France 2014 - Côte de Granit Rose

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In Perros-Guirec we visited the Plage (beach) de Trestrignel. The beach is nice, but from there you can hike around the rocky and overgrown headland. I was particularly impressed that hikers had apparently worn the trail three feet deep into the ground ... until I realized that at some point someone had built a very long loose stone wall on the outside edge of the path (which is right up against a hill), and then the wall stood there for a couple centuries, and got covered in soil and plants to the point that it's essentially part of the landscape. Then I was even more impressed: it takes a long, long time to do that. It was a relatively short walk (perhaps a kilometer each way) but very nice.

We went to the central church of St. Jacques to visit because it has a weird amalgam of styles stretching across several centuries. I enjoyed it for the modern stained glass (not in all windows) that looked rather like irises, although it was rather abstract.

Perros-Guirec has grown together with another town on the same promontory, Ploumanac'h. We went there, the other side of the promontory, to do the Sentier des Douaniers walk (or at least a part of it), a part of what's known as the Côte de Granit Rose. The name is derived from the pink granite all along the coast that's been sculpted by waves(?) into truly fantastic shapes. It's a bit hard to describe, but imagine a scalloped sea shell made of granite the size of a car perched on top of another block of equally fantastical granite: it's a little mind-bending, and very lovely to see as the sun is going down. We also saw more joggers on that trail than during the entire rest of our visit to France so far. But if I jogged in Perros-Guirec/Ploumanac'h, that would absolutely be where I did it: the Sentier des Douaniers trail is amazing (it also includes the headland trail I already mentioned, although several kilometers away).

Along this trail is a tiny church, now apparently out of commission (it's fenced off). There were gargoyles on both sides of the eves at the front (not waterspouts, just gargoyles) leaning on their hands and learing. There was also a gargoyle in an arch directly over the door, which struck both of us as singularly odd.

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by giles