Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Brest is Best

If you're a dyslexic mum-to-be who's arrived at this post after a Google search about the best food for your new born let me apologise profusely.  Brest is not a misspelling of a synonym for the mammary gland but is a city in Western Brittany, known for its naval history.  It's home to an aquarium which makes the one at its twin town  Plymouth, the UK's largest, look rather like a outsized goldfish bowl in comparison.

On prior visits to Brittany it has been surprisingly mild. During a visit one February, children were on the beach in swimming costumes,   I kid you not.  Yesterday though was not like that.  For a couple of hours day turned to night and the rain was torrential.   So,  I was glad that I'd anticipated the weather amd planned a visit to the indoor attraction  Oceanopolis , home to three different complexes housing sea creatures in polar, tropical and temperate areas of the world. Here are the sharks in their warm pool watching the tourists watching them.

Now aquariums are great places for experimenting with cameras and during our visit I took near on two hundred shots of which only about ten are half decent, like this lovely photogenic turtle who posed for me with supermodel expertise.  Remember the 'good old' days pre-digital photography when taking  a similar number of pictures would have cost an absolute fortune and those fifty  images of smeared glass with a flash reflected in it would have been preserved for prosperity rather than being instantly erased?

Here's Louis waiting for the sea lions to emerge in the polar zone. You'll notice that he has some creatures on his person that do not immediately conjure up thoughts of marine life, although I'm sure they were prevalent on olden day's ships.  These are bargain 99 cent IKEA rats and I'm sorry to say that we made our second visit in three days to the mecca of the Scandanavian flatpack.  Our nearest store is Bristol, an hour and a half away.  Rumour has it that the crusty old councillors in Exeter turned down the chance to have big royal blue retail unit there as they didn't think that it would be popular.  Further tittle tattle suggests that  one at  Plymouth has been on the cards for the last five years! So Louis availed himself of the rare opportunity to purchase Swedish  rat 1 (Lovelygreyrat) on our first visit on Saturday. Yesterday we returned back for some nifty crockery racks for the motorhome,  rats 2 and 3 (Snowy and Brownie)  and a bargain lunch.  In this region where the crepe and moules mariniere reign supreme, Swedish meatballs seem to be a welcome change for the natives. The restaurant was packed!


  1. That aquarium sounds great! My daughter would be very pleased to learn of your trips to Ikea - she considers it an essential life skill to be able to shop in the big blue and yellow shop - she even insisted on taking her 'deprived' (ie had never been there) best friend there to teach her!

  2. The aquarium looks like a great place, I love 'em. I agree, I love the fact that you can take 100's of digital photos and not worry if they don't 'turn out' like film pictures in our previous lives.

  3. I'm impressed that Louis has no less than three rats to take about with him. That, and the fact that you can drive to France without batting an eyelid.

  4. That turtle photo is gorgeous. I haven't been to Ikea for years as our nearest one is Warrington which is a bit of a trek, and we never seem to go the same route twice!