Bretagne

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Last month I went to Bretagne, otherwise known as Brittany. Here are some pictures. 

Above: a cute shop. There were lots of British-looking houses like this. Bretagne is just across the Channel from England, so that makes sense.

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There were also a million hydrangea bushes. This cheered things up, as the weather was unfortunately also very British – overcast, drizzly, and cold 90% of the time I was there. To put a positive spin on it: the weather was atmospheric.

Below, a better view of the cathedral above. The town it was in was tiny, but the cathedral was vast. Building an enormous cathedral in every gathering of human habitations big enough to appear on a map seems to be a French theme, and I like it.

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Bretagne is the home of galettes, A.K.A. gluten-free crepes. And I went buck(wheat) wild.

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You can basically put whatever you want in a galette, and I did. I tried:

  • ground beef, sauteed onions and mushrooms, and egg
  • ham, egg, and cheese (which is called the “complete”)
  • some combination I can no longer remember with an oeuf mirroir on top, which is to say a raw egg. It was unexpectedly delicious.
  • leek and cream sauce
  • scallops with leek and cream sauce
  • scallops and caramelized apples
  • lardons, grilled onions, and potatoes
  • goat cheese, walnuts, and honey
  • sauteed pears with caramel
  • lemon sugar flambéed with home-spiced rum as the combustible
  • caramel beurre salé (the classic, mouthwatering Breton dessert filling)

It was all as delicious as it sounds.

In addition to eating, I went to the beach during a few sunny moments between the rains.

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And to Saint-Malo, which was beautiful but blustery and freezing. So blustery and freezing that I only took one photo, from the car.

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And to Mont Saint-Michel, which I’ve desperately wanted to visit since seeing it in Terrence Malick’s “To the Wonder.” If you know Terrence Malick, you know that reality can not stand up to his absolutely stunning visuals, which are gauzy and swirling and luminous. So I prepared myself to be let down in person, only to be just as blown away by the real deal as the film version.

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Here’s the abbey at the top of the hill.

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It had beautiful muted stained glass windows.

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All in all, Bretagne is a gorgeous and tasty, albeit soggy place.

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