|Our trip route|
First Saint Malo.
|Map of walled city of St. Malo. Star is our hotel. water behind is commercial port. Rest of city is east of this map.|
|This modern day privateer exacts tribute from tourists.|
In the twentieth century up to today, Saint Malo became a vacation mecca thanks to it's sand beaches which the tides cover and uncover during the day.
|beach view with ramparts to left looking toward the harbor behind the city|
Parking in the narrow and twisty medieval streets of the walled city seemed like it should be a problem, but in fact, turned out to be quite easy. A small lot behind the hotel had spaces available and while it was a pay lot, it only charged for 9-12 noon and 2-5 pm. We only paid 8 Euros to park from noon Tuesday till 9 am Wednesday.
|the parking lot along the ramparts|
As our hotel is tucked into the corner of the city walls (star on map), we went up on the ramparts of the wall to find a place for lunch. Benches are in short supply and the couple we saw were occupied by others eating their picnic lunch. Eventually, we chose a wall part way along the ramparts where the sea gulls stood nearby to watch for fallen crumbs.
|lunch on the walls of the ramparts|
|this fella kept his eye on us all lunch time, ever hopeful|
|Our lunch view|
You can walk around the entire walled part of the city which juts out on a rocky spur surrounded by water on 3 sides. Several other rocky islands just a stone's throw from the walled city are equally fortified.
|Close up of island seen below|
|This island becomes accessible by sand bar at low tide as seen below|
The views are spectacular and calming - sea and sand and medieval buildings and fortifications from you perch atop the rampart walls.
|Statue in upper left is supposed to be Jacques Cartier, discoverer of Canada, and a native St Malouin, but it is Robert Surcouf, a privateer. We don't know what became of the Jacques Cartier statue. It's obviously been removed.|
|We watched this group of children, aged about 10-12 get organized and set out from the beach on a mini-boat ride. They are being towed by the lead pontoon boat. They were having a great time.|
|View of the ramparts, left, and inner fortified walls|
Once back to the hotel,
|Hotel sun room|
|Not our hotel's sidewalk café, but taken from our café|
|In front of the gates to our hotel courtyard|
|sign over door in hotel courtyard door noting the birthplace of Chateaubriand (probably the man, not the meal)|
Here's some information on Chateaubriand, the meal: "There are a few things about Chateaubriand that most sources agree. It is a recipe, not a cut of meat. It was created for Francois René Vicomte de Chateaubriand (1768-1848) French author and statesman. It was created by his chef, Montmireil (possibly in 1822).
Sources differ on the other important details of this recipe. Most say it was originally cut from the thickest part of the beef tenderloin, but several state that it was originally cut from the sirloin. Some say it was one very thick cut of beef, seared on the outside and rare on the inside. It may or may not then have had the seared and charred ends cut off before serving. Others state that the thick steak (filet or sirloin) was cooked between two inferior steaks to enhance its flavor and juiciness. The inferior steaks were cooked until well charred, then discarded.
Most state that it was originally served with Bernaise sauce, but some say the sauce was made with reduced white wine, shallots, demi-glace, butter and lemon juice. Finally, all agree the steak was served with chateau potatoes (small olive shaped pieces of potato sautéed until browned). "(http://www.foodreference.com/html/artchateaubriand.html )
The hotel rooms on the other hand were beautifully appointed with comfortable beds and up to date bathrooms, perfect except the bathrooms had bathtubs with hand-held showers. But the view out the windows was worth having to hold the shower.
|window in our hotel room|
|view out our window to the left, about 6 pm, low tide, telephoto lens|
|View to right out our window. Looking straight ahead you would look straight into the tower on the left of this photo. Just an alley between the hotel and the walls of the fortress.|
|inside the restored church|
|no explanation needed|
|Cafés on the square in front of our hotel|
|A view toward our hotel. Janis and Clark's room was the one on the right over the Chateaubriand sign|
|The walled city still has narrow cobblestone streets (hard to walk on). View of church tower|
|This café had closed in its portable walls against the chill of the evening.|
Successful day one. Cooperative weather, warm (but breezy) and sunny. We ate breakfast in the hotel in the morning before leaving for our next stop: Mont St. Michel.