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Excitement of our visit was building! Pauline Decon told me how she was looking forward to going to Bénodet . Friday morning meet Elisabeth and we discover that we were both going and I said we will see her at Trevoll; she put me right it was Thanks Park !  I often get things a little bit wrong, well it started with a "T".

Blason de la ville de Bénodet (Finistère)

de la ville
de Bénodet

The Coach with half "Torpoint Lady Singers" and half "Torpoint & District Twinning Association" left at 20:30hrs. Thursday 27th May at the end of Horson strait Sun still bright low over St. Germans lake, even as we were coming to Saltash at 21:00hrs, the farmers in country side the were making use of the last of a early summer evening to bring in the cut grass.

At millbay docks, where was "Jill"? Betty went up into the Departure Lounge but couldn't find her, then  Detective work by Angela Wood who looked up the home phone No. and Wendy Barnet, then phoned Jill's daughter for her Mobile No. Well she was found where Betty had looked, but Jill had probably been in the little girls room?

The Brittany Ferries Ship was called "armorique" it was very impressive. Leavening Plymouth the ship backed out with a large yellow Moon over the Plymouth Sound, after slowly turning around it left Ashia buoy to starboard and by then we were getting cold on the top deck, and went to our cabin on deck 8.

We arrived 08:00hrs French time and got on the coach at level 3, here it was quite smelly, then never having to show our passports Left roscoff.  It looked like all the Artichokes were standing on parade welcoming us as the Artichokes were planted in strait lines of uniform spacing. We got on the motor way and later up into the Moors where we saw a Large burnt out area above the reservoir. after this the scenery changed to rolling hills and valleys like Devon. there was lots of newly planted fields.

A personal welcome from our hosts  francoise who was filming and Ben had a placard with our name on
As we arrived at the sports place bénodet . Paulene & I had a personal welcome from our hosts  Françoise who was filming and Ben had a placard with our name on. Paulene walked with  Françoise to their home a few hundred meters away. They gave us a quick "petit déjeuner" after our long journey.

Mayor of Bénodet Christian Pennanech who here with Elisabeth Rosen presented a Plaque for Bénodet Gardens in Torpoint to our Vice-Chairman Terry Fry of the Torpoint Twinning

First we all the went into the Casino for reception by the Mayor of Bénodet Christian Pennanech who here with Elisabeth Rosen presented a Plaque Blason de la ville de Bénodet (Finistère), see at top of page, for Bénodet Gardens in Torpoint to our Vice-Chairman Terry Fry of the Torpoint Twinning . 

After the reception we had a walk along the promenade.


In the afternoon we went to the supermarket at the entrance to Bénodet for Paulene to get for Ken Holms some French goods.  Françoise bought lots of different seafood, so that we might experience it. Before dinner in the evening Ben asked me to drive with him to get the Minibus, Picked up the mini bus near by St Evarzec . We had the  seafood, for dinner Oysters, Whelks, crabs claw, langoustine and prawns. and a nice bottle of white wine "Mis en Bouteille au Manor par" We were unsure if we would like it, as this was the first time we had raw oysters! Well it was an unusual meal and as there were no unpleasant after effects it was great!

Saturday morning 29th May was planned as an early start, Benn was to drive round to the sports place at 08:00hrs; So I set my alarm for 06:45 but after a beautiful summers day the French have got it right and "la pluie" raining only at night and in the morning I was given a alarm from the " l'oiseau " little bird with a Dawn Chorus. No! The French weather is same as ours at home, it was raining still! So I have a shower at 07:00hrs and have "petit déjeuner" breakfast right away, well the cereal bowels were used for coffee?
Quick the time is 08:15 we must leave right away, into the mini bus and arrive at the sports place at 08:20hrs all were waiting for us in a double decker bus. We drive off and on the way picked up Dave & Doreen England and Annet now we are on our way, past La Forêt-Fouesnant, and are soon on the dual carriageway, and away to Lorient 80km journey. Still in the rain arrive at the Submarine Pens where there is a new Museum "
cité de la voile eric tabarly". We arrived a little early 09:45hrs and waited for the museum to open at 10:00hrs shortly before this Elisabeth Rosen said it's open come on in. Here a little waiting before we were introduced to our guide who only spoke French and Martine Berou in the picture done a smashing (wonderful) job of translation.



Lunch time left and drove to around to Port Louis, where we were to have lunched on the ramparts of the citadel. but had it in the village hall.

Here on the left we see at the back Allan et Elisabeth Rosen with in the front Martine Berou with an Artichoke what a good idea ! Across from her Roy and Cynthia Bond.









While on the right Varonica smiles as Roy Bright waves in a happy mood across from Evet Le'donge his hostess.


photos by Ben Aidouni


Then we had a short drive to Port-Louis Citadel the Museum of the Dutch East India Company, this was not without incident as Ben was having trouble with the clutch on the mini bus. The weather was "Crachin de Breton"! We left in the mini bus at 16:00hrs from Port Lorion a little earlier than the main party, to go to Quimper joining with the Torpoint Lady Singers and "The travers chant" to see their Concert and attend the reception after. I must thank the Jumelage President of Bénodet Elisabeth Rosen for making this possible. It was Raining Cats & Dogs on the way back and a difficult drive, so many thanks again Ben!


Sunday 30th May it was a walk around Bénodet before a lunch, at the "Crêperie La Mouette Rieuse" as you see Paulene and I have had a lot to learn about France. Here Paulene found Cider in a bowl a surprise.



Our choice of savoury crêpe was a great delight but when I was going to order a sweet crêpe as Françoise suggested Almond, Butter & Apple, Paulene wanted us to have different ones so that we could try both ! I had a Raspberry, Cream & Mint which had Raspberries in little fruitlets as a decoration a nice unique topping and slivers of mint leaves on the cream, which was also very nice. But Paulene's, I was unfortunately only allowed a very little taste, she was not now going to share !!! As we both thought the scummy buttery Almond taste Great!

       Ben drove us to Quimper; for Paulene to sing with torpoint lady singers!   We got there 16:30hrs just in time as the rehearsals got under way. Shortly after 17:00hrs the Concert started with " the travers chant". 


hors d'oeuvre at 19:00hrs for Dinner by the Jumelage Bénodet. The menu for our meal is shown above, the little lines on the page were a wonderful balance of nice tastes in a lovely Arrangement, and second to none. Together with the most friendly atmosphere, made a superb evening.


I now know why a fine meal does not need to be a big meal, the Crêperie and Hotel Ker-Morr did not leave me feeling full. ( yes I know many may say that none would ) They were wonderful experiences in the art of food, the tastes and presentation were marvellous.


Monday 31st May free time, went to Open air Monday Market in Bénodet, but it had been wet, so the Market did not have as many stalls as normal, I was told. the Torpoint Twinning was here in force!



For Lunch we had our first taste of Artichoke which we had just bought at the market. this is another food you have a bigger pile on a plate than when you started. I'm not sold on the vegetable maybe before potatoes were discovered there was a place for them? They could have made a great hors d'oeuvre (starters) last night, as there is a pretty display, so little food and lots to do. For lunch coffee was in a cup? Well it was ascertained that this is because in the morning you can dunk the croissants in a bowl but you get crumbs every where if you try it in a mug.

What next the Program 14:00hrs garden walk ? Well we were late, Saw the Torpoint Coach coming back!

boutiguery park after my first impression, of a poorly planned park on looking further, it turned out as wonderful as mt. edgcumbe near Torpoint.

On the right is Françoise Boudier our hostess looking beautiful.


On the left Roy and Cynthia Bond Relax, over looking the view of the
Odet river. There are also quite little dells in the middle of this beautiful garden, with many fine specimen of trees, shrubs and flowers. often the twigs are strewn with lichen showing how clean the air here is.



18:300hrs to the Pub close to the Supermarchet. New leaving time of 19:30hrs to give the driver more time " on the Roundabout's ? " going to Roscoff. Just as well as the rain turned to mist and quite low viability at times.


We had to show passports to get our cabin cards, which ended as a top trumps card game as they were given out in no particular order! And, we had to walk onto the boat it was the same one the "armorique", this time we had a meal onboard then a nice chat with Brian & Liz Pope before turning in quite late. We all had our Passports checked in Plymouth then on to the coach waiting out side the departure lounge. When the coach got to Torpoint Paulene couldn't find her Lady Singers Dress's ? Well Sue & John Westwell had then off at Millbay Docks with the keyboard, just got them dropped of by Sue this Thursday evening as they were going with Silver Fraser our MD. to the quiz night at the TMSC.

Ralph Smith



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Page Updated  02 Oct 2017