They Speak the Celtic Language
I thought it was interesting that the Breton language is the only Celtic language spoken on the continent. It was spoken by more than a million people at the beginning of the 20th century. Recent surveys show that 250,000 people speak the language daily and 600,000 people are capable of understanding it. A large majority of the Breton speakers are old and it is estimated that 15,000 of them disappear every year.
However, the Breton language is beginning to show its presence in institutional life. The Côtes d'Armor and Finistère departments now provide bilingual signposts on all major department roads. A number of towns do the same thing in their area. The language is even being used in advertising and shop sign-posting.
And this town is in France...
Explore the Beaches
Vacations at the beach are things of the past for us as senior sightseers. We no longerswim and we can nolonger afford to compromise our brain power by overheating it. So we now look at beaches from afar as well as askance. The lure of the beach is easy to understand and St.-Malo has them aplenty although the ones nearst the city walls seem to attract the most bathers, say in August, but not like the throngs near the Camargue where the heat is excessive. The lure of the beach in May in St.-Malo must be for those who never see sand and sun nearer at hand and tolerate a cool stiff breeze.
See the Other Modern Stained Glass
Three different modern stained glass artists were commissioned to create new windows for the restored church. They represent the more "conservative" workers of the mid-20C. The apse is abstract and the north and souuth aisle are figurative (cubist-expressionist?). We only know the name of the artist for the South aisle- Max Ingrand (see St.-Pierre Church on Monntmatre, Paris). In these windows the patron saints of Brittany are memorialized, such as Sts. Malo, Corentin, Tugdual and Samson.
Saint-Malo the proud "Corsair" town
Saint Malo, the corsair city, called the pearl of the Emeraude coast by the Malouins, is full of history, legends and famous people.
Jacques Cartier, who took posession of Canada in name of the French king and pirate Robert Surcouf, who became rich by cheasing English ships in the Indian Ocean are the town's favourites.
Beside a lot of magnificent sites, Saint Malo has also breathtaking coastal sceneries to discover.
The old center is surrounded by ramparts. Those are free and I'd certainly advise a walk around the old town. Only accessible to pedestrians! Mind your hat while there is always a strong wind!
Sights Along the Ramparts
"Start at the Castle"
We climbed from near here (it is also the site of the Hotel de Ville) up onto the Ramparts. We went clockwise heading South
"A Game of Boules"
Looking over the side we saw a traditional game of boules in progress. This is a common sight all over France. It is called Petanque (Provencal for stuck feet) in Provence. There are many variants of the game such as bocce in Italy.
At the south extremity the ramparts turn right (west). Here there are old mansions that are said to have survived the bombings of WWII. To us they looked like the restored ones. I wonder what the owners do to afford so many luxurious places.
"A Famous Privateer"
He is Duguay-Trouin (1654-1736). He stands near the turn. He looks quite prosperous and relzed.
"Past the Mole"
There is nothing much to see until you turn North on the West walk after the Mole (whichyou can walk out on if you descend). We now see the beaches (covered in Things to Do), the Piscine, views of the Grande and Petit Be islands and the path out to the former island. As the tide is coming in, these people are tempting being stranded or worse. This is near the end of third side.
"The Maison de Quebec"
There is a detour to this place . Near it stands a statue of the Corsair Surcouf . He is quite busy.
"The Tour Bidouane"
At the end of the third side is the elevated Tower with a platform on top and a Bastion beyond. You can see the top of the statue of Jacques Cartier just visible above.
This area was where the defense of the Port began on land. An old cannon marks the spot. From here one turns East and returns to the Castle looking out to the National Fort (another Tip) and the Grande Plage, the biggest beach at St.-Malo which extends to the suburb of Parame.