The day we went to see the Tall Ships in Brest was nice and sunny. We decided to visit Ikea in the morning, followed by the afternoon strolling around the Port of Brest taking in the sights and sounds of some wonderful old ships, with plenty of square rigged tall ships amongst them.
Parking was a pain.... perhaps the route planners left a blind spot in the approach for signing of car parks for anyone heading into Brest from the direction of Ikea..... I don't know but we ended up following some parking signs in circles until giving it up as a bad job and finding an outlying residential area park in.
We were generally a little disappointed with the land based displays as they didn't really seem to follow the nautical theme and were more of a typical Breton festival theme flogging jewelery, clothes and the usual tourist merchandise.
Queue to board a French Warship in Brest 2008
The ships were great to look at, gaining access wasn't so easy and there were long queues to set foot on anything that floated. After talking with some Friends who have in the past participated on board some of the tall ships, it appears that the best way to enjoy the event is to get yourself on board one of the ships as crew. Apparently the atmosphere is second to none and the camaraderie is contagious. This may have something to do with the levels of alcohol consumed by the sailors of an evening ;)
I'd like to be afloat for Brest 2012...
A little update - Just found an interesting article in the Times Online website about commercial use of Tall Ships for transporting wine from France to Ireland. This should prove to be an interesting project as fuel prices rise. Using sail to transport none perishable produce is viable and currently using an old tall ship is about 5% more expensive than a modern transport ship. Projections estimate that a sailing ship constructed with modern technology could in actual fact transport goods cheaper than modern oil powered ships. Read more on the Times Website click here.