La Bretagne
Dinan, above & 3 photos below, in northeast Brittany, is a
well-preserved medieval town filled with buildings from the 13th and
14th centuries; it, also, boasts a castle, ramparts and towers.
 Its unique culture, medieval villages and beautiful landscapes and seascapes make the
Brittany region of France a very special place.  In the early Middle Ages, Celts from
Britain's migrating tribes first moved across the English Channel to this northwestern
French peninsula. Chiefly from Cornwall and Devon, they gave the area its name and
introduced the Breton language, a sister language to Welsh and Cornish.  So great was
their influence that the region became known as "Little Brittany" to distinguish it from
Great Britain.  Historically, Britain and France have battled over ownership of the region
- and the people of the region have fought to secure their independence from both
countries.  Britanny is, today, a part of France, however, its citizens are still
independently-minded and cling to their unique cultural heritage.
 From Fodor's:  "France's most fiercely ethnic people, the Bretons, delight in
celebrating their very distinct culture.  You'll often find them circle dancing at street
fairs - the women donning starched lace
coiffes and the men in striped fishermen's
shirts.  They march in ceremonial religious celebrations called
pardons, pray in
hobbit-scale churches decked with elfin, moon-faced gargoyles.  The Celts brought to
this section of France folklore of the legend of Tristan and Iseult, weaving mystical tales
of the Cornwall of King Arthur and Merlin.  They brought their way of life, half-timbered
shops and pubs, and thatched-roof stone cottages, fringed with hollyhock and
foxglove.  And, scattered over mossy hillsides, stand Stonehenge-like dolmens, eerie
testimony to a primordial culture that can still be seen and felt today."
Above, Muer Manor, near Plougrescant, on the northern coast of Brittany;  
petite maison entre les rochers ('small house between the rocks') was
constructed in 1861.  It is a private home and has, to the regret of the owner
(a descendant of the builder), become a major tourist attraction.
Auray, southern coast of Brittany
Above, old hospital in Concarneu, dating from about 1100; statue of the saint over
the door was intended to protect the patients as they entered the hospital.
Fougeres, eastern Brittany
Cat nap interrupted by tourist in Brest, western coast of Brittany
Along the northwestern coast of Brittany
Believe in your own potential and in your own innate goodness.
Wake up every morning with the awe of being alive;
Discover each day some magnificent beauty in the world.
Embrace life in yourself and in everyone you see each day.
Don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect,
This is the essence of your humanity.
Let those who love you help you,
Trust enough to be able to take what is offered.
Look with hope to the horizon of today;
Don't nurture negativity or ill-will about yourself or others.
This is your it well.

-- Author Unknown
Cottage being re-thatched, southern coast of Brittany
Photos on this page are
courtesy of:
Kepguru; MarkSquires;
RainerKraft; MichaelFoley;
Ela2007; Jax60; Eusebius
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