Friday, 24 October 2008

Roscoff, Brittany, France

Roscoff, on the north coast of Brittany, is a town of great character. It is a busy ferry port for travel between Britain and France - and I wonder how many travellers actually stop and look around the town. Like many ferry ports, I expect many travellers drive off the ferry and immediately travel as fast and as far away as they can.

If they do, they miss one of France's little treasures. Roscoff has many buildings with amazing stone carvings, beautiful gardens, a fabulous seafront and beach, an amazing footbridge, and at least one great restaurant - so good we ate there twice and didn't look to see if there was another! Here's a selection of the 40 or 50 pictures I took while I was there:

There are many old doors with character.

The church tower is lovely, and has an almost Islamic feel. Most Welsh church towers are square or are round steeples ending with a point! The pinkish granite is local stone, and it has a lovely, warm, appearance.

This is a carving to the left of a window on a house on the main street. It looks like a sea monster with a lighthouse in his hand. As lighthouses are a feature of the area but have only been around for the last couple of hundred years, I suspect he is newer than he appears at first sight.

This is the carving to the right of the same window. It is a depiction of a 'Johnny Onions' - many Roscoff men who travelled to Britain in the 1800s, 1900s and to a lesser extent, the 2000s, to sell locally grown onions to customers in the UK, were called Johnny Onions. One still travels to my home town in Wales to sell his onions every year.

Click on the photo to enlarge it - you can see this building is still displaying all the strings of onions, which were added to the front during the annual Roscoff onion festival.

Some boats in the harbour. This is not the original harbour, neither is it the main modern port, it is the second small harbour built for the town, and it is very picturesque.

This was my hotel bedroom wall - what a pleasant surprise!

I ate out in 'Le Surcouf', a wonderful little restaurant. The food was excellent, and the decor was relaxing. The 2 gentlement at the table next to mine ordered the 'seafood platter' (minimum 2 persons, which is why I didn't have it), and they graciously allowed me to take this picture when they were half way through eating it.... Truth be known, I wanted to join them; I love seafood!

These small daisy flowers were growing wild on many walls and in lots of corners. They added to the beauty of Roscoff.

The sundial on the church wall, along with a stone carving.

The church roof interior; the barrel shaped roof with supporting trusses is typical of the churches in this part of France,.

The stair to the pulpit is beautifully and ornately carved wood.

The altar is just stunning.

And so was the sunset....


Anonymous said...

would you say that most of roscoff's buildings are made with granite stone becuase it seems a lot of the pictures you took show that they do. Its obviously part of the historical culture because its what the buildings have been made with by local people. Great pictures by the way. ! :)

Adrienne Goodenough said...

Almost all the buildings are made from granite. Only the ugly supermarkets and modern buildings on the edge of town aren't.

It's a lovely place and well worth a visit.

Ouptier said...

I found your blog when looking out for pictures of Roscoff on google.I must say I truly enjoyed reading your impressions of Roscoff as a foreigner.Actually I'm breton ,from nearby Morlaix ,and it is so nice to find out somebody who speaks so well and so nicely of my country.Your pictures are beautifull and your comments are very interesting.Therefore,I just wanted to,let you know that I appreciated your blog!!!
Truly yours from a breton "friend".