By the time we were into our third week in France it felt like we were in our groove, we knew the ropes, the things that made our lives easier over there and also the things we still wanted to see and do. When you have the privilege of being somewhere for so long you no longer just see the highlights, you can actually take the time to soak up the ordinary things over and over again. Like my favourite cafe where I learnt to order a coffee in french, the church bell that rang in the centre of Roscoff every hour yet which made Eva so excited when we happened to be right outside as it did. The way we would skim stones and not only ‘try’, as they landed with a big splash straight in the water, but actually practice over and over again surrounded by other children doing the same, to feel the cold water rush over our feet and discuss whether it was going in or out. Yes week three was one for really really enjoying it, and lots of adventures too.
The first couple of days of the third week were relaxed, just like every other week we all needed a couple of days getting over the weekend adventures and Eddy getting back into work. On the Tuesday it was my Nana’s funeral back home and so Eddy very kindly came home from work with a bunch of yellow roses from the florist (my Nana’s favourite) and we head off to the beach in the evening to eat fish and chips (her favourite too!) to have time to reflect and to scatter the petals into the sea. It didn’t go exactly to plan as we visited a few different beaches and failed to find the perfect spot, the tide and the wind were going the wrong way and it didn’t feel right to place them in the water only for them to be washed up onto the beach moments later. Nevertheless we had a lovely time and I captured some of my favourite photos of the girls as the sun was setting and they ran around collecting beach treasure!
On the way home we headed to ‘our’ beach, the one that we wandered on almost every day, the one that was minutes from our current home and the one where just two weeks before I had sat staring out after I heard the news of my Nana. So it seemed perfect, and fitting to sit on the rocks together as the sun went down behind somehow feeling like actually it was meant to be. We didn’t need a new beach, or a big gesture, just a perfectly still moment to have our own little send off on our own little beach and say our goodbye in the most lovely way. That beach will be special for so many lovely memories of our time there but also for this, for the moment I was still as my family wandered up to the car and gave me that last moment alone, to say my final goodbye to my very special Nana.
The next day we got our walk on (as Eddy used the car for work) and headed off to nearby Roscoff to skim stones at our favourite spot. It’s a lovely little pebbly beach hidden in between two ordinary buildings on the street of Roscoff town, it almost feels like a hidden gem with a beautiful outlook and perfect stones for skimming (and/or throwing!)
We went inside the beautiful church in the heart of the town as Eva is fascinated with churches and big buildings and it was lovely to see her in awe wandering around and how respectful she was. She asked alot of questions and if she could light a candle for Great Nana, she’s such a thoughtful little thing. We relaxed outside and the children took a shine to the concrete posts (it’s the small things when you are a child isn’t it!?) Eva was balancing on one and of course that meant little Roma had to join in too!
Just as they were lost in their innocent world of play the church bells began to ring, Eva was so so excited, I am very happy I managed to capture that pure innocence of childhood in a photo.
And below is my little photographer in the making taking a very zoomed in picture of said bells!
The buildings and architecture in Brittany are so beautiful and as we walked to Saint Pol De Leon the next day Eva asked “why don’t we have houses that look like this, they are beautiful?” I too was totally full of house envy as we walked the streets there and every single wall and door could be worthy of a picture all of its own! We loved to while away the walk with talk of what might be behind it, a secret garden was always the most popular answer!
Saint Pol De Leon itself is a lovely little place centered around a gorgeous cathedral, there are two in fact within the space of a few minutes but we went in to the biggest one with the huge doors and stained glass windows.
I love what you can discover when you are exploring with no real plans and on the way back we followed a sign for a beach down a windy path and found the most amazing huge beach. We decided to forgo plans of going home and stay there until it was time for Eddy to finish work. The tide was all the way out so of course we had to navigate the sand and stones to go and dip our feet in the water and the children absolutely loved the freedom and space of just playing – and jumping as high as they could to make hand prints in the sand.
The weekend was upon us again and having done his research at work we drove about half an hour in land to one of the biggest and most beautiful places ever; Chateau de Kerjean. Eddy’s french helped us along the way here talking to the lady in the office and it was really good to see him confidently talking in this language he was here to practice. There were hardly any people there at all and we walked steadily into all the rooms which had information, interactive screens, historic furniture and statues, and even a slide show. It was really interesting and the children loved to explore too, the huge staircases, the cellar and the many many tiny windows to look out of, fun for all of the family! It has the most beautiful grounds and we had a lovely albeit windy walk around the outside.
As I was taking some photos a lovely passer by offered to take one of all of us, slightly windy as you can see!
On the way out also I spotted the hay bales on the next door field and of course who doesn’t love a hay bale picture – except it started to rain heavily all of a sudden and we made a swift run to the car with Roma shouting “rainy rainy” instead!
After a quick pit stop at home and a change of clothes we used the evening to go to the ‘Fête de l’Oignon de Roscoff’ which is a local festival held annually in August to celebrate the famous local Roscoff onion. Now it might seem a bit of a strange concept to celebrate a simple onion but it is a big event there full of the locals and families and it was truly amazing to be immersed in the local culture in this way. So much so in fact I am going to publish a post next week all about the festival itself (with lots of photos), we had such a fabulous time and after realising how family friendly and fun it was on the Saturday afternoon, we planned to come again on Sunday to really make the most of it.
The onions dressed up in all their glory.
By far the best thing about it for Roma though was the array of tractors there were there for my tractor mad little lady, seriously as many colours as you can think of and all to be sat on one by one, look at this happy face!
We spent the evening walking around Roscoff yet again after having dinner (Moules Frites and snails of course) at a place called Via Roma. Eva thought it was very special to be her sisters name and we just had to go, I felt a little bit weird saying her name out loud in there to be honest, imagine what I will be like when we go back to Rome! Eddy snapped this picture of us three in the square and I absolutely love it, our time was so fun and carefree and I think it shows just how relaxed we really were to be soley in each others company.
On Sunday after our second visit to the festival we went in search of another beach. A little drive down the coast and we arrived at Carantec. One of the amazing things about Brittany we found were the clear waters, all of the beaches were just perfect, and trust me in our time there we went to alot!
At the end of a hilly walk was a look out to see Le Chateau du Taureau which is a fortress situated off the coast in Morlaix bay along yet another stunning beach and the views were just breathtaking. You can take a boat trip to explore from April to September, tide dependent, but we were happy with the views. Unfortunately my video camera had ran out of battery to this point so I have no footage but plenty of photos of course.
I love this picture of my girls, Eva is whispering to Roma that there is a tractor in the beach and she should tell us she wants to go and see it rather than walk the big hill to look at the fort! Even at just 18 months she was right there in the action, needless to say she didn’t win but she did get to see the tractor on the way back!
We didn’t make it to the main beach, partly due to the aforementioned seemingly deserted tractor luring us in and partly because it was much quieter here. We ended up staying for ages digging holes in the coarse sand that were deep enough for us all to stand in, what is it with sand and digging holes? It was one of those lovely relaxed days that feels like the perfect way to spend a sunday and I kind of wish we could do that every week. I sat there with a heavy heart that we were heading into our last week but it was most definitely the perfect way to end our third week there, simple times together.
Total hair envy!
Here’s a little video of our time there too, this is such precious footage to me and I will be forever thankful that I made it.
You can also catch up on all my other France posts here