Difference between revisions of "Brittany"
Revision as of 08:48, 13 August 2008
The region is subdivided into four administrative départements:
Anglo-Norman islands (British Crown dependencies):
Brittany received its modern name when it was settled (in around 500 AD) by Britons, whom the Anglo-Saxons had driven from Britain. Breton history is one long struggle for independence — first from the Franks (5th-9th century), then the Counts of Anjou and the Dukes of Normandy (10th-12th century), and finally from England and France.
The Breton people maintain a fierce sense of independence to this day, as displayed by their local customs and traditions.
In the past 5 years or so a resurgence of the regional identity has happened in France. Breton art, music and culture are recognized across the nation. France has now accepted that in diversity lies strength and unity.
The people of Brittany all speak French, many speak the regional Breton language Breton, and many speak English very well. While France tried to discourage the use of regional languages their use is rebounding, bringing a stronger understanding of culture, contributions, and history. Through the local efforts of the Bretons and the DIWAN Breton Language schools, children are being tought in the native language while they learn standard curriculum. The DIWAN schools are supported by world wide efforts through various groups, including the International Committee for the Defense of the Breton Language.
Brittany Ferries operates the following regular services:
There are airports in:
The TGV train runs almost hourly from Paris Montparnasse to Rennes, Brest and Quimper.
The A11, the Océane Route, links Brittany to Paris. A dual carriageway runs from Rennes to Nantes, and there is a motorway from Nantes to Bordeaux.
All roads in Brittany are free! No peages.
SNCF offers bus services from all major rail stations in Brittany.
In Brittany, all roads are free (no tolls).
When swimming in sea watch out for rips and undercurrents. Be mindful that the tide can come at a very fast pace. Don't be stranded on an outlying island! Check the tides (marees) in your local tourist office. Ask for a tide table.
There are many roadside Hotels and Pensions available for overnight stays, but facilities vary considerably. If you have particular preferences it is best to book and if you are travelling in the busy holiday season it is essential to book in advance. For longer stays there are a large variety of Gites or Holiday Cottages to choose from. These can be found in towns, villages and very quiet rural areas. Gite rurale:  There are a large number of excellent privately run campsites in Brittany, many with swimming pools. It is also worth considering municipal campsites for both overnight stops and longer stays. These are usually very clean, well managed and centrally positioned, with many in beautiful surroundings, (eg. beside lakes and rivers).