We saw these fellows playing a game that looked like bocce ball, actually it's the French version.
P?tanque, pronounced "pay-tonk", one of Europe's most popular outdoor games, is a distant cousin of horseshoes and a close relative of bocce. The game originated in the Provence in the early 1900's. The aim is to toss, or roll a number of steel balls as close as possible to a small wooden aim ball, called "but" or "cochonnet" (meaning "piglet" in French).
Players take turns, and whoever ends up closest to the aim ball when all balls are played, wins. Unlike horseshoes, where the aim stake is fixed, petanques' aim ball may be hit at any time, which can completely turn around the score at the last second. And whereas the official bocce rules call for a prepared court, with markers and sideboards, petanque can be played on most outdoor surfaces, anytime you feel like. No special skill is required, and a game lasts as long as you want it to. The French usually add wine or pasti!
A most beautiful post-office
This post-office is housed in a most beautiful stone-made building. It is located in Place des Freres Lamennas next to the the Vencent Cathedral. You can also get small changes from a change machine (€20, 10, 5 notes can be changed to coins).
Mont St. Michel Cloister
I think the Benedictine monks who lived here 10 centuries ago were under a vow of silence. It should have been easy at times - after climbing all the stairs to the abbey they probably didn't have enough breath left to speak. Actually this beautiful spot in the cloisters inspires silence. I did not hear anyone speaking as we walked through and admired the view through the pillars at the spires of the church. There are not a great many "things to see" up here, but it is worth the trip for the atmosphere and reflection on how it would have been to be a monk building this structure, hauling rock long distances before there was a bridge and then getting them high into their proper places.
Fortress Town on the invasion shore
After a glorious week in sunny Paris - such a change from grey, dull London, we began our first 2 month Eurail adventure with a trip to the famous town of St Malo, with the later intention to stop by nearby Mont St Michel.
The town centre is surrounded by it's intact defensive walls. A couple of forts are located on other small islands nearby. You can walk to them at low tide, but beware, the tide rises fast and you might get stranded.
Inside the town the streets are narrow and the building grey and slaty.
The surrounding bays are filled with marinas and new housing developments. Across the estuary to Dinard, the same thing continues.
A super medieval stronghold city
"An imposing and enjoyable sea-side monument-city"
At first, and throughout the day I spent in Saint Malo, I was impressed by the architectural harmony of an entire city protected by tall walls and towers. The city is quite a sight, and also benefits from its location, right on the ocean.
The seafood is great, you can walk along the beach - in short, it is well worth the visit.