Notre excursion en Cornouaille
This weekend, we had our last excursion of the program. We went to Cornouaille (Cornwall in English). Although Cornouaille is in the same region as Rennes (en Bretagne!), it is in a different department of Bretagne than Rennes is. We got to visit five different villages in Cornouaille. Here is a map of the places we went!
Our first stop was in Pont-Aven, a small village on a very scenic river. Paul Gaugin lived there for a few years during the late 1880's, so it's a frequent subject in a lot of his paintings from that time. Students had free time in the town to faire un pique-nique, do some shopping and enjoy the views. The most popular souvenir by far were two types of traditional Breton cookies - one called galettes (not to be confused with savory crêpes!) and one called traou mad, which means "good times" in Breton.
After a couple hours of temps libre, we jumped back on the bus to head to Quimper. We enjoyed a guided tour of the city. The students especially enjoyed the beautiful St. Corentin cathedral which has a bend in the middle because the land was swampy when the cathedral was built. After the tour, students had more free time to wander around the city with their amis.
Our last stop of the day was in Concarneau. We stayed at a hostel that was right on the ocean! Climbing on the rocks and wading in l'Atlantique were popular activities for this stop!
After dinner, students explored the old walled city and went to watch a concert that was happening in the main square. Some even went to a spa where you can have fish eat the dead skin off of your feet!
After a good night's sleep, we were back on the bus and heading to Locronan. We had time to explore the city before meeting up for lunch. Rennesgades seem to have spidey senses for finding good cafés and delicious candy because they never come back empty handed!
After another quick bus ride, our last stop was the Château de Trévarez. It is a beautiful castle that was built at the end of the 19th century and the gardens around it are amazing. During World War II, it was occupied by the Germans and bombed by the English. There is still a lot of damage inside because they haven't fully restored it yet. Some students borrowed tablets from the gift shop which allowed you to see what each room looked like before the bombing.
On our way home, most students said that this was their favorite part of the trip so far. They loved seeing all the little towns and having a lot of free time to spend with all the new friends they've made. This last week is definitely bittersweet because students are excited to go home and see their friends and families (and especially pets!!) but everyone is sad to leave Rennes and their new friends. We have an exciting week up ahead with water sports, dancing, juggling and our farewell dinner.