St Malo to home ~~~ Thursday and Friday 23rd and 24th of June

one of the things i tend to forget about Northern France is that there was an awful lot of death and horror there not too long ago. there was never a battle fought on British soil during the First and Second World Wars.  it all took place in the air. Northern France was, of course, a battleground.  the furhter north we came, the more monuments we saw, all of them saying things like “Such-and-such a person died bravely here, in defence of his/her country.”  it was sobering and somewhat emotional.  St Malo was no exception.  on the headland where we stayed, the Camping Municipale backed on to yet another fort – this one defending the mouth of a river. when we headed out the next day, we walked up through the remains of the fort first, and found yet another memorial.  this one large, holding many names.  we bowed our heads and shed a tear for those that died to defend their freedom, and headed out on to the coast path that would lead us to the old town of St. Malo.  just along this path, right on the cliff edge, we passed the gun emplacements.

they were an extraordinary sight.

i didn’t take any photos, as i was so overwhelmed by the evidence of just what destructive creatures we truly are.  fortunately, someone else has:

it was a strange, strange thing to see a six-inch-thick steel dome gouged like this, resembling a boule of chocolate ice cream.  some of the shells were still lodged in the holes they had made.  there was even a gouge at the side of one of the gun ports, where a shell had clearly skimmed the edge, and then continued in to hit the machine gun and person or people inside.  it made me very quiet for a while.

eventually, we turned from the horror, and resumed our journey into St Malo’s old town.

walled, once again, and ringed by beautiful high-rise buildings, it was a lovely place.  yet again overpriced, but lovely to look at.  oh, my, but the wind was COLD!!!  this did not prevent us, though, from dipping our toes in La Manche.  our third body of water on this trip.  very satisfying it was, too.

after Small had played hide-and-seek in the inventive and rather beautiful beach breakwater for a while…

M. Petit le Reynard au bord de la mer


ou etes vooooouuuuus...?

…we decided that we were just too cold, and headed back to Talulah to warm up.

later, since it was our last night in La Belle France, we decided to go out for a meal.  sadly, all the local restaurants either had an unappetising menu. or they were completement plein.  zut!  we wandered ariound for an hour or more, shivering in the still very cold breeze, before finally giving in and heading for a pizza restaurant that was a few hundred yards from the campsite. >_<

the food was, however, excellent and delicious.  and there was entertainment to be had, too, from the table of charmingly raucous French teenagers just across from us.  they were having such a very merry time that we really didn’t mind the regular shrieks of tipsy mirth coming from that direction.  and they even apologised for being so noisy as they left.  for that, i would have forgiven them almost anything, but there was really nothing to forgive.  watching them enjoy themselves in such a carefree and social way was a joy. 🙂


the following day, it was time to say goodbye.

au revoir, La Squeaky

or perhaps au revoir would be better.

au revoir, l'Hubby

for we shall certainly be returning in a year or two.

au revoir, St Malo

au revoir (you can't tell, but we both had a lump in our throat as the ferry began to sail)

i could tell you about the beautiful sunshine we had on the ferry crossing, or the cloud-spotting i did.  the games of Scrabble we played, or the clouds that covered us as soon as we reached dear old Blighty.

or the fact that it rained all. the. way. home.

but i won’t.  i’ll leave you with this:

les voyageurs: Squeaky, M. Petit le Reynard, Hubby, and Talulah, our stalwart steed.

thank you for coming on this journey with us.  i enjoyed reliving our adventures, and i hope you enjoyed reading about them.