The Bird Sanctuary- Reserve Michel-Herve Julien is one of several set up to preserve the habitats of birds on the coasts of Brittany, of which 5 are open to the public. It is an interesting sight but more so for bird watchers who come properly equipped and with understanding. The Rserve is off the D7 about 8 km from Pointe du Van and to the left (at the waters edge). Lots of seabirds can be seen. Binoculars are essential. Nesting occurs on the rocks where you cannot go. Many of the species have almost disappeared! Along the walks are several gound cover type flowering plant species totally unknown to us. We tried to photograph them and get their names but were only partially successful. These are added as a travelog.
The Pointe du Van is better for the elderly to clamber over than the Pointe du Raz. The path beyond the 15C Chapel of St.They (which we did not enter)is easy walking. Its rocky projections are not as stark and it provides fine views of the Bay of Trepasses, the Pointe du Raz, its projecting reefs and the Vieile Lighthouse at their end. The visibilty was not good enough for us to visualize the Sein Island further offshore.This was the first time that we remember seeing fields of broom (genet in French), the plant giving rise to the name of the old English roal family"Plantagenet". Be cafeful while admiring it, the leaves are thorn-like spikes hat will will brutalize sensitive fingers, although the plants do not seem to bother the munching sheep.
The best pictures of the Pointe du Raz 's contours we took from the Pointe du Van some 3 km. to the north. The others were from as near the edge as we dared go. Since we were deep into Britanny this visit was a must because we had only previously seen the East coast of the Atlantic from Portugal, west of Lisbon. Of course we have seen (and lived on ) the East coast of the ocean at 50 different places, but it is not like this. This terrain is a little like Bar Harbor in Maine (we have not been further north).