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Friday, 23 June 2017

Meneham, Finistere and its gorgeous beach

We're back from our travels and it's good to stay put for a bit now! To say it was a bit of a rush in between trips is putting it mildly. As we had housesitters for both trips there's not only sorting out our own things but we have also to think of the housesitters - clean the house before they arrive, have a meal prepared for them that evening, and then washing their bedding and towels afterwards. With my brother here too the laundry pile is astronomical, but there's no rush to get it all done now. 

As it's so hot outside right now* what better to do than sort through my photos indoors! I still have piles of weeds to attack but can only go slowly at the moment and the garden requires watering most evenings now which takes priority.

Despite us all catching the cold that my brother caught off someone on the ferry over, pouring rain on our first day and a lot of really annoying wind, we still had a great time! Brittany's coastline is just amazing and it's no wonder that it is so popular with tourists. This place that we visited was on our last day and it was a shame we had to leave about 4pm for the journey home, as it was the most glorious spot with fab views and a beach to die for... and we had nice weather that day.  I doubt I will be posting everything from our travels but this was one place I wanted to share.

The hamlet of Meneham is one of those places which fell into disrepair after the inhabitants moved out and so it has been restored, with some of the buildings now housing a gite, an auberge, artisan workshops and a museum. The houses are dotted about here and there and aren't the most photogenic but the history of the hamlet is interesting. If you look carefully at the photo below you will see that the thatch has been capped with stone. This was done as back in the day wood was used, but people used to nick the wood to use as firewood as there are no trees about on this windswept coastal site. Meneham once housed customs people before it was taken over by paysans, both fishermen and farmers who worked the land. An important 'crop' for them was seaweed, which they would collect with the help of horses, dry out then burn to cinders. These cinders were sent to various factories to extract soda from them. This info I got from the info boards on site, however the website for Meneham says that they extracted iodine and algin/alginate. 



These cottages have been turned into a gite - a great spot to holiday but you'd have to get used to tourists gawking at you when you sat outside!


The whole area is rocky and so many of the rocks have 'faces' in them - once you start thinking like that you see creatures in them everywhere. I see an elephant below. :-)



This is the little house that is built in a gap between the rocks and the other side looks out to sea. There are only two little windows and it's a one room house.


This is it from the coastal side.


And these are the kinds of views it enjoys!


At low tide the beach and surrounds are just stunning.


And the sand is pure white! Not golden but the whitest sand I've seen in Brittany, perhaps in all of France. There are dunes all along the edge of the beach and at the top of the dunes where the sand is more solid there are sand martins nesting. It was a real pleasure wandering around with these little birds flying around us.


OK so this photo has had a vintage filter so the sand looks golden!


Sand Martin at its nest hole.


There were also quite a number of Rock Pipits, a bird we have been seeing regularly around coastal Brittany.


I spotted this little critter in the sand so got down close for a better look. It is a Sand Hopper (Talitrus saltator), but it didn't hop for us and just played dead. They eat rotting seaweed and in turn provide food for shore birds.



A rock pool!


Keith looking in a rock pool, but I was interested in the rock to the right of him. Can you see the lady's face and hair?


He took some photos of me but only my back view this time (I have plenty of me facing the camera in other places!). I bought the cropped trousers and backpack in a touristy shop on our previous trip. I'm covered up here because we all got a bit pink a few days before spending several hours on a beach.


There was tons of seaweed making paddling (or swimming) at low tide not so enticing; however the variety of seaweed was amazing, with all sorts of sizes and colours. I was most enamoured by a pinky purple one, which I ought to have taken a photo of. I'm not sure what my brother and I are looking at here. 


All in all a place well worth a visit.


The website for Meneham makes interesting reading, although it is in French. http://www.meneham.bzh/le-village-de-meneham/histoire
and briefer infomation is given in English here.

* It was 36C when I wrote this several days ago; it now feels gloriously cool at 24C!

6 comments:

  1. What a stunning place Mandy - superb photos :) Those rocks are just amazing and I love the idea of spotting faces and creatures. You can't beat exploring rock pools and the coastline is amazing - so beautiful. So glad you had such a good holiday :)

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    1. Thank you Caroline. It was certainly memorable and I now think I need to share more - this is partly because if I don't label/write about the photos I will forget the places we visited! I'm hoping it is going to rain lots to water my garden so I can do indoor things, like photos and blogging. Although the sadly neglected housework is calling, darn. :-)

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  2. A fantastic looking place Mandy, thanks for sharing, we will try and get there soon.

    Philippa x

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    1. Thanks Philippa. It should be doable as a day trip for you, for us it took about 3.5 hours in the moho to get home. It's so nice exploring further afield to places we can't get to easily. I really enjoyed exploring Finistere. xx

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  3. Mandy it looks so nice , nice days on the beach are the best. Beautiful photos , loved looking at the buildings. So happy you are having a lovely time, but a nice rest at home will be good too.
    Amanda xx

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    1. Thanks Amanda! I love exploring beaches with interesting rocks and rock pools - I don't have a clue about marine life or know much about the plants either but I enjoy it all the same. xx

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