Well, a few hours actually . . . Due to the tidal range on the Breton coast.
Travelled facing backwards for 3 hours from Paris (Gare Montparnasse) to St Malo in Brittany today. Whisked so fast along parallel steel rails we left motorway traffic standing still. The fields and hedgerows of Normandy seemed kaleidoscopic. Flashing farmhouses eclipsed by woods, in turn disintegrated into new patterns of roads, fences and streams. The panorama flitted, dazzled and reformed, never allowing any lasting diorama to form. Nevertheless strong impressions of beauty and rural well-being rose up from the countryside and kept us company on our way. Note to self: If finances allow (probably not) spend some time in Normandy some day.
Our hotel is within the walled town and we found it easily, but maybe luckily, as the street pattern here is medieval. Dumped our luggage and set off through through throngs of tourists to see what was where. The afternoon was an absolute gift – a bit like unwrapping a childhood gift and experiencing delight welling up inside. I don’t think I can remember being quite so pleasantly surprised by any place before. The beaches and off-shore rocky islands are breathtaking. I think Sue and I took maybe 130 photos between us in about 2 hours of wandering spellbound along the top of the town walls, looking out to the seascape punctured by rocky outcrops, reefs, swarms of sailing boats, navigation beacons, and distant headlands, all begging to be captured and shared.
Sue has been a little distracted for the last few days. Her first grandchild was born on 8th October and she has been poring over emailed photos of her beautiful Charlotte, unable to wait until she can cuddle her for the first time, but this afternoon I think it is possible even Sue may have had her head turned by St Malo.
This evening we dined at Le Corps de Garde, a creperie built on top of the walls, overlooking the view. Breton buckwheat crepes are its speciality. Mine was served with scallops and garlic butter, and Sue had one with Salmon, leeks and cheese, washed down with locally brewed cider. Yum! A memorable meal. Especially since we followed with sweet crepes for dessert (caramel and salted butter).
I have a suspicion the food and coastal scenery of Brittany will not disappoint us.