Friday, 29 July 2016
It's a must if you are in Brittany during the first two weeks of August... And, if you're not it's a good reason to make sure you are! And, with this annual event...another year's passing has been marked. August 4th was actually the anniversary of the Acte Finale - the signing of the finalisation of our contract to buy our house at Le Ros back in 1999. To celebrate the passing of 17 years stewardship of our house in Brittany, we are going, again, to the Abbey of Bon Repos to see 'Le Pays de Conomor'. It's a son et lumiere spectacle (a sound and light show) that is both stunning and heartwarming, illustrating a passion that the townsfolk of Gouarec have for just being Breton. Three hundred and fifty of them - mums, dads, kids, grans and grandads, over a two hour period, re-enact, in front of laser projected backdrops, the history of their region... tinged with good humour and expert timing, the story of Brittany unfolds. It's all about Chivalry and Patriotism and fending off those who would invade their lands... (curiously it sounds like our world today) but in those days it was mainly the Romans and, of course, the Brits...
I, in my amateurish way, have turned up five or six times with my camera to this event and hope each year that I will get something worthy of representing the show. It's never easy - what with the speed of the players, the changing scenes and the foibles of modern cameras on auto... Don't ask me to go on 'manual' when the action is fast and furious... (I've already made a mental note that next year at least we'll sit toward the front). Using flash for filling in or arresting movement would quickly get you removed from an arena that depends on total and constant darkness for its success.
If you are anywhere near the Cotes d'Armor in northern Brittany you must get there... The event has gained size and status as the years have passed and technology, with laser effects and projections, enables it to improve year on year. The 'fringe' element has also grown to include a market, street entertainers, hog roasts, bars and a sense of mediaeval mayhem... a brilliant complement to an excellent night out. Last year we rolled up in our VW camper and, as they do, the French had allocated a separate parking area free of charge (for camping cars) so that visitors caould extend their stay to the daytime before and also to sleep the night - so, enjoy a drink or two with your night's entertainment.