St Malo24 June
St Malo, arrival port for many tourists arriving in Brittany, like we did many years ago when we first came to Brittany with the kids and Amr’s first time camping, and have done a few more times since. Today though we arrived by car, the sun shining through the clouds for a change. The old city is surrounded by walls around which we walked a full circle. The views are outstanding looking both outwards, across the bay to Dinard, out to sea and inwards to the city. The tide was on its way out as we walked round, the sun and clouds playing cat and mouse meant everything changed constantly with the changing light. There were a few hardy sun worshippers on the many stretches of beach, some hardy enough to enter the receding sea, by the time we finished the natural swimming pool had been revealed and people were climbing the diving boards to jump in. We discovered a number of side roads we haven’t explored before, and found that St Malo was founded by a Welsh monk, maybe that explains all the Welsh flags flying from buildings! Don’t think they’re all supporting Wales in the euro 2016!!
After our walk round the walls we stopped for a coffee in a cafe watching the world go by. I say we, as its Ramadan I have to drink the two coffees myself while Amr just enjoys the rest.Le Mont St Michel
After much debate on what to do today we ended up in Le Mont St Michel, the most beautiful island crowned by an ornate abbey. In previous times you had to watch the tide times to plan your visit as its completely encircled by water at high tide, now there is a bridge which means that the isle is open to visitors at all times, although the high tide still reaches the entry gate. Whilst the island is stunning to look at from a distance and as you walk towards it, fascinating as you walk around it, its popularity is it undoing as its so full with eager visitors that it takes the edge of its unique qualities. Far better to visit out of season when not but the hardy want to brave the winds crossing the bay, unless you gib and take the free tourist bus which disgorges tourists by the dozens at very frequent intervals. The sunlight kept coming and going as we walked towards the island, changing it rapidly from glowing and welcoming to dark and sinister. The narrow streets on the small isle mean they are packed with people making progress slow and sometimes frustrating. There were groups both large and small, of people eating their sandwiches in the many nooks and crannys as well as the gardens as we walked around. Although we have visited the abbey on previous visits and had no intention of doing so today, the long queues to enter would have put us off anyway. The tide rises and falls some 15 meters and changes the whole landscape as it rapidly falls and rises, it was going out as we walked revealing amazing shapes in the mud flats as we walked back.