St Malo : Memories beside the seaside.
Saint-Malo Travel Blog› entry 4 of 268 › view all entries
I awake from a rather fitful sleep in a reclining chair aboard The Bretagne with just about enough orientation to find the bathroom, freshen up and go to stuff a bowl of fruit and a large coffee down my gullet as France hoves into view and we approach the port of St.Malo.
I am very happy for this to be the first slice of ‘foreign soil’ that I will put my feet down on as this seaside town formed part of several family Weselby trips to the continent in our younger years. I still fondly remember the swimming pool that is cleverly crafted on the beach so that when the tide goes out a rock-structure retains a large portion of ocean water so that until the tide returns it sits there upon the beach for all to use. There was, and still is I am glad to see, a high diving board at the back of the pool.
It is to the old, fortified part of St.Malo town that I wish to return today and to see the pool still sitting there upon the coast. I walk through the quiet, cobbled town streets. It is perfectly quiet and still at 8.30, for the town it seems is barely waking. A few early morning joggers and dog-walkers are my only occasional company as I walk along the towns high, stone walls. And there IT IS! The old swimming pool and I am in luck for the tide is out, and it sits there upon the beach just as I remember, and at this time with no one disturbing its surface.
Having made this min-pilgrimage to a tiny part of my family’s past it’s time to get cracking, so I rather ineptly stroll up and down long roads through the main part of St.Malo town until I find “la gare” and purchase my ticket to Vannes via Rennes. Vannes/ Carnac is where my aunty and cousins are currently staying, visiting my half-cousin (their sister) Julia. Diane is expecting me but it will be a little surprise for the boys as they believe they’ve already seen me for the last time in the next 2 years or so.
I am collected from the train station at Vannes by Julia and my Aunty Di and drive the short distance to the picturesque town of Auray where I greet the boys and sit down for my first ‘weary traveller’s’ beer of my whole adventure :)
The gang are staying in a nice flat, owned by Julia’s mother in her hometown of Carnac.
To walk off our meal, we stroll through the bustling, tourist-season hustle of Carnac-by-the-beach and stop to load up on some stupendously large and delicious ice-creams from Glacier L’Igloo, a ice-cream bar famed for having anything up to a 100 (or was it even 160?) ice-cream flavours. “WOW!” I slurp into a caramel and banana-choc double cone as we head for a nightime stroll along the beach as the waves gently lap the shoreline. What a pleasant start to proceedings!