With Hans our final port together was Brest. I am confident that we sailed a good speed to Brest out of the canal, with can be a big hurdle with our often blowing south west wind. But not for us. Mostly north east winds helps us sail in little over a week to Brest.
Now, Brest is a city I have been last year with Vanessa. We visited the fort with also is a museum. Brest is most of all a naval base. The city has a very purposeful atmosphere. Not very romantic. After Hans left I stayed another two days, strolling around in the big sober streets. I have to admid, the weather did not help. So much different from the people in Brest. There were ever so helpful. Giving directions, trying to explain things without a word of English, let alone Dutch, taking letters for me to post and so on.
One thing I find interesting of cities, is getting a feel for the atmosphere. Brest certainly has a very practical feel about it with some failed tryouts for street art. Another thing speaking for Brest is the genuine France shopping. Little or no tourism garbage, many hairdressers and many pharmacies among clouding stores which seems always a priority shopping!
Another thing special for sailors to keep in mind is the tide, around six meters between low and high water. Making shore lines and bays totally different. Rocks and islands which you did not see before or boats suddenly tilted dry on ground. One advantage for sure, you can use this tide differences for your benefit to clead the hull.