A magic place to improve your French
In June 2017, as part of a six week leisurely drive around the heartland of France, my wife and I spent a week on Belle Isle en Mer (France’s largest island – just off the south coast of Brittany) to improve our somewhat basic French language skills.
To cut a long story short – if you have not been to Belle Isle – make sure you get there sometime, even if you don’t want to do a French language course. It is a beautiful place with interesting history, and interesting people. We were fascinated by some of the myths and legends of the island. Jean and Jeanne (two local megaliths) have a particularly interesting story to tell. The place is also a photographers’ and artists’ delight. Claude Monet did about 40 paintings during one of his stays there.
At the outset we had some minor concern about “wasting” the precious time of such a talented man as Michel. However, within a short time, Michel had picked out a few grammar and verb constructs that we were clearly missing – so proceeded calmly and supportively to help us move forward with our French during the week that we stayed in the very nicely renovated 16th century cow shed attached to his house.
You will have the opportunity to hear and learn French from a master of the French language by doing an intensive with Michel. His cooking is not bad either, often including the freshest of produce from his extensive garden. Thanks Michel – for being so patient with, and supportive of, a couple of seniors from Oz!
Logistics: We had rented a car in Zurich so we had that with us on the island. It allowed us to easily get around and see sites of interest. Many other visitors to the island seemed to get around ok either on bikes, by locally rented car, or just walking and using the bus. The very small village where Michel lives has no shops, but we found it to be wonderfully quiet, and with no traffic, as it is at the end of a section of road. The main supermarket for the island is only about 10 minutes away by car.