Friday, September 17, 2010

On to Saint Malo the Walled City

Oops, the blog will not let me load another photo... the beautiful boats in the harbor at St. Malo. We had such a good time here. This is a wonderful old walled city, heavily bombed in WW2 because of its harbor. Our first day we walked the wall, about a half day around if you are stopping to take photos.

This is the bakery where we went both mornings to buy our breakfast croissants and lunch sandwich of ham and cheese on a baguette. The first night in our hotel, we were woken at 2:30 am by a fire drill. I rolled over and went back to sleep, the beds were wonderful. Sue decided to use the bathroom. Our third partner nearly broke the door down trying to get us out of our room. OK, we put on our jackets over our night gowns and ran downstairs after the night manager came to the room also. I forgot my shoes and purse... really stupid. But, the party was on in the street and we had a great time for 45 minutes with our hotel neighbors. No fire fortunately.

This artist was busily painting water color scenes of the city. We decided that he had many half printed onto the papers and then finished them in the small market area. Very interesting anyway. Someday I want to learn to do water colors.

These 2 photos were taken from up on the wall. Above is one of the cannons that were used to defend the city in days gone by. Below, are an example of the many wood pilings that have been sunk into the ground close to the wall enclosing the city. The tides here are incredible and we arrived during a 3 day period of exceptional high and low tides. When the tides are in, these pilings are nearly covered with water. They help to protect the wall from moving sand and rock and the amazing shift in water levels. The ships coming and going are forced to work around the swing in tides too.

We discovered many half timbered buildings here that we presumed were constructed only in England. This little walkway above the street was very charming. The streets were narrow and very difficult to drive through. We decided to park our car and pay the hefty fees to leave it in the city so we could walk everywhere yet have the car near enough to load our luggage when we were ready to leave. Our carry on suitcase per person has grown considerably, including a few extra suitcases!!

Aren't these streets wonderful? We are still trying to get used to the French way of opening shops at 9 or 10:00 and then closing for lunch at 12:30-3:00, open again from 3 to 7:00. So very different than home!! Most shoppers are walking here as the towns are small and don't require driving from one point to another 5 miles away. We explained this to some French women who said that America was so "not" green. The countries are so different. We hope we are talking and discussing enough to change some opinions. They also shop for their meals on a daily basis, not using much refrigeration and rarely a freezer. What?! How do you keep ice cream?

This is the excuisite fortress island off of St. Malo. When the tide is very low, as today, you can walk out to the fortress. A high tide makes it necessary to take a boat to visit.

Tomorrow we begin the long drive to southern France to meet the husbands and stay in our castle for 2 weeks. We are in mourning tonight that our girls only trip is over, but on to the good food and wine for the others. A bientot!

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