Dream job with obstacles: lighthouse guides at the end of the world



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Chantal Cuijvers-Van Kesteren comes from Antwerp in Belgium. She used to be a secretary. Then she decided to emigrate with her family from the stressful city to Finistère, to the end of the world, where the clocks tick a little differently, and where everything is a matter of perspective - and Chantal became leader in the lighthouse of St. Mathieu in the Breton village Le Conquet.


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From the big city to the lighthouse

Overview

"Do you know Antwerp?" She answers when asked why she lives in Brittany today. "This air pollution. This traffic - every day I spent almost an hour and a half for 20 KM to work. And here .. "she says and takes a deep breath" you can drive free. "

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Previously, Chantal was a secretary in a shipping company in Antwerp, today she receives tourists in a lighthouse. Lighthouses are one of the landmarks of Brittany and given the many cliffs and rough seas a necessity.

A technical marvel

Overview

Sehr viele Schiffe seien bereits vor der Küste gekenntert, wie Chantal zu berichten weiß. Gleichzeitig ist St. Mathieu jedoch eine technisches Wunderwerk: Die Lampe auf Leuchtturm hat gerade einmal 52 Watt, kann jedoch 55 KM weit leuchten.

"Mirrors that reflect and focus light make it possible," says Chantal. Until 2006 there was still a lighthouse keeper in St. Mathieu, today the lighthouse works fully automated.

For love of the sea?

Overview

The love of the sea seems to be a common thread through Chantal's life. "Oh nonsense, that's a coincidence," Chantal waves down. That she lives in Brittany today is more due to her husband's job.

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He worked at an international Company with different factory locations: So the family lived in England for two years and in Salzgitter for two years, so she and her family speak several languages ​​- certainly helpful for the job. And just two years to Brittany, where the family returned when their husband retired seven years ago.

At the end of the world, but not quite

Overview

For in the Finistère, the westernmost department of the French region of Brittany, the family fell in love immediately. "The people are friendly, there is no stress, but the ocean and a great landscape," says Chantal and raves about the long walks with the family: "You can do here on the many trails along the cliffs particularly well."

She says she does not mind that it storms and sometimes rains, that's just part of it. But then she admits that the weather sometimes spoils one: In the first four years in Brittany, the family lived in Le Conquet right on the sea. "But the wind was unbearable, we could hardly ever go to the garden, so we finally moved."

All a question of consideration

Overview

For her two daughters, the 15 and 8, when the family emigrated, Brittany was the most beautiful place to live: there was no aggression as in the big city, but there were plenty of recreational possibilities like cinema, bowling or different youth organizations.

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"For that we had to drive the two everywhere by car. There is always a negative side, "Chantal admits smirking. Ultimately, everything is just a matter of consideration.

The end, which is a beginning

Overview

The name Finistère comes from the Latin "Finis terrae" and literally means "the end of the world" and at least here is the end of the European continent. In Breton, however, the department is called "Penn ar bed" and that means "the beginning of the world". So here too everything is always a matter of consideration.

And so at the very end of the world, St. Mathieu is also not: 28.000 tourists visit the lighthouse every year, there is a car park for buses and a four-star hotel directly opposite.

An hour to buy a bread

Overview

Chantal likes that, she needs contact with people. In winter, she says, it's almost too quiet here. In fact, she regrets that she does not live in the city, but in the small community of Saint Renan 20 minutes northwest of Brest. But her husband says she has horses - "and then you have to make compromises!"

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After all, there are also advantages: "In such a small town you meet the same people over and over," says Chantal. On Tuesdays, for example, be market - "and then I need to buy bread for an hour, because I constantly drink coffee and chat with people," she shows that the clocks here at the end of the world tick a little differently. "That would not work in a big city."


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  1. Katrin

    Very nice story, I'm just thinking about emigrating to Brittany, great suggestions. One thing I have to get rid of: If all bloggers would put similarly good content on the net, the Internet would be much more useful.

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