Saint-Malo Travel Blog

 › entry 15 of 48 › view all entries
Added April 14, 2007:

To sum it up, I love love and truly adore Saint-Malo. As much as I enjoyed Paris, Saint-Malo was a very welcome change. Though it fills to the brim with UK tourists in the summertime, things were relatively quiet while I was there, and I was able to meet a number of interesting Saint-Malo residents and enjoy the coastline without too many people in the way. People there are incredibly friendly and welcoming at every turn.

Some interesting folks I met included a French former stockbroker who packed up after working on Wall Street and Paris for 20 years and decided to open a seafood restaurant (he was also in the French foreign legion and said it's very strange that people in the US think it's so special); two Dutch kids who are real life sailors and gave me a tour of their docked ship carrying chemicals from The Netherlands to Saint-Malo; and my favorite, a 39-year-old body piercing/tattoo artist named Marcus who left home at 16, used to play bass guitar in some kind of punk band, and has lived in random places all over the world. Hey, did I use the semicolons correctly in the last sentence? I feel like no, but will leave it as it is. I also hung out with some middle-aged French bikers singing along to Ray Charles.

While in Saint-Malo I stayed in the Intra-Muros area which is the tiny old town, entirely enclosed by a huge stone wall. The first night I arrived, I stepped off the bus just in time to watch the sun set from atop the ramparts. There's something about rocks and waves and windy coastlines that excite me so much more than calm and sandy beaches, though the latter are still pretty and better by far for laying out. The stone walls and ramparts looked like something out of a fairytale, but had actually been used by real people and, spared during the war, they'd been there for several hundreds of years.

The Bretagne region of France is where crepes/galettes (the savory version of crepes) originated, so I ate a bunch there and also drank the cidre that goes along with it. The ones I had were really not remarkable, and Ti-Couz in SF serves them in very much the same style, except I enjoyed the way they have eggs sunny-side-up in the middle if you order one with eggs. What I found really delicious in Saint-Malo was the seafood; even the cheap stuff was incredibly fresh and tasty, and not over-sauced or tampered with so you could really taste the main ingredient(s) of the dish. I had lots of oysters there, too, as every restaurant offers them from neighboring Cancale, which is famous for its amazing oysterbeds right off the shore.

I stayed in Saint-Malo for two nights and also paid a brief visit to the port town Saint Servan just down the road. There are many other places in that area  of France  I'd love to explore, including a forest further west where legend has it the young King Arthur withdrew Excalibur from the stone - how cool is that?! Rest assured, I will be back : ) The end.

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photo by: Stevie_Wes