9th July, Passage to Vannes
After our lovely, relaxing stay at anchor off Île-d’Arz it was time to move on to Vannes.
Turbulent water – the narrow, and very shallow entrance to Vannes – eek!!
As with much of the Morbihan it must be negotiated with extreme care on account of the depth and currents. The strong tides and the number of islands can be confusing and so it is necessary to have a very clear idea of your route before embarking on it! However, having taken into account all the above, we had a very pleasant trip of approximately 12.5 nm, picking up a buoy at Arradon so that we could have lunch and at the same time wait for the tide to come up sufficiently to proceed and then enter the channel leading to Vannes.
This is a prominent landmark before heading north and entering the channel to Vannes. It is very important to head towards the house and not to cut the previous corner once you’ve spotted it!
I wonder if it’s owners are commited to that colour? Could be a problem for the authors of the pilot books if they decided to change it?
The ramparts of the beautiful city of Vannes
Vannes is the capital city of the Morbihan and is indeed at it’s very heart. The photo at the beginning of this post is of the main gate into the medieval city, La Porte St-Vincent Ferrer, a Spanish monk who died in the town in the 15th century and became the town’s patron saint and who is buried in the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre, which is in the centre of the city. It is a very impressive building and rather beautiful too.
La Cathédrale Saint-Pierre
Views from within the Ancient Walls
Situated at the mouth of two rivers, the Marle and Vincin, Vannes is surrounded by old stone walls with medieval gates and it’s narrow cobbled streets are so picturesque with their brightly coloured timber buildings. Several of these houses feature wooden carvings, the most famous of these is “Vannes et sa Femme”, the origin of this particular carving is unclear but none-the-less it is an attraction for the happy ‘snappers’, me included!!
We were only going to stay in Vannes for a short while but having been into the medieval town we decided such an historical town would be the ideal place to be for the Bastille Day celebrations on 14th July, so we paid for some more nights in the port and we were very glad that we did too!
The very busy port of Vannes!
14th July – Conleau by Bike
The picturesque port of Conleau
We took the cycle path which extends for several kilometres beside the water to the pretty port of Conleau. The French do cycle paths very well and we thoroughly enjoyed our ride to Conleau. The port was enchanting and so we had lunch in one of the little restaurants close to the water’s edge before continuing along the path and back to the port.
11.30pm Bastille Day! The main event
It was another of those occasions that we were so glad to be a part of! An amazing spectacle which featured La Belle Epoque in Vannes between the years of 1879 and 1920. The parade consisted of about 1000 people depicting the gentry in their finery, the artists demonstrating their skills, the trades people of all kinds, the ancient transport horses and motor vehicles, the military bands too. We arrived in the gardens opposite the ramparts at about 9pm where there were already thousands of people waiting patiently for it all to begin. What a sight too which culminated with spectacular firework display and which finished on the dot of midnight! What timing!
The masses watching opposite the ramparts
12pm 15th July – Return to Crouesty
The fish and fruit and vegs markets
Before we left we had time to go to the fish market to buy langoustines vivantes and crevettes. The market was very close to the port through the Porte St-Vincent Ferrer and as we walked there we were stunned by the lack of any sign of the previous evening’s activities! Waste bins which had been overflowing yesterday were empty and the town was totally back to normal! We bought our fish and more gorgeous fruit and headed back to Musetta to cook the fish ready for our supper when we reached Crouesty!
When we got back to Musetta we found this note on one of our cockpit cushions left by the delightful young French family on the boat next door to us who were preparing to set off for the Scilly Iles!