Monday, September 12, 2011

Flight 1

So off we flew over Trébeurdan and Trégastel,

and over this spine of an empty island called the Île de Tomé.

and on towards Paimpol.  This island above is the Île de Béniguet,

which lies next to Bréhat, where Heather Dohollau lived for many years and which was the inspiration for many of her poems:

at the first sight of the island
among an excess of fragments
like a Leonardo painting 
or a Patinir

I've picnicked by that boathouse on  Bréhat, but it looks like there's no one there today.

This is the Île de St Riom, an old monastic settlement, its owner is restoring the monastery buildings, which you can just see,

And this is the Abbaye de Beauport, which was the mother house of the St Riom foundation where mediaeval pilgrims on the Camino coming from Britain, first came ashore on the continent.

We travelled on down the coast, the western side of the Bay of St Brieuc.

In truth, despite poring over Google Earth and the Michelin atlas, I couldn't identify every place we saw.  The port above is St Quay Portrieux.

It struck me how little we know this coast in detail, with its varied beaches and small cliff top roads, though we drive much further afield to explore sea-girt corners and interesting by-ways.  We should remedy that.

We flew back to Lannion over the Trieux estuary,

with the elegant suspension road bridge at Lézardrieux in the distance.

We flew over woods and fields, see the row of beehives in the heathlands above,

and saw people growing things,

and cropping and packing the things they grew.

And most and best of all the iridescent, silky sea,

and the endless, enamelled, shapes and patterns and textures of the coast, and its natural and human life and movement.

How lucky I am to live here, and how lucky to have friends who want to help me see it in a new way.

So that was the itinerary, but needless to say I took many more photos, so I will post more over the next few days.  Because it was such a wonderful experience, I am loath to discard any, however mediocre and blurry, so may end up making patchworks out of scraps and snippets.

(And this is my second attempt at this post.  A catastrophic glitch occurred owing to working on two computers at the same time, and all the text was lost, so this one is rather terser than the first version, with fewer links, for which my apologies.) 


tristan said...

fab fab fab !!!

NT said...

Such lovely images! (And what fun that must have been!)

Lesley said...

Wow! I could pore over these all day.

zephyr said...

How magical!
so much fun!!
How lucky we blog visitors are!

marja-leena said...

Beautiful! I love the abstractness of the land and sea and in between, the colours and textures, very painterly and something one can't comprehend the same way while on land. Lucky you!

Zhoen said...


herhimnbryn said...

I have just finished reading 'Coastliners' by Joanne Harris, so all your images of wee islands really sprang to life for me.

Also, liked the images of fields...
'landscape plotted and pieced.'

Anne said...

Absolutely stunning photos. I have tried taking pictures from small planes, and they didn't look like that!

Rouchswalwe said...

Aaaaah. And I didn't even need an ale. Poppin' colours and perspectives that purple the heart. Nice! Thank you, sweet Lucy, for taking us on such a ride.

The Crow said...

I can't add anything better than the others have already said, so I will give you my thanks for sharing your photos and recollections. This has been a wonderful excursion for me, one I'll return to many times.

types of hypnosis said...

The view from up there is extremely beautiful! The world is indeed a great place to live.

Barrett Bonden said...

As I go over these marvellous pictures I see a sort of circularity. Oh sure I had the idea to take this flight, to endure the buggeration of organising it and to pay for its pifflingly small costs but in the end it was a selfish act. Pure indulgence, in fact. I knew I would post about it but didn't give a thought to what I would write. As for my few photos, they were pure snaps. The one slightly less than selfish act - I'd say inspired if it wasn't for the fact that what I was really after was a bit of high-grade chat before, during and after - was to invite Lucy along. I did also invite Tom but someone had to look after Mol on the ground.

And now I feel like Count Razoumovsky. He tossed a bit of time and a few coins in Beethoven's way and now lives for ever as the dedicatee of a handful of sublime string quartets. Deservedly? Hardly. Lucky? yes.

And here comes the circularity. What we have here is further proof, as if any were needed, about why Lucy has such a loyal following of commenters. Let's spare her blushes and put it succinctly: she gives good value. On her forays out into Brittany she has her commenters in mind. She gathers good stuff and transmutes it. I can say this with some certainty because my approach (as if it mattered) is quite different; I'm out to be a smarty-boots. Anyone who disagrees should compare these two post with the ones I did. Quite clever, actually. But doing anything for anyone else? Nah.

However, after that necessary act of literary seppuku, there is one thing I can point to with pride. My reasons for flying over north Brittany are only too apparent from these photos. And if anyone has a like-minded impulse get in touch with me and I'll given them LK's number. That's Louis Kervoaze not, through some crazy coincidence, Lucy Kempton. The Beethoven figure in all this, you already know.

About that high-grade chat. Well I got that too. Perhaps I should have recorded some of it but what the hell, you've all got Box Elder.

Jean said...

Wonderful photos of a wonderful trip. Aerial photos usually leave me cold, because they so often wish only to impress or inform, not also to be aestheticaly pleasing, to point out patterns...

Lucy said...

Thanks all, for such an enthusiastic response; it's been a long time since I came down in the morning and found a dozen in the lobster pot!

I realise just what a good pilot M Kervoaze was for this trip. His main business apart from the tourist trips is taking professional photographers up for purposes of documenting the coastline in matters of public interest, and he showed an interest in my camera and seem to know a bit about photography. So he really was good at getting the right angles and height to catch things to the best advantage, as well as giving us a really smooth, comfortable steady flight - I expected to be more nervous than I was, I have been much more so on commercial flights in big planes.

And of course it really is a very beautiful and varied coastline, there's so much to take in. I took about 200 pics and have got the final cut down to about half that, so using such scatter-gun approach with such a promising subject, and taking the time to edit afterwards, I was bound to come up with some good ones!

earlybird said...

These are fantastic! Even better because we spent a happy week near Lézardrieux last summer so I was in Brittany relatively recently...

The colours and shapes are just amazing. Lovely, lovely. Thank you.

Catalyst said...

A fascinating tour, Lucy. Very well done!

Rosie said...

It is true that one tends not to appreciate the things that are close to home. I shall be exploring our local beaches with enthusiasm...looks like lots of new places for walkies!

Duchess Omnium said...

Those are stunning pictures. Thank you!