Saturday, June 22, 2013

Our First Excursion!

Thursday, June 20 we had our first excursion in Brittany.  The weather wasn't the best but everyone made the most of it.  The stagiaires have learned very quickly that en Bretagne, il pleut.  (In Brittany, it rains.)

Here are the stagiaires on the bus on the way to our first stop:

Our first stop on this excursion was the village of Locronon.   It was recently listed as the second-most beautiful village in France.  Our itinerary for Locronon included touring the cathedral and learning how a traditional Breton cake "Kouign - amann" is made.

In front of Cathedrale St. Ronan

Because the patisserie is so small, we split into two groups. Half the group visited the patisserie while the other half visited the cathedral.  While in the patisserie, the group learned how "Kouign-amann", a traditional Breton cake, is made.

Kouign-amann basically consists of flour, butter and sugar.  The stagiaires (and the instructors) all watched in awe as the patissier added 200 grams of salted butter (nearly half a pound) onto each pile of dough.  This was followed by 200 grams of granulated sugar. The dough was then folded to keep in the butter and sugar and transferred to a conveyor belt where it would be rolled out flat.

After rolling several times, the dough is put into cake molds and allowed to rise for thirty minutes in an old-fashioned cabinet called a "parisienne".  After sitting, the cake is baked in a standard bread oven. As it is one of the most popular desserts in Bretagne, this patisserie makes 200-250 of them per day.

Tasting a slice of Kouign-amann
After the patisserie and the cathedral, the stagiaires were left to explore the village for about an hour before we moved on to our next stop on the excursion.

The plan was to have a picnic lunch at La Pointe du Raz, but when we arrived it was pouring rain.  With no other options, we all bundled up, opened up our umbrellas and all trucked out on a 30 minute hike to La Pointe.  By the time we arrived the rain stopped and the stagiaires were able to climb all over the rocks that made up La Pointe.

And even luckier, on the walk along the way, we discovered a picnic shelter where we were all able to sit and have lunch out of the continuing drizzle.

After La Pointe du Raz, we climbed back on the bus to head to our final destination, the city of Concarneau.  The city consists of a modern section and the the medieval ville close.  This city is the third most important fishing port in all of France and the primary source of tuna in all of Europe.

We all walked together from where the bus parked to the ville close and then the stagiaires were left to explore on their own in the medieval city.  Everyone's first stop was the glacier for some ice cream.

In the ville close, the stagiaires could explore shops and cafes with souvenirs and traditional Breton products.  They could also climb the stairs to walk around the walls that protected the city and provide a  great view of the modern city and the port.

After a few hours of exploration, we all returned to the bus to head back to Brest.  It was a long day and everyone was tired. But they all the stagiaires seemed to have a good time.

The rest of the photos can be viewed at the link below:

First Excursion Photos

No comments:

Post a Comment