Home > French Literature, Literary Escapades, Loti Pierre, Uncategorized > Literary Escapade: Ploubazlanec and Pors-Even, Brittany with Pierre Loti

Literary Escapade: Ploubazlanec and Pors-Even, Brittany with Pierre Loti

As mentioned in my previous billet, today’s Literary Escapade takes us along the Icelanders’ walk in Ploubazlanec and Pors-Even, Brittany.
It starts at the Wall of the Missing Sailors in the cemetary. Since a lot of fishermen never came back from the fishing campaigns in Iceland, there was no burial and no grave. The families put plaques on the wall of the cemetary to remember them.


After a walk, we arrived at the Perros-Hamon chapel. Gaud, the young woman in love with Yann Gaos, stops there to pray on her way from Paimpol to Pors-Even. The chapel in its current form dates back to the 18th century. Here’s the entry side


Inside the chapel, there’s a replica of the boats used for the Iceland fishing campaigns. See how the ceiling looks like the hull of a boat.


Original plaques for the missing boats have been moved from the cemetary to the chapel, for preservation.


Here’s the chapel inside the chapel where Gaud stops to pray, reads the all the names of Yann’s family members who disapeared at sea. It makes her shudder.


In this chapel, families celebrated Easter while their beloved ones were at sea and they had a special ceremory for them. It’s called Le Pardon.

Then we arrive to Pors-Even, a fishermen village, even today. See the landscape:


After that, the trail takes us to the Chapelle de la Trinité. It was never used as an actual chapel but it is a tribute to sailors. Here’s the view from the chapel:


Families used to go there to say goodbye to the ships when they were leaving. They were so close to the shore that people could recognize each other.

Then we walk to the Croix des Veuves. (The Widows’ Cross).


This is were women used to go at the end of the summer to look for incoming ships. They were looking at the sea to wait for their husbands, fathers, sons or brothers’ return. Some of these women will become widows. Gaud goes there to wait for Yann’s return.

The Virgin Mary was a typical protector of sailors. Loti reports that they has this kind of ceramic sculpture on board:


The village still has the stops for the Pardon procession. Religion was an important part of life at the time.

At first, I thought that Ploubazlanec was fictional, then I saw the road signs. Then I looked it up in our tourist guide and found the articles about the museum and the walk.

I think it’s the first time I’ve been on the premises of a novel that I was reading and where I could see places of the novel that were close to being the same as in the novel. It’s incredible and I’m happy that our timing was so good.

It looks bright and beautiful with this incredible weather. It’s quiet, the sea looks like the Mediterranean but there are terrible tempests there. The wind can be really strong, so strong that since centuries, church towers have “holes” to let the wind go through. You can see it on the chapel picture before.

That’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed our Literary Escapade with Pierre Loti. If you ever read Fisherman of Iceland after reading my billets, please let me know, I’m always glad to have feedback.


  1. August 12, 2020 at 10:36 am

    Sad, fascinating and just the escapism I needed on another hot and busy day of work!


    • August 12, 2020 at 11:27 am

      It was a nice visit, really. I’m glad it’s interesting for readers.
      Good luck with work! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • August 14, 2020 at 9:55 pm

      It must have been very hard for everyone. The living conditions on the boats were terrible and the waiting at home must have been awful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Vishy
    August 12, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    Beautiful post and pictures, Emma! Love your literary escapades! Thanks for sharing 🙂


  3. August 12, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    How lovely, and to actually visit a place you’re reading about must have been very special!


    • August 14, 2020 at 9:58 pm

      It’s strange and thrilling at the same time. The museum was fascinating and explaining what I was reading.
      Seeing the Croix des veuves, the chapel was incredible especially since they involve emotional moments in the book.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. August 12, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    What beautiful surroundings, but so much sadness too. Thank you for sharing your visit Emma.


    • August 13, 2020 at 3:24 am

      I thought the same!

      Liked by 1 person

    • August 14, 2020 at 10:00 pm

      Thanks. It’s a beautiful place and very peaceful, at least in the summer. I wonder how it is when there are tempests.
      It’s sad to think that the Islanders never got to see these summers unless they changed of job.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. August 12, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    Your posts on the ‘Fisherman of Iceland’ and the Literary Escapade (love that term), are fascinating; looking at the photos it all looks so serene on a beautiful summer day.


    • August 14, 2020 at 10:03 pm

      Thanks, it was really a treat to read the book and see the places at the same time.
      It looks beautiful and it’s so sad to think these fishermen always missed these months with their families.


  6. August 17, 2020 at 9:26 am

    I was thinking of you yesterday – I went and saw La Belle Epoque which recreates a cafe in Lyon, and is probably the best movie I have seen for years.
    I often know the locations in Australian books, but generally not specifically like this. My best experience was walking round Hydra and reading Charmian Clift’s memoirs of her time there in the 50s.


    • August 18, 2020 at 9:01 pm

      I haven’t seen this film but I will look it up.

      It was a great experience to see live the places of the book I was reading.
      I guess that driving around Australia gives you a great knowledge of the landscapes and regions.


  7. August 21, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    I love that you’re still doing these literary escapades, Emma. It feels as if the whole world has locked down, so your escapades are a breath of fresh air!


    • August 22, 2020 at 7:02 am

      Thanks, Andrew. I enjoy doing them.

      I published 4 other ones this summer, you can find them under the Literary Escapades category.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. January 2, 2021 at 9:02 am

I love to hear your thoughts, thanks for commenting. Comments in French are welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Literary Potpourri

A blog on books and other things literary

Adventures in reading, running and working from home

Liz Dexter muses on freelancing, reading, and running ...

Book Jotter

Reviews, news, features and all things books for passionate readers

A Simpler Way

A Simpler Way to Finance

Buried In Print

Cover myself with words

Bookish Beck

Read to live and live to read

Grab the Lapels

Widening the Margins Since 2013

Gallimaufry Book Studio

“To leave the reader free to decide what your work means, that’s the real art; it makes the work inexhaustible.” -- Ursula K. Le Guin

Aux magiciens ès Lettres

Pour tout savoir des petits et grands secrets de la littérature


Adventures in reading

The Pine-Scented Chronicles

Learn. Live. Love.

Contains Multitudes

A reading journal

Thoughts on Papyrus

Exploration of Literature, Cultures & Knowledge

His Futile Preoccupations .....

On a Swiftly Tilting Planet

Sylvie's World is a Library

Reading all you can is a way of life

JacquiWine's Journal

Mostly books, with a little wine writing on the side

An IC Engineer

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Pechorin's Journal

A literary blog

Somali Bookaholic

Discovering myself and the world through reading and writing

Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

Supporting and promoting books by Australian women

Lizzy's Literary Life (Volume One)

Celebrating the pleasures of a 21st century bookworm

The Australian Legend

Australian Literature. The Independent Woman. The Lone Hand

Messenger's Booker (and more)

Australian poetry interviews, fiction I'm reading right now, with a dash of experimental writing thrown in

A Bag Full Of Stories

A Blog about Books and All Their Friends

By Hook Or By Book

Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff

madame bibi lophile recommends

Reading: it's personal

The Untranslated

A blog about literature not yet available in English

Intermittencies of the Mind

Tales of Toxic Masculinity

Reading Matters

Book reviews of mainly modern & contemporary fiction


words, images and musings on life, literature and creative self expression


Book reviews by someone who loves books ...

Dolce Bellezza

~for the love of literature

Cleopatra Loves Books

One reader's view

light up my mind

Diffuser * Partager * Remettre en cause * Progresser * Grandir

South of Paris books

Reviews of books read in French,English or even German

1streading's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Tredynas Days

A Literary Blog by Simon Lavery

Ripple Effects

Serenity is golden... But sometimes a few ripples are needed as proof of life.

Ms. Wordopolis Reads

Eclectic reader fond of crime novels

Time's Flow Stemmed

Wild reading . . .

A Little Blog of Books

Book reviews and other literary-related musings


Lectures épicuriennes

Tony's Reading List

Too lazy to be a writer - Too egotistical to be quiet

Whispering Gums

Books, reading and more ... with an Australian focus ... written on Ngunnawal Country


Thinking, writing, thinking about writing...

%d bloggers like this: