Monday June 24… Morlaix

We’ve heard good things about Morlaix and so we slip away from Roscoff (loaded with fresh croissants delivered direct to the harbour) for the 10 mile jaunt up the river to the old tobacco town. The river dries almost completely ant low tide and we need to get there in time to lock through into the harbour which is right in the centre of town.

We pass an old fort which was put there to ward off the good folk of Bristol, who apparently had a good thing going themselves in the tobacco industry and were a trifle jealous and raided the town on several occasions in the early 16th century. On one occasion, the Bristolians were found in some woods, sleeping off their pillaging and plundering by the returning men of Morlaix. According to one source, the Bristolians arranged for several return matches, none of which went well for the visitors.

The route up river is well marked and very pretty, even in the grey skies of mid June….

By mid-day we are hanging around outside the lock and soon find ourselves greeted by the cheerful lock-keeper, who once we are through, jumps in his dinghy…

and shows us our berth for the next night or so.

We trundle off in the familiar drizzle to suss out the station for Yee Tak who is due to leave us tomorrow and to look around the town itself. The town is dominated by the fantastic railway viaduct and this is a clue….

to a very steep climb up to the station! This has been completely rebuilt for the new TGVs and is a fantastic example of what can be done with a state owned railway if the political will (and pride?) is there. We have remarked several times on this trip, how the French towns seem to take an enormous pride in their public spaces.

…and once again there are multiple childrens clothes and toy shops which appear to be irresistible to grandmothers…

We wander off round the old town with its amazing original gables and even take a stroll along the walkway halfway up the viaduct…

It is a Monday and most of Morlaix and its restaurants are shut, so our farewell dinner for Yee Tak turns out to be a hotel slightly up market from a premier inn…not quite what we had in mind.

POSTSCRIPT

The weather decides to take a turn for the east and worst in a fairly major way for the rest of the week. Meteo France even suggests gales locally before the temperature heads into the late 30s…and thunderstorms. Our sailing window ends anyway on Sunday and any destinations to the east would entail some uncomfortable beating or motoring into some very lumpy seas and near gales. We decide to leave the boat in Morlaix (snug, safe and cheap(er than Roscoff) and will return mid July to continue east…and home?

PPS. The views from the train as we go over the viaduct are amazing…

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