Day 37 Thursday, 29 June 2017
A sightseeing day in Morlaix! First we tackle the steep steps leading up to the viaduct. Astounded by the beauty of the design.
There are views over both sides of the town from here, and you can see the terraced gardens behind the houses, including the Maison Pananault. The two rivers joined where the Hotel de Ville is now in the top picture, and then were culverted twice at different periods, so the road would have been a quay in former times.
Descend down more steep steps to the Church of Ste-Melaine, with wonderful medieval statues and a starry roof with dragons’ heads holding the beams.
The Musee de Morlaix is closed for refurbishment so we we make our way to the Ville Close, the original town with ramparts, and to the Place Allende, where 15th century La Maison de la Duchess Anne overlooks the square.
Again they seem to be in refurbishment mode but we are allowed to go up to the first floor balcony to see the acrobat.
This house has the most amazing ‘lantern’ – a skylight in the roof, four floors up. Apparently it’s typical of the Morlaix houses and not found anywhere else. The staircase is made of oak, one huge tree trunk, and beautifully carved. We also admire the linenfold panelling on the door and staircase and round the room, and the enormous stone fireplace, carved with vines. Reminds us of Tudor House where my parents lived in Halifax – same date exactly, 1492.
A break for lunch in Morlaix’s oldest pub, Ty Coz, in the same square: lovely green lentil salad for me and homemade vegetable soup and a panini for Malcolm. Then it’s off down La Grande Rue to the Maison a Pondalez – again a half-timbered house of the 16th century, with another monumental fireplace and a turning staircase with wooden walkways edging the vast central space.
There’s an exhibition in here all about the linen trade which brought so much wealth to Morlaix and the surrounding villages where it was produced. The linen cloth was exported all over the world but the English took three-quarters of it!
And it’s my lucky day! I get to go on a Petit Train at last.
Revisit all the places we’ve already been and a few new ones – even go past the boat and notice how low the tide is on the other side of the lock gate.
Malcolm is mortified to be on the little train but I’m thrilled after all this time. My dream has come true! Celebrate with a lemon tart. Might be my new favourite from the Patisserie.