St Malo, another magical place in my new Bretagne.

Today was time to visit this city with the family. I have past by rather quickly several times, and even gone in for some shots (see my other post on it here), but this time was an in-depth visit. Even if in-depth always leaves a lot to be desire, one more time at least is merit it. This is a very nice quaint inner old city town.

Saint Malo, sits in departement 35 ille et Vilaine, on the north section of Brittany.  The sea waves here by the bay are amongst the most important in Europe, with the ampleur between low tide and high tide can reach 14 meters (46 feet), therefore it is double what the ampleur of the Atlantic ocean!

A bit of history, it is a very old city dating to celtique times, and once the Romans retreated from the area around the year 423 AD, the area known as Aleth went thru a period of many attacks from the north.  It is here, that Saint Maclow, coming from present day  Wales , arrive on the rock that will take his name as Saint Malo in about 541AD.  In between the conflicts between Brittany and the kingdom of France, the area took advantage and on 1590AD it proclaimed its independance that lasted for four years. This gave rise to the popular local slogan, never french,never breton but always Malouins (men) or Malouines (women) (as the locals are call). It went to a brief period under the king of France in early the 15C and finally became part of the duchy of Brittany to France in 1593.

The local tourist office is at http://www.saint-malo-tourisme.com/  and the city of Saint Malo mayor’s office is at http://www.ville-saint-malo.fr/

You get here by car from Paris on the A13 or A11 to Rennes and then the N137 to Saint Malo. By bus you can take the keolis service at official site http://www.ksma.fr/  ,and by train at TER Bretagne , http://www.ter-sncf.com/Regions/Bretagne/fr/Default.aspx  Direct TGV service from Paris montparnasse in about 3 hours. Best parking is underground at quai Saint Vincent entrance on Avenue Louis Martin, paying about 8 euros for the day. Or if come early for free by the tour Solidor on rue de la cité or place Saint Pierre.

There are numerous sites to see, however, my favorites are; Les Remparts or wall defense area around the harbor of about 1754 meters long, dating as old as the middle ages. There are intact from 1944 on…The Chateau, housing the musée d’Histoire in the grand donjon from the .15C; fortification by Vauban in 1500AD. The Cathédrale Saint Vincent, already a cathedral since 1146AD, recontructed after losses during WWII, now remains work from the 12C to the 18C, and it keeps the tombs of Jacques Cartier and René Duguay-Trouin, webpage of the diocese http://rennes.catholique.fr/?Cathedrale-St-Vincent-de-St-Malo . The Maison de Corsaire, most of the facades recontructed after WWII, see the wonderful hotel d’Asfeld, 18C used during the French revolution as a woman prison, webpage at http://demeure-de-corsaire.com/ .  The Fort National and Fort du Petit Bé ,built during 1689 on planning by Vauban in the bay of Saint Malo, they can be reach on low tides only, webpage for the fort national at http://www.fortnational.com/ , and for the petit Bé at http://www.petit-be.com/ . The le Grand Bé, in 1848 the writer François-René de Chateaubriand was buried here,and it can reach in low tides. The wonderful three mast boat Etoile du Roy a replicate of a corsary frigate of 1745, wonderful museum, webpage at http://etoile-du-roy.com/ . The Tour Solidor is a wonderful place just outside intra muros in the quartier of Cité d’Alet,considered the oldest part where the original Saint Malo was founded; here on the donjon of the tower you have a musée des Cap-Horniers, in honor of the locals who were the first discoverers in the 17C, this as well as the musée d’Histoire above in the castle are explained here in the city of St Malo webpagehttp://www.ville-saint-malo.fr/culture/les-musees/musee-dhistoire-chateau-et-tour-solidor/#googtrans/fr/en

Of course ,walking the old intra muros town is a delight, you can spend hours here, all surrounded by beautiful buildings in a quaint old ambiance. The stores,bars, ice cream parlors, restaurants, créperies, and just shops are by the hundreds. I have some pictures of these streets that will show here below.

Not to be outdone ,there are good beaches here, we look at plage de Bon Secours,right in the middle area from intra muros and a wonderful pool with diving deck right in the ocean! plage du Mole is a bit secluded under the remparts and our favorite for its sandy white sand and tranquil waves. the beach or plage de l’Eventail is nice just below the chateau with a large cafe on beachside. Tourist office in French, plages=beaches,http://www.saint-malo-tourisme.com/decouvrir/eco-tourisme/plages

Just outside the city limits there is the Saint Malo aquarium. Now ,I am not too much into these smallish places but the gang love fish been born in a sunshine state ::) So we went ,and I must say was a welcome relief and nice laidout, including a dive into the Nautibus submarine ride and the big fish and sharks tanks was nice. You ,also,have a petting fish tank lol!!! nice for the entire family. admission for adults is 16€ a bit high but still worth it.  You have free parking !!! and you end up here n the N137 road at the entrance of Saint Malo. You can arrive by train to St Malo station and then local bus C1 stop aquarium.  Info email contact@aquarium-st-malo.com and webpage at http://www.aquarium-st-malo.com/

There is a petit train or little train, we didn’t took as we are used to walking but could be a respite for many and allows you to get an overview of the town,the adult fare is 6€ and it stops by the main gate porte Saint Vincent next to Chateau.  I did took some photos of it wandering around, the webpage is http://www.lepetittrain-saintmalo.com/

Again, dont use hotel as it is only about 2h10 from our home, but wandering about the town, we fell in love with the Hotel France et Chateaubriand,  a wonderful property right off the porte Saint Vincent, next to Chateau. It has its Napoleonic architecture style in a gorgeous quaint area appropiately call place Chateaubriand. The webpage in English is at http://www.hotel-chateaubriand-st-malo.com/index.php?langue=en

And of course, one cannot go away then eating at this magical place, so we had our lunch at one place recommended by coworkers, Créperie des Bés, 4 Rue Thévenard, close to the porte Saint Pierre at place du Guet, webpage at http://creperiedesbes.fr/ It was warmly welcome,and even thus the food was standard, the service and friendlliness was nice; it was ,also, an opportunity to meet one of my travel forum buddies Paul , for the first time; in all a wonderful experience. We have galettes of chorizo and potatoes,with kir and porto as aperos, a pint of leffe beers, and expresso coffee all for 78€ for five; We had decided to have our dessert elsewhere, as we saw plenty of ice cream parlors; we stop at Sanchez  9 Rue de la Vieille Boucherie , tel +33 ( 0) 2 99 56 67 17 no webpage. We had numerous cones and bowl of 3 and four scoops each of magnificent ice cream of all flavors so many cant remember them now, lol!!! just go there worth alone to visit St Malo ::)

Indeed a magical place,and one to keep coming back,which i am sure we will; some photos, cheers y’all

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