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February 5, 2019

France: Caramet-sur-Mer


A line of decaying fishing boats in Caramet-sur-Mer

Between overnight stops in the Brittany communes of Quimper and Roscoff we paused for a couple of hours in Caramet-sur-Mer. Camaret is a fishing port in the Finistère department of Brittany in western France.

Finistère derives from Latin as “End of the Earth” and indeed Caramet is less than 10 miles from the most western point of France’s European landmass. Caramet-sur-Mer is further to the west than some of Britain’s most western cities. Longitude-wise, both Plymouth England and Glasgow Scotland are east of Caramet. It is easy to think that all of Britain sits to the west of France but that is not the case.

Caramet

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In Caramet we walked past a line of picturesque rotting fishing boats on the spit of land that helps form the commune’s small port. At the end of the small peninsula is Tour Vauban, a historic fortification built from 1669 to 1694 to protect Caramet-sur-Mer’s harbor entrance. It was one of 11 of Vauban’s defensive structures in France inscribed as part of the “Fortifications of Vauban” UNESCO World Heritage entry.

But it wasn’t Caramet’s geographical position or its historic fort that led us to visit. Our goal in visiting the commune was to have a seafood platter lunch.

Seafood platters piled high shellfish are ubiquitous in Brittany. There is nothing special about seafood platters in Caramet in particular; shellfish in Brittany is fresh, cheap, and excellent pretty much everywhere near the coast. Nevertheless we’d been in Brittany for a week and somehow had not had one yet. Thus the consumption of a seafood platter became the priority for the day. And as expected the platter of briny shellfish we polished off for lunch in Caramet-sur-Mer was excellent.

Tour Vauban

The shellfish platter

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We traveled through Caramet-sur-Mer in August of 2018.

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