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AlessandraZoe Dec 17th, 2020 05:14 AM

Brittany without a Car? Paimpol's Chant de Marin?
Seeking first-hand experiences with Brittany public transport and/or the festival.

Introduction: We had hoped to return to the UK and Ireland last summer to visit our beloved Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival, to stop a choral fest in Wales, and then to work hard visiting pubs known for first-class Trad throughout Cork, Galway, and Dublin. We had successfully navigated everything in two prior trips without a car, a travel decision brought on by the fact that a) I should never be driving ANYWHERE b) my husband hates renting a car in Europe and c) we had done a lot of European cycling trips where we had had to rely on mass transport to bridge gaps anyway.

Last year's trip? Cancelled (no duh!). This year's trip to Falmouth? Can't do. We can finally see our grandchildren this coming June in the US.

So I'm exploring another famous sea shanty festival: Festival du Chant de Marin Paimpol, and I'm trying to get some first-hand advice from people who attended this festival in prior years and/or have successfully navigated the area without a car.

I started working on this possible trip yesterday. Years and years ago, our cycle trip to Brittany involved taking the TGV from Paris to Rennes and then I think we were vanned to St Brieuc. Now I see we can get another train to Guingamp and then a local TER to Paimpol, where Bus 24 can get us to the only hotel I've snagged. I've only managed to find one hotel reservation on a bus line in the Paimpol outskirts--Les Terrasses de Brehat in Ploubazlanec. Supposedly, Bus 24 will get us back to Paimpol in 14-20 minutes.

So that's what I know, what I've done, and I now await sage advice and experiences.

Oh, one more thing, the other places through which we cycled that we loved were Dinan, Dinard, Cancale and St. Malo. I have yet to figure out our pre- and post- festival plans, but we'll probably return to at least one or more of those places.

Thank in advance for any input.

annhig May 11th, 2021 06:52 AM

hi AlessandraZoe,

In hunting for your great TR on Falmouth [was it really 2018?] for another poster I came across this post of yours and wanted to say that we went to the Chant de Marin in Paimpol a few years ago and loved it. It's rather bigger than Falmouth's, in the sense that they have some big names there who aren't so Shanty based and you have to pay, but leaving that aside there was a great atmosphere and I can heartily recommend it. We stayed in a Chambres d'hote which we booked through Gites de France and it was very clean and pleasant and very central though unlike you we did have a car.

not sure what else I can say to help but if you think of anything, just ask!

AlessandraZoe May 12th, 2021 08:25 AM

Annhig--OMG, it's been ages. I eventually ruled out this trip. I had surgery, my daughter had her second child, and we needed to push off some things. I do have a temporary trip to the UK/Ireland coming up in September, but I'm unsure of whether or not we'll go. If we do, we'd hit the small Teignmouth Festival and then head north. I have a few cousins still alive in Tipton that I'd like to see again before we all die. We last met up in 1969!

Interestingly enough, I looked at the Paimpol and when I saw how little "shanty" based it was, quickly lost interest. Our family, though, still holds dear memories of our cycling trip through Brittany (endless hills, endless rain and FABULOUS pastry and mussels) and Normandy in 2002. As we were saying this last weekend, maybe we'll just have to hold onto the memories instead of a revisit.

I hope Cornwall is doing well. I think of you and it often.

Thanks for all,

annhig May 12th, 2021 01:46 PM

oh that's a shame, AZ, it was fun but it was a while ago and perhaps the shanty element has diminished still further. great you ahve those wonderful memories and as you say, perhaps best to hang onto them and make new ones elsewhere.

Cornwall is ok, thanks, as are we. i hope that you are also well and surviving these strange times as well as could be expected.

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