Anglo-French Travel 2017 travel blog

Inside Germany u-boat shelter

German u-boat shelter

U-boat shelter from harbour

Watch tower

Carnac standing stones

Atlantic coast on Quiberon Peninsula

Off at eight this morning to travel to Lorient, think L'Orient then move to The Orient so why a place in France with this name. E reason is the French East India Company which operated out of this large harbour on the South coast of Brittany and the same harbour became an important harbour for othe trading including an involvement with the West African slave trade and the import of goods from the new colonies. And today the harbour has three marinas sheltering what look to be very expensive sailing yachts.

But in WWII Germany wanted to control the shipping and established five harbours along the coast and here in Lorient was the largest and was built by the Germans to shelter the submarines. Three separate buildings exist with the start of a fourth. The first two had to bring the subs to dry land but the third, K3, was a floating shelter and could protect many subs.mthe walls were built to withstand the most powerful bombs and were alligned so that hey could not be attacked by torpedoes. There was concern about an attack by the bouncing bomb but that did not happen. The building of these enormous shelters was carried out using four local workers to each German worker and ey were laid to work on these constructions made of reinforced concrete which was extremely thick.

Lorient was bombed by the allies after warning leaflets were dropped to warn the citizens to evacuate and 80% of the city was destroyed but the loss of life was limited to 150. At the end of the war the enormous structures built by the Germans were too large and heavy to be destroyed so they remain on the harbour and remain as a reminder of what occurred as well as some small use being made of part.

I the same harbour area a submarine museum has been established showing how subs work and with a 60's French sub included there was the opportunity to move through the sub with a commentary. It was as though I was on the inside of a giant machine which could also house Andy feed nearly 60 men but working in shifts their was no need for a bunk each and their personal "case" for clothes was very small. Feeding the men was achieved with one very large pressure cooker and one large mixer.

Our time inFlorient harbour ended with a cruise sround the harbour where the guide pointed out the various important features and the present day usage as a fishing port with a large commercial fish market.

Bynthentimemwe bosrdednthe bus willy our driver had bought sandwiches soma picnic on the bus as we drove to Carnac to see the standing stones. The stones were erected at some stage duringhte Neolithic period, probably around 3300 BCE but some may date form as early as 4500 BCE. we saw the stone in alignment long rows with the first and last stones being the tallest with gradual lessenigninheighntoward the centre. At one end there is evidence of an enclosure n dit is thought that at the other end, a kilometre distant would have been perhaps another enclosure. Why they were built is the subject of speculation but the evidence is that they were cut from existing granite with one side of the standing stone being flat the other side the irregular exposed surface. They were then erected in a pit of smaller stones. No bones or evidence of domestic life has been found near them to date.

Our travellingmday ended with a leisurely drive around the Quiberon Peninsual which is obviously a very popular holidaynare with the Atlantic on one side and sheltered .bya beaches on the other. Sun was shining and we headed back to our hotel with quite a few nodding off to the tones of Charles Trenez.

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