We are on our way back to England although we probably have another week in France. Our next overnight stop is at Saint Cast le Guildo and the route from Quimper took us through the pretty little Bretagne town of Landernau which a friend, living in Bretagne, suggested we visit – Thanks Ivan.
Landernau is a town of some 15,000 people situated approximately 20 kms north east of Brest. As much as anything it is famous for its association with the Tour de France cycle race. Indeed, it is the finishing point of the opening stage of the race (Brest to Landerneau) and there is much about the town (especially at the Hotel de Ville) which reflects this particular connection. I recall this year the opening stage of the race received considerable media attention after a placard waving female spectator stepped back into the road and caused a pile up of some 20 riders. Last I heard she was going to be prosecuted.
The race was some weeks past as we arrived in the centre of Landernau. It was early afternoon and the town market on the Place de Gaulle was just finishing -shame because both Vanya and I enjoy wandering local markets. No matter, Plan B was to make our way to the Pont de Rohan (bridge) which, to be fair, competes with the Tour de France as the town’s most important feature; and then we would find somewhere to take a spot lunch.
The Pont de Rohan spans the River Elorn and was built in 1510 (on the site of an earlier bridge). It is the buildings on the bridge, most of which date back to the 17th and 18th centuries, that make the bridge famous. The Pont de Rohan is the only bridge in Europe with people still living on it.
There are a couple of bar restaurants on the bridge and it was in one of these that I sampled the local beers. I can confirm there is nothing at all wrong with Breton beer and the bar and the proprietor were full of character. They are very proud of their celtic heritage here.
After a short but pleasant stop in the bar on the bridge (just two small glasses) there was enough time for us to enjoy a last wander around the town. It’s very pretty. One place we missed out on was a small shop opened in 1949 by a certain Monsieur Leclerc. This was his first shop and the start of the giant Leclerc Hypermarket chain which is now to be found throughout France and even Spain.
And so to Saint Cast-le-Guildo…
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the camp site Vanya found. We could only stay the one night but the views from our pitch were as good as we have enjoyed anywhere on this tour. Nice one Van!