Yesterday we got up early to head out to Lorient for Festival Interceltique. We figured an hour's travel time (ish) and then 20 minutes or so to find parking and we'ld get ourselves to the Grande Parade that opens the festivities.
This thing is so huge that they have people parking in the next towns over and bussing them in to a central point where you can catch a bus back to your car later. We arrived in town about 20 minutes after the parade started, and the streets were lined half a dozen or more deep in places. For the first while, we couldn't hardly see anything. I took photos as best I could by holding my camera up over the crow and pointing it in the general direction of the action. This, at least, can work with the new digitals that have a screen on the back instead of a tiny viewfinder the way they used to.
Eventually my legs and hips started giving me trouble, as we'd been standing still on the pavement for a while. We decided to wander along and see if we could find a better place, or maybe get around the crowd to the other side of the parade route, where all the restaurants and booths were. Between finding dead ends where the sidewalk was entirely blocked (tv cameras and whatnot) and finding a couple of places where the parade was actually visible, then making our way around the stadium where the parade actually ended (you could get seats inside for 10e), it probably took us at least an hour to cross the street. And the parade was only halfway over by then. It had started at 10am and the first actual events weren't scheduled to start until 2pm, so I figure that the parade lasted until at least 1:30 in the afternoon.
Anyway, we made our way around to the other side and perused some of the food booths and restaurants lining the streets. Most everything we saw was pork and more pork, or egg and more egg, or spuds and more spuds. Eventually we saw one place that was serving mussels (with fries) and galettes, so we stopped there. eydimork
and Magnus got the mussels (I want to try some, and some scallops, today maybe), and I had a galette with mushrooms and a cream sauce, and a little Breton cider. Very tasty, I must admit.
After this, we wandered the booths for a while and I picked up a t-shirt for the event. By then the parade had finally dispersed enough that you could cross the road without walking a mile out of your way, and we made our way back to the car, from whence we departed for Carnac.
The megalithic alignment there is about 4km long, so I was only able to see part of it. The place was quite crowded, and the area was fenced off so that the tourists wouldn't over-run it. I had at first wondered if it was a real
sacred site because I didn't see any sheep or cattle, but in another enclosure there were some sheep grazing and having a lie-down, so I was satisfied that they hadn't just carted in plastic stones to mollify the tourists. ;) Many photos were taken, we stopped at the little gift shop and museum and I picked up a couple of books in English, one on the alignments themselves, and one on places in Brittany. (The book lists a castle in the nearest town of any size, which really is a lovely thing and I'll have to take pictures when we go by probably tomorrow on the way back to Rennes for the train.)
Just as we were finishing up the part of the site that we'd decided to look around, the rain started coming down. It poured like crazy a fair bit of the way back to La Ville aux Gentiles (those three houses where I have increased the human population of the village by 10% just by visiting), and I was really exhausted and in a lot of pain by the time we got back here. I was barely able to eat anything for dinner and went to bed early, but sat up for a little bit upstairs and caught up with email. I also spent a little bit of time catching up with the folks in #writechat, as it was about that time, and I had net access.
Today it will be some Merlin sites and perhaps an Arthurian museum, if I'm up to it. My left hip is still giving me a fair bit of trouble, but we'll be in the forest for the most part, not on pavement, so it should be a little easier on me today.
Here's a pic by eydimork
of me at Carnac: