|Well the Tom didn't do what a Tom is supposed to do and so there is no firm date for our new kitten which meant my negotiating power was at a minimum just at a time when the sun was due to shine over Brittany for a full week. So, rather nervously and with a slight twitch I approached my wife and said 'weather good in Brittany and it will be quiet, perfect time to go on a field trip' 'Whatever, just don't forget I have my own trips planned in November and I am expecting you to be Homo Domesticus for the full month'
so, slightly reeling from this response I packed my things, watched Peterborough beat Bury 3-1 and set off for the eurotunnel straight after.
Following an easy run through Normandy there was two sites I wanted to visit near St Malo before heading deeper into Brittany, the first was the Menhir of Champ Dolent, a huge standing stone set on open ground making it look even bigger, then on to the House of Fairies neat Tresse, the first of many Allee Couverte Graves I had planned to see on this trip. Set 150m or so into the forest it was a true fairy glen and a great start to the trip.
It was now time to head towards the coast to the region around Kerguntuil an area rich in megaliths and in particular covered alleyways perhaps the most famous one being the Prajou Menhir. All the locations were well signposted and the sites well cared for, could have spent days or maybe weeks in this part of France. Next a pleasant drive around the coast to the huge cairn of Barnenez with its visitor centre and paid access. As I was the only person there the security warden was more than happy to show me around in particular focusing on the way architecture changed from megalithic to stone block as the building of the cairn and its extension progressed. This is a wonderful site, however, something about paying and visitor centres puts me off a bit and I decided our very own Grey Cairns of Camster were equally as impressive and won hands down in terms of location and access.
The next two sites were to be a minor challenge as they could only be reached at low tide and I would find out if I had read the tables on French coastal tides correctly (available on the web of course as is everything). First stop was Kernic where the covered alleyway is engulfed by the tide twice a day, assuming it wasn't built this way there must have been some movement in sea level, in any case it is an absolutely beautiful site to visit and somehow I read the tides correctly and so off to Ile Carn Island only accessible at low tide. Like a small version of Barnenez you can still crawl into the left hand passage. The tide was out, however, there was no path it is a case of picking your way over the rocks and seaweed, paddling through the tidal pools and finding your own way across all the time worried that the tide would come in and cut you off. On my return to the safety of the deserted white sand beach I felt hugely elated and was punching the air when I noticed an old woman out walking her dog looking rather oddly at me!
Time to start heading back taking in a number of inland sites the first being the incredible Kerloas Menhir, the tallest standing stone in Europe, a full 9.5m and that's after having part of it blown off in a lightning strike. Very nicely set in a small thicket very much a must see site (no one there of course). A longish run across country to find the alleway of Mougau Bihan, perhaps the finest I visited complete with decorated stones showing axe and dagger, original or added later difficult to tell. Another longish run to the Necropolis of Liscuis, three covered alleyways sat on the plateau above the cliffs rising from the village. This was a long steep walk and after huffing and puffing for what seemed like miles I was rewarded with the most fantastic views and three wonderful examples of this kind of megalith. Now surrounded by trees and gorse they would have originally been in prominent positions looking out over the valley below.
Sadly it was time to head off to my last site the megalithic centre of St Just. There is a megalithic trail here which links a number of the key sites together and forms a most enjoyable walk past standing stones, stone alignments, graves, natural stone block alignments and much more a great way to end what turned out to be one of my favourite field visits. Of course Carnac is incomparable, however, Northern Brittany is certainly not to be ignored. Pointed the van North and home today just trying to find a way to tell my wife I'm heading up to Fleetwood tomorrow for an away game!
Posted by costaexpress
14th October 2016ce
costaexpress's TMA Blog
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