Maeve and Theo slept late (1:42 pm). I woke early (10:30 am) and got some blogging done. Zeke woke a little later and just had downtime with his long separated computer (which Theo insisted on bringing for him). Here’s a view of our airbnb abode, hosted by Pierre a windsurfer who spent 3 years in Hawaii windsurfing and learning great english. We are a short walk to the beach… you can just see the water through the roof tops.
Pierre manages the complex (a house slit into 2 rentable units and a 3rd set of buildings as a future residence) for his uncle. The uncle applied for the permits to build the 3rd house and got them. Because the government may take those permissions away, he decided to build despite not having enough money to finish the inside of that house. Pierre said the building we were staying in was built around 1920 and he was certain it was dirt cheap when his uncle bought it. But St Malo is really booming as a tourist destination. He pointed out a few good things for us to see in our quick 1 day stay.
So we started by hitting his first suggestion… a great restaurant, de L’Ouest, for seafood in the old walled city. The old walled city was the major tourist attraction in St Malo and did not disappoint. All sorts of street artists and a few street performers. People everywhere enjoying the food and shopping. Pierre had also mentioned a zipline that had been run from the tower to the ground, but the lines were long enough that despite Theo and Maeve saying they wanted to do it, we opted out.
We entered through Porte (door) St Vincente. Zeke spotted our restaurant right away… So we checked the prices and had a seat. Maeve ordered shrimp and Salmon. And loved both. Zeke and I were kidding her that she’d never had french shrimp before… what if they showed up and had little french moustaches. Maeve’s answer was simple… well then I’ll rip their mustaches off and then eat them. I was surprised when they showed up as they had their eyes and all. Maeve was non-plused and simply asked how to get them apart and how to get their legs off. She wolfed all but 3 of the 12 down. Then went to work on her salmon, eating all of that too… bar a few samples she allowed others. Zeke had muscles on the half shell.. iced. He said his first bite tasted like that smell of ocean water that he hates. But then he added the vinegar and lemon and did much better. Still, I could tell he wasn’t loving them but was finishing them because he’d ordered them. I’m not a huge oyster fan, but said I’d try one and to my surprise I enjoyed them quite a bit. So I finished them for him. He enjoyed his 2nd choice much better. Some sort of fish (cod) on a bed of almost pureed asparagus. I had a taste too… quite good. My choice was seafood and sauerkraut, which I’d never seen as a combo before. Very good. Theo stayed mainstream and ordered a crepe he’d been craving and devoured it.
We walked around a bit afterwards seeing some art that Theo really wanted to get, but I said no as it had no French tie in. We walked back and up a wall that everyone seemed to be gathering on. It was the sea wall of the fort. Great views out. Monkey’s posed for a few…
We then circled inwards and by luck stumbled near the ice cream shop Pierre recommended. St Angelo’s. It was no secret as there was a line to get at their ice cream. And they’d worked out a great system to pay first, getting a 1 2 or 3 boulle (scoop) cone token and then walking the line and deciding which scoops to get. Once decided they scooped it up for you. I helped Maeve and ensured she got exactly what she ordered. Theo unfortunately was disappointed by the language barrier and didn’t get exactly what he wanted. But they all enjoyed their ice cream and each shared some with me.
We headed back out and had to walk the long way back to our car…. this time walking along the warf and seeing the many boats moored along the way. Most of them fancy sailing boats. Zeke was rushing me along to get back to the car quickly, but we enjoyed our walk together. We stopped at the grocery very near where we’d parked and grabbed food for that evening and the next morning and drove back to our house on the far side of the bay.
I let the kids have their down time as I searched for info on the train station and car drop off the following day. After digging up the addresses, I wanted to drive them before the stress of the morning to ensure I was there by 11:30. Bad luck… it was back where we’d just come from. Still, not far, so I decided to drive it anyway. Maeve said she’d come so we made a bit of an adventure of it. First we found the train station and nearby Avis rental and mapped our walk back to the train station. Then we drove on past the ‘citadel’, aka walled old city, and found the de Muse, an old German concrete enforced bunker bordered by a nice campground that was loaded with campers. To save time I parked in the only empty camp siteI ran across and we walked up a few hundred feet to the bunkers. And enjoyed the view over the citadel and the view west into the bay. Then it was time to turn around and head back as I’d promised Theo a sunset picnic.
I knew I was cutting it close as I saw the sun sink lower and lower. I called ahead and we grabbed the food as quickly as we could, but sure enough even with the quick 90 second drive to the site, we were late. Maeve said, it’s OK dad it’s still beautiful. And she was right. We enjoyed our picnic from the car and enjoyed each other’s company just as much.