittany

The Côte de granit rose or Pink Granite Coast is a thirty kilometre stretch of coastline in the Côtes d'Armor departement of northern Brittany. It is a popular destination for tourists, and for photographers.
That's the tourist info.

 For me the pink granite coast is the perfect location for a day out. It has glowing rose-coloured rocks along the shoreline, little rocky islands in a Breton-blue sea, white-sailed boats and white-feathered gulls, the smell of seaweed and of salt. It's a place for exploring and for adventures and it reminds me of the seaside holidays in Cornwall that my family enjoyed when I was a feisty little kid, except that it's painted pink and has that certain French flair.

It's also one of the places that's sure to make me teary-eyed with homesickness when I'm sitting in the office trying to unravel some complex computer code.        

Yesterday at work, taking a lunchtime break from thwarting Russian spammers, I began planning a day out in Brittany. Which led me back to pictures of the pink granite coast and to memories of a day spent there almost five years ago.The 'new love-interest' referred to was my current employer who was then in the process of luring me back across the channel to embark on a new career in internet security, I was unsure, the job sounded fascinating but Brittany was my home...

July 23rd 2008
Yesterday was my birthday so I laid aside my books and studies, and my swotting up on the dance steps for my new love-interest, and a friend and I set out for a day of sight-seeing at Ploumanac'h up on the pink granite coast..

Our first stop was a park full of statues that we happened upon by pure chance

This female figure was beautiful in her curvaceous and seductive pose....

and this one in grey granite that represents a modern-day menhir...
A nice thought, modern menhirs to reach out to the future I wonder what I would inscribe on mine... Snowflakes and flowers, scallop shells and leaves, and a reindeer would be fitting.

The nearby port where boats bobbed in the fresh wind and the sound of rigging striking wood was as musical as wind-chimes.

The sun was hot, the air was thick with the scent of seaweed and iodine and salt. Inspired, we decided to find a seafood feast....

After a long, lazy, languid lunch of languostines and lobster, creme brulée and coffee, we walked along the wide, sandy beach at Trestraou. On the hill behind us there were large and expensive houses We indulged in a game "What If We Won The Lottery" and this was my choice of a holiday home over-looking the beach. It is a little large for a holiday home, I expect that, like many of the beautiful houses on the Brittany coast, it's owned by a Parisian,  maintained by a skeleton staff and a dedicated old man who lovingly tends the garden.

Walking along a short section of the sentier des dounaiers,  the customs trail, and admiring the famous pink granite rock formations. Some are obvious, such as the turtle, and a bottle, others, well, I think that we see them differently through our own eyes. I saw a finely-chiselled face gazing sternly out to sea, my friend saw a whale below it...

A collection of phalluses, like those of the chubby cherubs in Renaissance art...

The day was very hot, the sky was Breton-blue and the sea... I have never seen such a deep-blue sea. After walking for an hour my nose turned pink and freckled, my feet ached and my throat was dry. We paused to sit in the shade, drink some water and to admire the view.

As we sat in silence I pondered.
I had a big decision to make...
To leave, or to stay?
And to go, which way?

I chose to return to England and to walk back into the corporate cage. It's been a long journey and, at times, a very difficult one.  Happily I still have my house in Brittany, Fate has decreed that it remains mine, perhaps Fate knows what's best for me?



  1. How you could have left that paradise is beyond me! The photos are gorgeous!

    1. Ah well, there were reasons but it is lovely, isn't it?

  2. What a gorgeous new blog, Julia! I love the larger photos and some revisits from your old blog. As you know, I love rocks too - and these are amazing.

    I'm so happy to have you back!

    1. Hello Marja-Leena and welcome. Yes, the pink granite coast is quite spectacular, and wouldn't it would be lovely to have someone carve a little menhir from one of those rocks. It could sit in the courtyard and glow in the setting sun...

  3. It's been a confusing journey finding you again! I just happened to try again on my OLD computer and finally found you here. Is it OK if I continue to read your blog? It looks very new and professional. I have not read every entry yet but I will.
    I love that you are featuring lots of history. I am fascinated by ancient history and always have been. See you again?

    1. Caterina! Hello. How did I miss this comment? My apologies and yes, please come along for the ride!


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