Sarah Hanson, US Advanced Doctoral Student
I have been in France since September conducting research for my dissertation, a historical project that looks at the economic activities of women in medieval Douai (Nord, France). When Maelaïg, who was a Fulbright grantee to the U.S. in 2010, invited me to stay with her in Brittany through an In-country Travel grant, I was looking forward to seeing a new region of France.
Brittany has some fantastic medieval sites and Maelaïg was a wonderful guide through the old streets of Dinan (with its wood-frame houses and famous ramparts), through the abbey and fortifications of Léhon, and around the impressive abbey complex at Beauport. It was lovely to walk along the coast and harbor of Binic and to stroll through the outdoor market at Saint-Quay-Portrieux. My visit included many local treats, including a gallette with coquilles St-Jacques (scallops), a Breton kir (cassis with cider), and ‘far breton’ cake (not to mention the tasty fish and cheeses!). But the greatest part of my trip was meeting Maelaïg and her family and getting a sense of life in Brittany. I am very grateful to have been able to stay in Brittany as part of the In-country Travel program – it was absolutely a highlight of my year in France.