Bretagne (Bruh-tahn-yuh) is how the French say Brittany, the Western region of France that has its own culture and language in addition to that of the French.
At first I didn’t realize they were one and the same thing, Brittany and Bretagne. And I never made the connection between Brittany and Great Britain, until I heard the French term for the United Kingdom, which is la Grande Bretagne.
So England is merely an extension – a larger neighbor, if you will, of it’s French counterpart that lies across the channel. At least that’s what William the Conqueror thought when he decided to have a veni vidi vici. The shared love goes both ways though, if you look at the number of Brits who have decided to take up residence in Bretagne. English is almost a third language and culture in these parts.
Bretagne is lovely. We’ve been coming for a couple of years now, and our entire extended family of in-laws: grandparents, their five sons plus significant others and ten grandchildren all crowd into an eight-bedroom house by the sea for two weeks every July.
Surprisingly, we’re all game to do it again the following year. (One day they’ll let me introduce them to you).
Here are a few things to know about Bretagne.
In Bretagne, you come to spend time with family
and leave with sweet memories.
In Bretagne, the houses are made of stone
and the skies of slate.
In Bretagne, you relieve the summer heat with ice cream
and then bundle up to go to the beach.
In Bretagne, you buy blue lobsters at the market,
and get other things at the market too.
(Are we in France yet?)
In Bretagne, you wear a skirt to play dodge-ball on the sand,
and still outrun your uncles and cousins.
In Bretagne, you head to the beach at night
to watch the fireworks over the water for Bastille Day.
In Bretagne, you go down paths like this
to get to places like this.
In Bretagne, you soar on land
and on sea.
In Bretagne, you watch the thundering surf from high stone walls
carried by wind
and sweet kisses.
We head back tomorrow everyone. See you soon!