Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Monday, November 22, 2010

So

On the very lucky days, I finish up with work before it's dark out. And rather than go back to the hotel, I usually try to do some exploring. Those of you who have been reading this blog since the Bretagne days know that I love me some megaliths.

So when I saw a sign pointing to a site I'd never visited, I couldn't resist taking a small detour to check it out. It ended up being much farther than I thought though, taking me down many a lonely country road.

One particular road was lined for kilometers by this large stone wall:
Now you see these kinds of walls fairly often in the countryside, but this one was very high at many points and just keep going and going. I couldn't help but wonder - Who built it? And what were they trying to protect?I turned a corner and thought that would be the end of it - but that wall just kept right on going. And I still couldn't see through the forest. Finally a kilometer or so down the road, I got a glimpse of what was behind it all:
There was no sign stating the name of this place, nor who the domain belonged to. But isn't that France for you? You can come upon random chateaux when you least expect.

But I didn't have time to ponder it too much - I wasn't here for the Châteaux - I was on a rock hunt. I followed a few (miniscule) signs and ended up driving down a road (road?) like this:
There wasn't a soul in sight, and the road just kept getting smaller and muddier by the minute. With no where to turn around. My GPS was confused and there was no signage anywhere. It was starting to get dark as well - things were not looking good. How would I explain where I was if I got lost? Or stuck? Would I even be able to call? My cell signal was going in and out.

Then, all of the sudden, there was another, slightly larger, road to the right. I decided to take it, hoping I could at least make a square and come back to where I'd started. Lucky me - at the end of that road, there was a sign pointing to the dolmen! (But honestly, what do the French have against signs anyways?)

And there they were - a whole field of them, sitting right by the edge of the road:I don't know what it is about these things, but I find them so fascinating. I guess if I believed in reincarnation, I'd think I was somehow linked to them in a past life. Back when I was living in Bretagne, Fab & I often spent our weekends driving around to look for new ones - so there aren't too many that I haven't seen by now. Though it was closed for the winter, this site was really well done up, and seemed to have a lot of different information and activities set up. But that can probably be explained by the fact that it was only (re)discovered 30 years ago, and that the site itself has only been open since 1997:They were built 5000 years ago - and destroyed in 1000 AD! That's just mind boggling to me. And there they sat, hidden, for thousands of years. Though I guess some of the local population were probably aware of them - and doing their best to keep it a secret. After all, it's a farming community, and what farmer would want to give up their precious land to the government? According to the signage, there are several other groupings spread out over a 7 hectare area. I'd love to go back some day and explore the rest by bike - only this time, with a map!

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10 Comments:

Blogger Lindsey said...

I'm totally with you, I love to explore whenever I'm somewhere new. Because as you found out...you find the coolest things...

November 22, 2010 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger kiwi in france said...

Wow, that's amazing! so beautiful, peaceful and mindblowing!

November 22, 2010 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger melinda said...

these r very impressive

November 22, 2010 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger PigletinFrance said...

Its amazing to think that they were there for so long undiscovered. In our age today it's difficult to imagine how that can be possible but I think it's great that it is...

I love exploring too although I do not know if I would have had the courage to drive down that road on my own!

November 22, 2010 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

neat. When I was studying in England there was a place nearby, the Valley of the White Horse. A huge white horse had been made in the cliff, by exposing the underlying chalk. There was also a mound nearby with some menhirs.

November 22, 2010 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I love dolmen and menhirs, too. Do you know this site? www.megalithic.co.uk It is an encyclopedic list of stone sites in Europe, and you can use it to find sites near you.

November 23, 2010 at 12:14 AM  
Blogger Alisa Tank said...

Very cool. Reminds me of when you took my mom and I all around Morbihan to see the dolmens and menhirs. They're still the only ones I've seen in Brittany so far!

November 23, 2010 at 12:45 AM  
Blogger purejuice said...

beautiful, thank you for keepin on truckin down the ever skinnier roads. i love to think about stuff like this.

November 24, 2010 at 11:27 PM  
Blogger Starman said...

Happy Holiday!

November 25, 2010 at 9:14 PM  
Blogger A Seattleite in Paris said...

How cool! The Brit and I went hunting for (and found many) standing stones while in the Highlands.

December 2, 2010 at 7:19 PM  

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