Our other main destination on our whirlwind weekend in Brittany was the port city of Saint-Malo. The intramural part of the city was of particular interest to me after reading the wonderful book “All the Light We Cannot See” last year. I highly recommend this book, I loved it. I found myself thinking about the main characters as I walked along the walls, wondering what it might have been like during the war. Saint-Malo was heavily bombed in WWII, and so much of the intramural part of the city (Les Intramuraux) has been rebuilt since then. It retains a lot of it’s charm, however, and was a fun part of town to wander around for the afternoon.
We walked around the top of the walls surrounding Les Intramuraux, and wound around to look over la plage de mole, with it’s tidal swimming pool. The view up to Dinard was just beautiful, moody skies and the sun ready to dip below the horizon. This also happens to be where famed explorer Jacques Cartier set off on his voyages to Canada in the 1500s.
After a good snack, we headed for the beach. We had to get our fill of the ocean before heading back inland to Loches! The main beach in Saint-Malo is very wide with a long seawall running the entire length, and hotels, restaurants and houses facing the sea. Depending on the phase of the moon, there can be some incredible high tides and massive waves pounding the seawall, similar to the storm watching we British-Columbians experience in Tofino and Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island. We were there at a low tide, so not much excitement, but there was loads of flat smooth sand to run on. We enjoyed watching lots of kite-surfers braving the frigid temps to catch some air in the high winds.
The kids spent a good hour in the freezing cold running on the beach, leaning into the crazy wind, jumping in the sand, and generally having an awesome time. I marvelled as always at the amazing scenery, incredible aqua water, reflections on the sand, and the moody clouds on the horizon. I took loads of photos. It was a fantastic day.