Guide books certainly have changed. This rather stern looking black and white cover photo of women dressed in national dress would have not encouraged anyone to visit. However, the 50’s and 60’s were the golden ages of driving; great cars, MG’s, Austin-Healeys, Triumph TR’s – little congestion, wayside cafes – the open road.
“Why don’t we replicate and recapture the excitement of travelling in our 1960’s MG and TR6 classic cars?” said friends. “The freedom of the road, – the adventure!”
The idea grew, took on legs or should I say wheels. We planned to explore the area in convoy. A variety of hotels had been booked, raincoats, tee-shirts, shorts had been jammed into the small space available in the cars.
Using the guide book as our master plan, we gingerly headed for St Malo on Brittany Ferries. The car immediately needed some last minute tinkering prior to boarding – all part of the fun.
The suggested itinerary took us on country lanes, twisty roads and through normally quiet villages. It was a Saturday; a hive of activity as Tour de France was due to arrive the next day and there was many village wedding celebrations. The cars were liberally sprinkled with confetti by the time we reached Vannes.
The circular tour took us to some wonderful unspoilt beaches and historic cathedral towns in the south. The highlight though was the remarkable northern pink granite coastline which led us to wild beaches and rocky outcrops.
The hotel rooms and facilities have certainly improved over the years to match our modern expectations; however they still offered good old fashioned service.
Brilliant blue sky, the heat from the road, seagulls’ squawking overhead and sadly the exhaust fumes from the car in front all sum up our classical Brittany road trip. The weather matched our memories of 1960’s summers – hot and sunny the whole week.
We recreated the childish joy of picnicking alongside country streams with traditional Breton delicacies. I can still the taste of the delicate crispy gallettes served with cidre.
Brittany really is timeless.