“Brest: sun in the morning – rain in the evening”, Uwe

Vous vous rappelez de mon acolyte Uwe au Denmark? ICI, ICI, ICI, ICI, ICI et ICI. Il est maintenant de retour en Allemagne (sa terre natale) et c’est l’occasion pour lui de venir me visiter pendant une semaine. La parole est à lui.

Uwe, MERCI pour ce super séjour!!!

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Thursday, the 11th of May: I still don’t understand how it is possible to book a flight to Brest, where one has only 15 minutes to interchange at CDG Paris airport and that includes 11 minutes bus ride between terminal 2F and 2G. Luckily, I am currently preparing for a half-marathon, so running through the airport was successful and I managed to be on time for boarding. After landing in Brest, Fanny would wait for me at the welcome point in the airport, at least that was what I was hoping for. I should have known better =) She was only 15 minutes late, no big deal at all.

The apartment, looked at it from the outside, is not a beauty, but once the door opens and you enter the courtyard, you find yourself in a small place with palm trees, flowers and a hipster seating area made out of old tires. Beautiful! Fanny’s cat welcomed me, we walked upstairs and I saw a hallway which has more in common with a museum of modern art, than any usual hallway. Creativity, small improvised details here and there, it is a pleasure to walk around and discover what is hidden at the first glance. A few of Fanny’s friends (all French) joined us for dinner and guess what they brought: baguette and cheese! Clichés work – unbelievable =) We drank Breton beer (yummy) and Génépi (yummy), listened to good music and eventually I went to bed, fell asleep, very satisfied how my small holiday had started.

Friday, the 12th of May: The next day I had some time to discover Brest on my own. As recommended, I started with crepes and coffee. Then I went down to the harbor and on my way I found many one-way street signs that had been modified by a street artist. My favorite one is the pacman. street sign art BrestWhen I finally arrived at the harbor I received a message from Morgan, who also slept at Fanny’s place and found himself locked in the apartment after everybody had left. As I was his only chance to regain freedom, I showed some fraternité and jumped into the next tram to get back to Fanny’s place. In the evening Fanny and me went to the stables, cleaned her horse for the show jumping next day and at the end we went for a small tour. Fanny riding her horse, me running and preparing for the half-marathon. Bottom line of the whole thing: horses are fucking fast! Way too fast.

Saturday, the 13th of May: Lola had arrived in the evening and the next day we accompanied Fanny to the show jumping. For me personally it was the first time ever that I watched such a thing. And it was great. Lola and me turned out to be absolute experts in horse jumping. There was no show that we could not comment on and we always found a way to explain why things went either quite well or terribly bad. On our way back we visited a small Abbaye and met Ludo, a friend of Fanny. It started raining (reference to the title of the story) so we headed back to Brest for dinner. Kik ha farz – I shall never forget this Breton dish. First of all it is really tasty, second we had a lot of it and third we had it for at least four days. Anyway, great stuff. Then it turned out that Fanny would get an air bnb guest, so we had to clean the apartment a bit. Sitting at the table and drinking coffee we discussed what needed to be done and made plans who should do what. I mentioned that the windows could be cleaned as well. Mistake – big time. 10 minutes later I found myself in front of the windows, cleaning them with newspaper. I have to admit that the trick with newspaper works really well, that is just perfect. 

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Sunday, the 14th of May: In Germany we have a proverb “wie Gott in Frankreich leben” which literally means to live like God in France. Its meaning is straight forward. It is used to describe a time when one has a really really good time, when life is simply good. And this proverb holds true! I think when we went to the market on Sunday morning, having crepe and strawberries, drinking coffee in front of a small café and enjoying the trouble around us, I would say that we were quite close to understand the meaning of this proverb. 

Monday, the 15th of May: And then there was Concarneau. A small, picturesque town at the Atlantic coast. Truly beautiful. Fanny, Lola and me had a small tour through the old town and when we passed a small ice-cafe, we could not resist and everybody got two scoops. After the ice-cream, we all agreed that one scoop would have been plenty, but it was too late anyway. Eventually it was time to see Breton countryside and we went to visit Fanny’s family. On our way we stopped by a small flower shop to buy a small bouquet for Fanny’s mum. In combination with our self-made origami tulips we had a good set of presents for our host. When we arrived at her parent’s place, I was stunned that this place could even be more picturesque and quaint then what I saw in Concarneau. An old stone house, a blue door that leads into the garden, a palm tree in front of the house, lots of flowers, it is great. When I had a look into the kitchen, I knew where they take their pictures for these lifestyle magazines. Before dinner we wanted to go for a small walk to see the coast and the Atlantic, which is probably less than 1 km away. We met Ludo again, whose uncle is a neighbor of Fanny’s parents and Ludo just bought a house directly next to his uncle’s house. For the moment he is still renovating it, but one could already imagine that one day it would be as beautiful as all the other houses around. 

Dinner was awesome. Even though I could not really join the conversation, because of my limited French language skills (very limited I should add), it was a great pleasure to be present. At one point I realized they were discussing politics and I would have really loved to join the discussion, but maybe next time. If I had only chosen French as my second foreign language instead of Latin. Jesus! Why do they still teach Latin? I don’t get it. While sitting at the table, I was imagining how the correspondent dinner would have looked like at my parent’s place in Germany. Well, most probably, instead of fancy French food and a good glass of red wine, we would have a barbecue. Lots of sausages, greasy potato salad and beer. That can also be charming =) I am looking forward to share the experience with you Fanny!DSC_0588

Tuesday, the 16th of May: The next morning Fanny went to work in Brest, while Lola and me stopped by in Pont-Aven, where we wanted to visit the local art museum, showing an exhibition about impressionist painters. I learnt that Gauguin did not only spend all his life on tropical islands, but he actually also spend some time in Pont-Aven together with a bunch of other artists. No wonder, that they settled down here, because it was a truly beautiful place. A river runs through the village, here and there you can find sailing ships along the river. Very pastoral. 

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For the last evening of my holiday in Brest we decided to take it easy, order sushi and watch a movie. Morgan and David joined us and I was really glad to see them again. Great people. After we decided on the movie, we were waiting for the sushi and after some time we got a little inpatient, probably because we were all super hungry. Then Fanny got a call, apparently it was the sushi restaurant. From what we could understand, there was something wrong with the order and it sounded like that they could not deliver it. By the way, it was already 10:30 pm and I thought that it was highly unlikely that there was another restaurant where we could have orderer food that late. You should have seen the panic that overcame our faces, we looked at each other both with anger and desperation: No sushi? Jesus Fucking Christ! Fortunately, when Fanny finished the call, she explained that the would still deliver the sushi. The whole issue was just about an Orangina, that the driver had forgotten in the restaurant and which the could not deliver. Everybody was very released, hearing such good news. As compensation for that “mess” they gave Fanny 20% discount on her next order. Then, the sushi finally arrived and we were all quite surprised to see a can of Orangina in our package. Whatever =) Since it was me who ordered the Orangina, I would argue that I have a share in the extra discount, so I think you should wait for your next sushi order until I am back in Brest 😉

Best regards from Duisburg! 

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