The walls of St Malo
St Malo is amazing in the sense that the old city is entirely protected by huge walls, which make for an interesting and scenic walk. So don't miss out on climbing a few stairs to get a view of the inside and outside of the city.
Tour of the ramparts
Take a full tour of the old city by climbing on the ramparts. The views from there are amazing and you will encounter the famous historic figures of Saint-Malo, like the corsair Surcouf or Jacques Cartier, the explorer of Canada. You will see the narrow streets from on another point of view and another perspective. Great photos to make on this occasion. From there, you can go down on the beach for a nice walk or to climb on the Grand Bé/Petit Bé at low tide of course or visit the "Fort National".
Who discovered Canada?
In 1532, the French King Francois went on a pilgrimage to Mont St Michel. On his way back, he asked Jacques Cartier from St Malo to find a path to Asia through North America. The adventurous captain discovered the St Lawrence River and the east coast of Canada, but the severe winter stopped his trip at a place called now Montreal. He traveled back and forth three times with more and more French immigrants who are still, almost five centuries later, the "French cousins from America".
festival "étonnants voyageurs "
"from st malo to bamako"
on the last sunday in may marc Roger vas starting from st malo , in front of the towm hall with his ass : he'll ble walking till Bamako , reading books to people he is meeting : for instance on the way to leave the closed town he stopped and read a beautiful page of Chateaubriand TELLING how he played with the wawes around the walls surrouding st malo,when he was a youg boy ... and also about spring in brittanny
beautiful pages in front of beautiful landscapes !
"roscoff et ile de batz"
walking all around that island just in front of the pretty little harbour Roscoff in bRITTANNY : it was a beautiful sunny trip looking at the beautiful pure blue of the sea and the quiet agricultural way of life of the inhabitants
"cote des légendes"
we walked along the sea from Brignogan to meneham and after : it was a beautiful rocky landscape and the sea was as green and blue as the sea we admire on postal cards from polynésie : a real dream except when you take your bathe in : "a little cold ? somebodty said
- no, onlu 14 degrees , it's nothing for breton swimmers !
OF CORSAIRS AND CHATEAUBRIAND
"City of Corsairs that Rose from the Ashes"
St Malo, the port along the Cote d'Emeraude (Emerald Coast), is named after the Welsh monk Maclow. It is famous for its walled city (Intra Muros) and sons, counting amongst them, the explorer Cartier, the novelist Chateaubriand, and the corsair Surcouf.
Corsairs are privateers who have royal permits to raid other countries' ships. Back in 1590, St Malo declared itself to be independent, its inhabitants' motto being "Neither French nor Breton, but a Corsair am I".
St Malo sufferred from heavy bombing during WWII and the historic centre was almost completely destoryed. Great pains went into ensuring that the reconstruction after the war remained faithful to the original.
"On a Clear Day You Can See Forever"
My first morning in St Malo was spent enveloped in this really thick and frosty fog, but it was all clear and sunny by the afternoon for a nice walk by the beach. Elemental extremes seems to be norm there - the tides are spectacular. I've heard tales of unsuspecting tourists who walked to Ile du Grand Be (where Chateaubriand's tomb is) during the low tide, only to be trapped incoming tide.
I like Chateaubriand and being in St Malo reminded me of the description of Chateaubriand in Hugo's memoirs,
"M. de Chateaubriand, at the beginning of 1847, was a paralytic; Mme. Recamier was blind. Every day at 3 o'clock M. de Chateaubriand was carried to Mme. Recamier's bedside. It was touching and sad. The woman who could no longer see stretched forth her hands gropingly towards the man who could no longer feel; their hands met. God be praised! Life was dying, but love still lived."
St Malo seemed a pretty good base - we'd intended to visit Cancale for oysters, Dinan to swim and Dinard for a cruise down the Rance, before the eventual journey to Mont St Michel. But we only ended up seeing Dinard and Dol-de-Bretagne. Oh well. To quote Robert Burns,
The best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley,
And leave us naught but pain and grief,
For promised joy.
Actually, whatever disappointment I could claim dissipitated after I quipped those lines. For one, I didn't exactly suffer "pain and grief" like Steinbeck's George, and I had the literary lines and a philosophical nature to keep things in perspective =)