Category Archives: France

La Roche aux Fées – The Faeries’ Rock

Near Retier, in the center of Brittany is the Faeries’ Rock. It is one of the largest and best known dolmens in France.

Difficult to judge the scale from the photo – it is almost 20 meters long and the rocks are estimated at 20 – 45 tonnes each.

You need to bend down to enter, but after the first two rocks you can walk up straight and move around easily.

At the hand of ceramics found, it is dated at 3500 to 3000 BC.

They say if a couple walks around the dolmen and get the same answer counting the rocks, they will stay together.

There are 26 upright and 8 roof stones.  The Faerie transported the rocks, but lost one on the way, – the menhir of Runfort.

The dolmen was once covered, it was unearthed in Roman times.

The rocks are purple schist that is found 4 km away.  The alignment is south-southeast to north-northwest, in line with the sunrise on the winter solstice.

Honestly, that was the only purple I say 😉



Coast of Brittany – Pornic

The first Breton coastal town I visited, even heard the language spoken. Some children on their bicycles in this holiday place.

Interesting how completely different people look here from Toulouse. Well I suppose seeing as that they are Celts, its not that surprising.

There were dolmens on a coastal path, but the sun was too hot, I went round the other way.

Hopefully I’ll still get to see some.

The waterfront

and bluebeard’s castle from closer by.

On the riverside, they did a bit of gardening

Visited Noirmoutier island yesterday, the Tour de France departs from there this weekend. I got there a little early..

Love the place, – the quintessential holiday island. People chilling all over the place 🙂

More Toulouse

I miss Toulouse after the six weeks I spent there over April and May. When I look back at the photos it rained a lot, but I only remember who great it feels to be there and how much there is to see and to do.

Here is another photo from the park. It was near my house so I could walk down and spend time there in the early evening.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – Albi Tarn France

Not the best known side of Toulouse-Lautrec, look how magnificently he understands animals.

Painted at 16 if I have it right, perhaps in the days of hit innocence?

Poor character had a bone disease, his bones never stopped growing. His parents were cousins – nobility. Excellent plan for aggregating land and power, – not the best things for the genes of your children.

Look at the roof where the horse hangs 😉

How do you build that?

The museum is housed in the Berbie Palace, part of the Episcopal city in Albi.  Built of red brick, same as the nearby city of Toulouse. This was Roman territory.

And you must see the place.. Well at least we know the church wasn’t obsessed with earthly possessions and power at the time.

Their little view on the Tarn flowing past.

A view of the garden from inside.

They house some his most well known posters.

Modern architects didn’t invent the idea of maximum use of the views it seems.

A small courtyard, nothing fancy.

Impressive really. As you may imagine it is one of the largest brick structures in the world.

For all else they may have done the church did leave a rich architectural heritage and employed artists and artisans.

And that bears saying in this region, the inquisition was active here for a very long time.

This fortress was built in the fight against the Cathars. They were burnt alive by the hundreds and their castles are now in ruines. That’s how you know who won the fight.

They were of the opinion that the church and its people should not have a lot of possessions and power.

Off course that had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that they were branded as heretics and a crusade was called against them.

Well, some more Toulouse-Lautrec posters.

Interesting to see the development.

They have a huge collection. The family donated lots of his work.