Tuesday, 22 March 2011


Just look at that sky!  This card is from the north west of France, Brittany, which is stunningly beautiful but not blessed with the best weather.

When I first saw the card, I read the name and wondered.  I recognise the word "grèves", usually in the context of strikes, but I couldn't believe that a town in France would be named for strike actions.  I investigated.  There are, of course, several other meanings such as "strand" or "bank", presumably a sand bank, but I do wonder how the same word came to mean a strike or a stoppage.

The département, once the Côtes-du Nord, is now called the Côtes-d'Armor, "ar mor" meaning "the sea" in the Breton language, a Celtic language which is very much a minority language.  Because the French government won't acknowledge it, it's the only living Celtic language that isn't officially recognised.  Nevertheless, there are schools which teach entirely in Breton and others that offer a bilingual education.  Nearly a third of the children in primary school in Plestin-les-Grèves are taught in a bilingual school for their primary years.  The number is growing steadily.
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  1. I've never been to Brittany, but it looks so amazing. Of course, i think about the butter and the cheese too.

  2. That is so lovely it makes me want to head there with a picnic basket.

  3. At one point we were thinking of buying a holiday home in Brittany but read somewhere that it's the wettest place in France. We were staying in someone else's holiday home at the time and rain was pouring through the roof. We changed our minds.

  4. It looks so beautiful, Sheila, and the history you gave was most interesting.


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