VOL. 18 NO. 4
|The Independent Traveler's Newsletter|
" The man who has
experienced shipwreck shudders even at a calm sea."
Ovid - Roman Poet, 43 BC - 17 AD
IN THIS ISSUE:
on the Island of Ouessant
Le Normandie Disaster in New York:
and Brittany - September 2014
~ What We Hate About Hotels
The Hermione will Sail to the US
in the Spring of 2015
Lighthouses on the Island of Ouessant
by Betty Werther
As promised in our Spring newsletter, this issue of FRANCE On Your Own will focus
on several of coastal France's lighthouses. We are happy to begin with interesting
lighthouses of Brittany, contributed by our friend and lighthouse aficionado, Betty Werther.
The French word for lighthouse is 'phare', pronounced 'far'.
Le Phare de
Créac’h on the Island of Ouessant
English) off the coast of Brest on
the westernmost tip of France, is celebrating its 150th anniversary
this year. For about 50 of those years, Europe's most powerful
lighthouse has been lulling - you might say 'flashing' - me to sleep
with its two white beams every ten seconds through my bedroom window in
our family's vacation cottage just across the bay.
of my grandsons, Yann, who is half Breton, could identify all the Ouessant lights
almost before he could talk. For much of his childhood summers he
sat on my window seat at sunset - refusing to go to bed until the
Créac'h began flashing.
Brittany (Bretagne), especially La
Finistère, (meaning 'end of the Earth'), is crowded with more
lighthouses than any other region of France. Of the country's 120
lighthouses on over a nearly 2000-mile coastline, 57 are located in
Brittany's five départements,
and 22 of those are in the Finistère. Ouessant, an island
with only an eight by four kilometer surface, leads the show with a
cluster of five: two on land, the Créac'h and Le Stiff,
and three at sea, Kereon, Nividic and La Jument. Yann named his
blanketed in fog or beaten by tempests, Ouessant is surrounded by some
of the most treacherous waters anywhere. For mariners over the
ages, the dictum was "Qui voit
Ouessant voit son sang" - "He who sees Ouessant sees his blood".
Some 50 shipwrecks are recorded in her rocky depths,
about half of
which can be explored through the local diving center.
The concentration of warning signals
- lighthouses, buoys, beacons and foghorns - can also be explained by
the island's location at the mouth of the English Channel off the 'Rail
de Ouessant', the island's Shipping Fairway or traffic lane, which
accounts for 25 percent of the world's maritime traffic - over 54,000
vessels a year.
Phare le Creac'h, Ouessant, Brittanycontinued on page two
inside. . .
with a click
> to read about a four-year old's remembrances of the steamship Normandie.
> if you want an enjoyable culinary tour of Normandy and Sussex, you will want to get a copy of Rob Silverstone's A Mule Across the Water ~ and read our review on The Bookshelf.
> for the results of a survey with some interesting insight into common dislikes about staying at hotels in our Travel Tips column.
to visit a few more lighthouses in Featuring:
Lighthouses of Normandy and Brittany - September 2014.
for an update on the voyage of the Hermione
replica frigate ~ an adventure from France to the United States'
eastern shore honoring the original Hermione and its famous passenger,
Gilbert Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette.
TONGUES . . .
by Arthur Gillette
Welcome to Twisted Tongues, a French word game everyone can play. See if you can come up with the correct translation of the phrase in question. You may be quite surprised by how it differs from what you first thought it meant.
Answer from our Summer issue: "Filer à l 'anglaise". It doesn't mean to spin fabric English style, but means to sneak away without doing or saying anything, as in 'take French leave'.
Phrase: "Ah, la vache!" = Does it mean "Oh, the cow!"? No. Can you guess?
Gillette to take advantage of his amazing knowledge of Paris
SPONSORING THIS ISSUE
Don't miss Normandy's Cultural Highlights
and the Art of Living at Château de Courtomer
April 17-23, 2015
This exclusive tour includes Versailles, Monet's gardens at Giverny, the D-Day landing beaches, the Bayeux
Tapesty, Sées, and the Natinal Stud Farm Haras du Pin. Soak up the atmosphere at this glorious
18th century château, enjoy cooking lessons, wine and cheese tastings, a hot-air balloon ride and more!
Click on the banner to sign up or learn more!