Abandoned in Brittany


While visiting family and friends in Brittany, France, I was driving along a road when I saw a very interesting house hidden among trees and the surrounding foliage. I barely caught it. I urged my friend to stop the car so I could take a better look. Coincidentally, a customer of his stopped along the road to speak to him, affording me some time to quickly enter what appeared to be an abandoned house.


From the outside, it looked like nature was in the process of reclaiming its space as the house was covered with leaves, plants and creepy crawlers. It wasn’t a huge house at all. Sensing no vagabonds or derelicts inside (c’mon, I’m in picturesque Brittany!), I entered and immediately snapped away. It was evident by the telltale signs that teenagers were the primary part-time occupants of this place as littered here and there were beer cans, junk-food wrappers and other detritus.


Aside from the small litter, the place was remarkably clean and very inviting. What I really liked the most was the use of color in the vandalism of this place. It’s as if every room and wall had a certain disjointed theme in a peculiar way. The sun shined through the various missing windows and doorways, affording me ample light for my photographs. I started to snap away.


The stairway leading up had painted steps, the walls had peeling wallpaper covered with graffiti while others had very curious pieces of “art”. There were minor tags, sentences and words in French which I couldn’t understand but one I found peculiar. It was written in Spanish; “You soy una mujer Cubana… Y antes de morir quiero echar mis versos del alma,” which roughly translates, “I am a Cuban woman… and before I die I want to throw my verses of the soul.” I think it’s a vague reference to the song, Guantanamera. Weird.


I wish I could’ve stayed a little longer to take in the details but I was concerned that I was keeping my friend waiting on the side of the road. I asked him about it as we were on our way and he said it’s been abandoned for a while. He thought very little of the place and said that in no time it’ll be torn down.

If that’s the fate of this house then at least it’ll survive virtually via this post.


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