Bonjour – Hello


Nous sommes heureux que vous soyez ici! Merci.
Si nos besoins français à être corrigés, envoyez-nous vos commentaires.

En 2014, nous avons traduit l’entrée quotidienne de blog en Français. Mais pour 2016, qui sera juste de temps en temps. Habituellement le blog sera uniquement en anglais.

We are glad you are here! Thank you.
If our French needs to be corrected, send us your comments.

In 2014 we translated the daily blog entry into French.  But for 2016 that will be just once in a while.  Usually the blog will only be in English.  


FINAL- 10 octobre 2016 à Saint-Malo/Paris/Winona – October 10, 2016 in Saint-Malo/Paris/Winona


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This is the last blog for our 2016 trip to France.  2017 plans are up in the air.  Hopefully there will be more to come!

Monday October 10, 2016 – Saint-Malo

Monday October 10, 2016 is Columbus Day in the USA.  Many businesses had the day off from work.  Malls and stores use it as a day to begin holiday shopping.  Today in France the temperature was 6 C  or 41 F when Sandy walked to La Fournee Malouine to buy our breakfast.  This boulangerie is listed on the Saint-Malo tourism site as being one of the locations referred to in Anthony Doerr’s book All the Light You Can Not See.  It is one of our favorite boulangeries.

We mailed a card at the post office, stopped at the syndic to pick up our keys to the cave that he borrowed, and looked at one of our “potential gifts” from yesterday.  Unfortunately the box containing the gift says “made in China” so we decided not to buy it.


Corsaire ferry approaching the ramp in the Saint-Malo harbor


A nice three mast ship in the harbor


The three mast ship compared to the Condor Ferry

Tuesday October 11, 2016 – Saint-Malo

Tuesday October 11, 2016 is 5 C!  Cold!!  We spent one hour today with Christine for our final tutoring session with her.  She has helped us a lot!  We saw the kumquat bush her neighbor has on our way to and from Christine’s house.  It was shaped and trimmed as a hedge but full of both kumquats and flowers.  It was lovely to look at.  We know that people can keep geraniums here outside all year without harm, but didn’t realize it stayed warm enough for kumquats.

On our way back we stopped at the Carrefour Market in Courtoisville to shop for a few items and while waiting for the bus sat next to an older gentleman.  He was reading the Ouest du France newspaper from today and read the same article to Phil three times.  When another lady joined us on the bench he read the same article to her three times too.  Phil had a short conversation with him about the weather, the bus etc.  He seemed to understand and responded correctly.  It’s always interesting when taking public transportation.

On our bus ride back, we spotted two of the Corsair ferries in the basin.  One of them, the open boat, was completely covered with what looked like a white plastic tarp.  It’s in the harbor for the winter.

Sandy needed to go to the doctor today.  She was able to make the appointment herself but the doctor available was neither of the two doctors she had seen earlier in the year.  The doctor was okay, not as personable as the previous two she had seen and did not speak English, but figured out what was needed and we were off to the pharmacy.  The cost of the visit was 35 euros and the two prescriptions were 8 euros. Hopefully, problem solved.


Hungary license plate in the car park near Port Saint-Louis

Wednesday October 12, 2016 – Saint-Malo

Wednesday October 12, 2016.  Sandy had a much better night and of course, so did Phil.  Phil shopped for our breakfast today and the temperature was 7 C.  Definitely cool, but not much wind.  Phil returned Sandy’s library books  to the Mediatheque and almost froze.  The wind had definitely picked up.

Later in the afternoon we took the recycling to the center and found a gift we wanted to purchase.  It was sunny but cool so we soon headed for home.

Thursday October 13, 2016 – Saint-Malo

Thursday October 13, 2016 was the day for our last hair cut in Saint-Malo.  The coiffeurese hasn’t completed the sale on her building and didn’t sound too happy about the situation.  We took the bus to the IUT stop across from E.LeClerc.  Phil took care of changing our mailing address at the utility company and tax office.  Sandy dropped off batteries and light bulbs for recycling then purchased 6 items we needed.

We were back home using only the one bus ticket in the hour and a half allowed time frame for each ticket.

Friday October 14, 2016 – Saint-Malo

Friday October 14, 2016 was cloudy.  Sandy shopped for our breakfast and purchased a croissant amande for the first time in quite a while. They are delicious!  Full of almonds, a thin layer of thick custard, made with croissant dough and covered in powdered sugar.  We think they have at least 1000 calories per piece.  However, they aren’t available in the USA.

We took the navette bus to Saint-Servan.  We wanted to wish the butcher and his assistant a good winter, thank them for delicious meat, good prices, and tell them goodbye.  Sandy spoke in French to tell the assistant when we were leaving and when we hope to return.  Phil bought a piece of filet mignon to cook for dinner with the last of our french fries.  He wished the butcher a good winter and the butcher told him they await our return with pleasure.  Lovely French expressions.  We waited one minute for the navette to return to Intra-Muros.  We were away from our apartment less than one hour.

Our filet mignon at dinner time was probably the best and most tender piece of beef Sandy can remember.  Tres, tres, bon!!!

Saturday October 15, 2016  – Saint-Malo

Saturday October 15, 2016 was again cloudy and cool.  Sandy hurried to take her shower and walk to the boulangerie before they were ready for their break at 9:00.  She was crossing the street  at 8:52 am as both of the boulangers walked outside their door.  They greeted her warmly as usual and the younger of the two went back inside to help her.  They had just placed a tray full of chou a la creme in the patisserie case and she bought one flavored with framboise and another flavored with chocolate for our dessert.

Later in the morning we shopped at Philippe Bouvier Chocolatier and took the rest of our leftover bread to the Place du Marché aux Legumes.  We threw all of the bread into the grassy-flower area and watched sparrows, pigeons, and a gull enjoy the bread buffet.

We intended to watch our friend Alain play boules for the last time in the afternoon.  However, just as the game was to start it began to rain fairly hard.  So, game cancelled and we stayed inside.  By 17:00 the sun was out and the sky was blue.  Too bad the rain cloud arrived at the same time as the scheduled game.

Sunday October 16, 2016 – Saint-Malo

Sunday October 16, 2016 was our last full day in Saint-Malo.  Sandy had a short conversation with the boulanger at Simone boulangerie when she shopped for our breakfast.  She told him we were returning to the USA.  He asked where we were from in the states and he knew where Minnesota was located.  He wondered if we were returning to vote.  He also volunteered that he and others in France hope Hilary will win.  It’s interesting to hear how other people in the world care about our country and what goes on there.

We walked to the hotel Quic-en-Groigne and told our friend Marie-Dominque farewell and made the first of a couple stops to the recycling-garbage area.  She told us to have a good trip and they hope to see us next spring.  We hope so too.

We ate in the middle of the afternoon at the Fish + Chips shop.  Delicious and a huge quantity of both fish and fries.  Very tasty and it was warm enough (19 C) to eat outside.

After eating we spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning, packing, and organizing.  Lots to take to the recycle area in the morning.

Monday October 17, 2016 – Saint-Malo & Paris

Monday October 17, 2016.  We woke up before daylight and walked to La Fournee Malouine to have breakfast. after Sandy put all of our sheets and towels in the washer.  We told the propritriece that we were leaving this morning and thanked her for being patient with our French and for preparing such delicious baguettes and patisseries.  We walked to the harbor to look at the high tide which had a co-efficient of 114.  It was almost even with the street.  The Brittany ferry moored in the harbor looked like a cork because it was floating so high.  We returned to the apartment to unplug everything, cover all of the furniture and bedding in plastic.  We turned the mattresses over so they would be ready for our next visit.  Sandy took one more bag of recycling to the center and stopped in the Place aux Legumes to give the birds our last pieces of bread.  Phil ran the vacuum for the last time and we rolled down all of the shutters.

Our friend Jean-Louis picked us up a couple of minutes after 11am and drove us to the train station (Gare).  It was a gorgeous day, sunny and a temperature of 18 C. We visited with him and his wife Claudine, posted our tickets, and found our seats on the train.  We had reserved 1st class tickets with our seats facing each other on the aisle.  There were two types of seating available, the type we had with only one seat width on the side and 4 seats facing each other with a table in the middle on the opposite side.  The ride was fine, less than 3 and a half hours and we were in Paris at station Montparnasse. It was sunny here and 19C.  Sandy did not bother to wear her coat in the taxi.  We took a taxi to the hotel Plaza Opera on rue de Maubeuge and checked in.  When we were here in March we had a very nice room.  There were two twin beds next to each other as a queen sized bed.  There was a desk, one arm chair closet area and a luggage rack.  In the bathroom was a huge bathtub with shower.  It was one of their premium rooms and was on the 3rd floor.  This time we were in a larger room but it is L-shaped.  There was a king sized bed, a desk, arm chair, two stools, nice sized closet area with shelves and a luggage rack  There was a full sized shower stall in the bathroom. We had two french doors leading to a “Juliette” balcony.  We could step outside to look around and see the Eiffel Tower.  The room also had another single sized bed that could also be a pull out trundle bed.  We had requested a simple room with the two twins which made a queen bed.  No extra view, windows, or space.  We’re not sure whether we were given a nicer room because of our return  visit within 8 months, or because the owner is good friends with Marie-Dominique and Michel from Saint-Malo.  It was a luxurious room and huge in comparison to Paris sized hotel rooms. After settling in our room we walked to Galeries Lafayette Haussmann.  Just like when we were here in March security officers were checking bags and under men’s coats before allowing you into the store.  Sandy loves looking at the gorgeous stained glass center of this store.  We made a couple purchases at the Paris gift area and walked back towards the hotel to find a restaurant for dinner.  Our hotel is literally surrounded by hundreds of restaurants. We had a delicious Italian dinner at Cafe Rizzo next door to our hotel. Sandy had read about it on Tripadvisior in March but it happened to be closed the night we intended to visit.

Tuesday October 18, 2016  – Paris

Tuesday October 18, 2016 It was sunny and 15 C when we woke up.  We enjoyed breakfast in the lower level room at the hotel.  Sandy had pre-booked the breakfast at a special price.  We enjoyed baguettes with butter and 5 different varieties of confiture, croissants, pain au chocolate, several types of bread to be toasted, hot chocolate, coffee, tea, warm milk, yogurt, fresh fruit, canned fruit, two types of cereal, soft boiled eggs, ham, cheese, and freshly squeezed orange juice.

After breakfast we walked literally across the street to catch the #42 bus to the Charm du Mars which is at the Eiffel Tower.  Such a beautiful day to be outdoors.  The area around the Tower is fenced off.  If you want to purchase tickets, have tickets, or want to access the restaurant you must go through security.  We caught the #69 bus which is a scenic route according to Rick Steves’ book.  It is a long but lovely ride past the Lourve, Musee d’Orsay, Seine and boats, Bastille, Place de la Concorde, Hotel d’Ville.

We got off, enjoyed a lovely lunch on a terrace.  Sandy had a croquet monsieur with salad and fries.  Phil ordered chicken with a creamy mushroom sauce and rice.  We walked around a bit, got back on the bus and returned to the hotel.  What a great day in Paris.  It was raining by the time we were ready for dinner.  A quick duck underneath the canopy and we were at Cafe Rizzo again.  Phil enjoyed steak à point on top of a bed of salad and freshly shaved parmesan cheese.  Sandy loved her homemade ravioli filled with mushrooms served with a light, thin, creamy mushroom sauce.  For dessert Phil had a traditional Tiramisu and Sandy had Tiramisu with fruits.  They included raspberries, currents, strawberries, blueberries, and black raspberries.  They were delicious!  Back to the hotel to finish packing, etc.

Wednesday October 19, 2016 – Paris

Wednesday October 19, 2016 was sunny but cool.  We had breakfast at the hotel and inquired about our car service to the airport.  It was scheduled for a 9 am pickup.  We checked out and waited in the lobby for the car.  There was a lot of traffic that morning and the car was about 10 minutes late.  The driver was from Libya and spent the entire 35 minute ride explaining to us about his country and the troubles his family had.  He had a wife and son and was planning to move to the U.K. where he would work at the bank HSBC.  It was a very informative ride to the airport.

We checked in, checked our luggage and headed for TSA.  Phil forgot to put his French Opinal pocket knife in our luggage before we checked them.  He handed it to the agent who immediately disposed of it.  That was disappointing for sure.  Now we had 3 hours to wait. There’s always a lot going on so we were fine.  However, the boarding time for our plane came and went and we were thinking of out tight connection in Detroit.  Finally they began to board the plane.  We were in the “Sky blue priority” so didn’t wait much at all.

However, as we descended the ramp what was waiting for us was a bus, not a plane.  After crowding as many standing passengers as possible in the bus we took off.  Sandy doesn’t do well holding on to the railing and frequently looses her balance on buses when standing, so it wasn’t an easy ride.  After riding around the airport for almost 10 minutes we arrived at the bus only to have it begin to rain.  We made it up the stairs and onto the plane.  Our premium economy seats were fine.  Still really not enough leg room for Phil but so much better than economy.  Sandy prefers the 4 rows of seats that are “curtained” off from the rest of the plane.  It took a long time to get everyone on board and we departed 45 minutes late.  We had little hope of making our connection.  Arriving in Detroit, we were the first passengers off the plane.  Sandy had talked to the head stewardess and she explained what we needed to try to make the connection.  A lady seated in front of us had a similar situation.  We first waited in line for passport control, not too bad, then had to wait for and pick up our luggage which had been marked “priority” for a tight connection.  Air France is good about that.

Delta made the decision (told to Sandy by one of the Delta employees) not to pay attention to the priority status and put our luggage with the general population instead of using a priority carousel.  Finally got our luggage after an employee worked 4 times to get the carousel working, headed for Immigration control then to have our bags rechecked.  Our next surprise, not planned or informed of, was we had to be completely rechecked at TSA.  We hadn’t left the secure area of the airport having just arrived from Paris, where security is high, and we had to remove shoes, take liquids out of hand luggage, walk through a screener and Phil had to be patted down.  Our Sky Blue status with Air France means we don’t remove shoes or liquids and are usually in a shorter line.  Not so in the USA!!!  It was now 10 minutes before our connection departed.  We quickly scanned a flight board and saw it was still boarding.  We literally raced, walked and ran to the gate only to see that it had already departed.  We joined many other travelers at the Delta Help Desk.  After speaking in person to an employee, she took us to one of the help phones, had us talk to a Delta representative since we’d come from an international flight, then printed the boarding passes for us.  We were booked on an 8:30 pm flight.  Phil called Hertz to tell them about our time change, we ate a McDonald’s fruit parfait, tried to calm down and relax then were able to board our flight.  We were given premium economy seats again on the Delta flight but both seats were at the window in different rows of 3.  It’s only an hour and a half flight from Detroit to Minneapolis, so no problem.

When we arrived in Minneapolis we were at one end of the airport.  The baggage claim was at the other end.  During our running in Detroit, Phil hurt his right heel.  Now it was so painful he had difficulty walking. We weren’t sure if our bags made it so while Phil stood at the carousel, Sandy talked to the “luggage help” employees.  Believe it or not, one of our luggage made it onto the flight we missed.  The other piece was on the later flight that we traveled on.  So, with both pieces of luggage we walked back to the other end of the airport to the rental car desk.

Our name was not on the “Gold member” hertz board so Phil spoke to one of the employees.  Seems like Phil’s call to Hertz didn’t register with Minneapolis so they cancelled the reservation as “no show”.  The employee arranged for a car, parked about 4 blocks away so another painful walk for Phil.  We were in the car and out of the airport.  However, neither of us remembered to ask for a map, the car didn’t have gps and it was now 10:20 at night.  We’d been up and awake for 22 hours straight.  The gps on Phil’s phone was ridiculously re-configuring and after a couple of wrong turns we were headed for Rochester, MN.  We took 55 south to 52 south then in Rochester, took 90 west towards Winona.  There was very little traffic but after exiting the highway on the Winona turn off Sandy spotted several deer next to the side of the road.  Phil slowed down and we were both on the look out.  We arrived at the Alexander Mansion B + B at 12:30 am on October 20, 2016.  We’d been up and awake for 24.5 hours.  Sandy looses her balance with lack of sleep and has trouble concentrating.

Thursday October 20, 2016 – Winona, Minnesota

Thursday October 20, 2016 we woke up in Winona.  Sandy was able to sleep to 7 am (14:00 in France time) and Phil slept until 8 am.  Phil’s heel is still very painful to walk on.  Sandy feels discombobulated.  There were quite a few changes to the apartment. Everything had been painted.  A new tv, mirror, table, chairs, and sofa were in the living room.  There are new gardens planted outside.  It feels nice to return to a lovely apartment that feels like home.


An autumn fog hiding the tops of the bluffs in Winona.


9 octobre 2016 à Saint-Malo – October 9, 2016 in Saint-Malo


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Saturday October 1, 2016

Saturday October 1, 2016 is drizzly and only 13 C when Sandy shops for our breakfast.  Our dinner last night at Diver’s Cite was delicious!  But, we discovered that their little white male dog thinks the terrace is just like being outside in the way of “marking” his territory.  It will make me think twice next year before asking to be seated on the terrace.  We wanted to look at local Bretagne gifts and took the bus to the area near the Aquarium to shop at the Atelier D’Emelie.  We stopped at the Carrefour La Madeleine first to buy super-glue then got back on the bus.  It was just one stop to the Atelier D’Emelie, but the bus was at the stop and it would have taken us 5-10 minutes to walk.  As we approached the shop we could see the shutters were closed.  The sign on the window said they were closed indefinitely.  What a disappointment!  Sandy had searched the tourism site just before we left to make sure they were open.  She sent a note to the tourism center informing them of the closure.  Their reply was, since the tourism site was unable to reach anyone by phone they couldn’t remove the listing, but they did indicate that the shop might be re-opening in the fall.  At least others will see the note and call before leaving home.

Sunday October 2, 2016

Sunday October 2, 2016 is again drizzly when Sandy shops for breakfast.  The high temperature for today was 16 C.  Our apartment is also cooling down and with windows closed is just above 20 C (68 F).  We took a walk over the ecluse (lock) and walked along the beach towards the Tour Solidor in Saint-Servan.  The tide was out, way out!  The sun was trying to peak through a large bank of clouds but the day was pretty cloudy until we were almost home.  Then it was a bright sunny day.  There was very little wind but the air still was fresh and clean.


At the Plage Solider with a dark set of clouds passing + approaching


Beautiful white cloud floating over Saint-Servan

After we returned Sandy made eggplant parmesan and spaghetti for dinner.  Delicious!  We talked to our son over FaceTime and were even able to see his kitty.  She appears to be a bit larger than when we left last March.

Monday October 3, 2016

Monday October 3, 2016.  Sandy shopped at La Fournee Malouine for our breakfast and the propritrice told her they would be closed the next two days.The low temperature was 8 C. Good thing Simon boulangerie is only closed on Monday.  After breakfast we took the #8 bus to the Kennedy stop (north end of digue) and walked back.  The sun felt nice and warm, there was little wind, the air was clean and so clear we could see for miles.  This is one of our favorite walks as we are directly on the ocean front the entire way home.  It was a good day to enjoy chili for lunch.

Tuesday October 4, 2016

Tuesday October 4, 2016 is very chilly as we walk to the bus on our way to Christine’s house for tutoring.  Phil wore a jacket and Sandy had on a fleece sweater with a jacket on top.  After getting off the bus, Sandy wore her gloves and ear bands on the walk to Christine’s house. Fall is here!  The forecasted high temperature was 19 C but the wind was very strong making it feel much cooler. We haven’t turned the heat on yet, but Christine said their’s had been on at night.  As we walked out of Christine’s front yard, Phil grabbed Sandy’s jacket to keep her from being hit by a car.  Sandy recognized the driver as Anne B our realtor (immobilier) that helped us buy our apartment here.  We talked for just a minute as Anne was already late for an appointment.  How funny to see her in a residential portion of Parame. On our walk back to the bus, we saw a kumquat plant in Christine’s neighborhood.  It must have gotten fairly cold last night because the heat turned on in our bedroom.




Kumquat blossom

Wednesday October 5, 2016

Wednesday October 5, 2016.  The predicted high temperature for today was 20 C although the day started very cool.  We took the 9:20 #8 bus to the Courtoisville stop to shop at the Carrefour Market.  We were almost out of everything except yogurt, so we had to buy some food.  We purchased cabillard  (cod)  to have for dinner, salad, some fruit, and a few other items.  Just two small handheld recyclable bags, so not too much.  It takes 5 minutes on the bus to reach the store but we missed the bus returning by 3 minutes.  Rather than wait 35 minutes for the next bus, we took a different bus to the train station (gare) and waited to transfer.  However, there must have been a delay on several other lines because we waited 15 minutes then two different lines showed up at the same time.  Both of them were going to the Intra-Muros.  Oh well. Phil is wearing his heavy coat that he leaves here and Sandy is wearing a fleece jacket underneath a nylon jacket and gloves.  After lunch we took the recycling, glass, and garbage to dispose of then walked out to the harbor.  The tide was low so there was a lot of “muck” or mud visible with sea weed laying on top of it.  We watched a seagull, probably a goeland pick up sea weed with it’s beak, move it or throw it to another spot, then eat something that was hidden underneath.  He was a very smart gull.


Quiet afternoon by the harbor at low tide.

Thursday October 6, 2016

Thursday October 6, 2016 is almost cold.  The low temperature was 8 C with a sensation of 6 C.  Sandy shopped for a croissant for Phil’s breakfast and the boulanger at Simon saw her coming down the street.  He had a warm baguette waiting for her as she entered the boulangerie.  Great service here! Late in the afternoon we walked to the harbor.  It was very windy and we were glad to be in full sun.  The high temperature reached 17 C.


Sandy feeding the gulls on the digue


Looking down the digue

Friday October 7, 2016

Friday October 7, 2016 the low temperature was 8 C when Sandy walked to the boulangerie.  She could tell that it was much cooler as this was the first time that the door to the boulangerie was closed.  It wasn’t even hot inside with the ovens running, so it must have been cool outside.  After breakfast we walked to Saint-Servan to shop at the marché.  The ship Hamburg entered the ecluse (locks) while we were eating breakfast and they were taking walking tours and bus tours of people to sites as we walked by.  Since so many vendors are on their annual conge (vacation) here, Sandy tried new stands and new foods today.  She bought red grapes  from Italy without seeds, brown mushrooms, and tangerines.  All of them are a different variety than we are used to.  The omelette Sandy made for lunch was delicious.  The “new” mushrooms were tasty, yet seemed to have a forest type flavor, if there is such a thing.  They were definitely stronger than white mushrooms, but good. It was cool enough that Phil turned the heat on in the living room and dining room in the evening.  Much better!


Some interesting cauliflower at the marche this morning


Cruise ship HAMBURG in the basin

Saturday October 8, 2016

Saturday October 8, 2016  was warmer than yesterday.  It was 12 C when Sandy shopped for our breakfast.  After breakfast we walked to Saint-Servan.  The city had organized a “National day of commerce” to feature the boutiques and invite the community to shop in a new neighborhood.  Sandy thought she had seen a few items she’d like to take back to the U.S. so we headed there.  We wanted to take the navette bus from Porte Saint-Vincent but missed it by 30 seconds.  It pulled away as we arrived at the stop.  We walked there and back for about 4 kilometers.  The two shops Sandy wanted to visit were both closed for their annual vacation.  Instead she purchased a pizza from the Au Panier Italy and we enjoyed the pizza for lunch.  One of the shops reopens Tuesday so she has time to visit.  Later in the afternoon we walked to the harbor.  Sandy is continuing to feed left over bread to birds and took a few slices with us.  We watched a man row his dinghy back to the ramp, put it on his trailer and went full speed up the ramp.  A very funny thing happened though, he was almost to the top and the trailer came unhitched.  Good thing a pedestrian saw it and kept it from rolling back down the ramp.  Someone might have been hurt.


Sun glistening off the harbor – a dark cloud moving left to right kept the sparkling water moving away from Saint-Malo toward Dinard


Dark clouds moving over the harbor from left to right.


A Pie (magpie) near our bench at the harbor


A sparrow is the benefactor of Sandy’s old bread feeding

Sunday October 9, 2016

Sunday October 8, 2016 is 11 C when Sandy walked to buy our breakfast.  There is very little wind and it feels cool and fresh.  In the afternoon we took the recycling to the center and walked up and down rue de Dinan on the main street.  We were looking for gift ideas to take back to the U. S.  It was easy to walk around because the streets were not crowded.  Very enjoyable!  We saw a couple of things worth considering but only one of them was made in France.  Seems silly to buy something made in Spain when we’ve been in France for 8 months.  We’ll think about our options and decide tomorrow.  Sandy cooked a pork roast for our Sunday dinner with new potatoes, peas, and apple sauce.  For dessert we had caramel ice cream.  Delicious!  This is our last week in France.  There are many things to be put away, washed, and organized.  We’ll need to take two days worth of clothes to wear in Paris, and probably one set of clothes for our first morning back in Winona.


Place du Marché aux Légumes

30 septembre 2016 à Saint-Malo – September 30, 2016 in Saint-Malo


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Thursday September 22, 2016

Today was sunny and bright, yet only 13 C.  We were up early since we expected the painter between 8:30 and 9:00 today.  He arrived at 8:40 and we were finished eating breakfast and had cleaned up the kitchen.  He worked for 3 hours in the morning before stopping for lunch.  He covered everything in the kitchen and shower room with large sheets of plastic.

There was no way for us to get to anything in the refrigerator or kitchen cabinets so Sandy bought a ham sandwich (jambon beurre) from La Fournee Malouine  boulangerie for us to share at lunch.  We had already made plans to meet friends for dinner, so that was fine too.  Phil worked on homework while the painter was here in the morning.  Sandy took the bus to the Rocabey stop and tried to refill a prescription at the Rocabey pharmacy.  Even though they carried the medication in July, it was now unavailable according to the pharmacist all over France. She also walked around the Rocabey marché but didn’t buy any meat since she couldn’t get into the refrigerator to keep it cold.  Maybe tomorrow.

After lunch we had our hair cut and scheduled another appointment in three weeks. That will be right before we return to the U.S and “Great Clips” for a hairdresser.

For dinner we walked along the sea front/breaker walls to L’Olivier pizzeria.  It was a medium-sized restaurant because it had 19-20 tables for two persons.  We were seated in front with the windows open to the sea.  The margherita pizza was delicious!!  The crust was very thin, with tomatoes and a little pesto sauce drizzled on top.  Phil ordered lasagna boulangaise which came with a small green salad.  We shared both and loved our dinner.  Phil had tiramisu and Sandy had one boule of ice cream (glace) caramel for dessert.  After almost two hours of eating and talking with friends, we walked home.  It was a lovely evening.


A gull came to visit at the bedroom window.


Fort National at low tide


Sun setting behind Grand Be and Fort National


Sun setting behind Grand Be.

Friday September 23, 2016

Friday September 23, 2016.  We’re up early so we can have breakfast before the painter arrives at 9:00.  We walked to La Fournee Malouine to have the “formula petit déjeuner”.  Since all of our kitchen cabinets and appliances were stilled completely covered in sheets of plastic we weren’t able to prepare breakfast at home.  Not a problem here where we frequent a delicious boulangerie and tea room.  We enjoyed a grande cafe creme, orange juice, a demi-baguette, and croissant with butter and with groseille (red currents) or apricot jam.  We were back home by the time the painter rang the door buzzer at 9:00, right on time.  He finished the two rooms, cleaned up, and left by 12:30.  We will need to keep his name on file as he was extremely neat, very quiet and calm, and did a great job.

After lunch we vacuumed, dusted, and washed the windows before Phil re-hung the curtains and moved the furniture back into it’s usual location. Since the painter did most of the clean up all we really needed to do was dust or pick up powdery bits of left over plaster.  Not bad at all.  Late in the afternoon Phil found out that a large yacht was moored in our basin.  We walked out to see “A” a mega-yacht, one of the largest and most expensive  yachts in the world.  There was a helicopter hovering around it and we thought it was probably a news reporter taking photos.  It is owned by a Russian billionaire and when searching online costs 300 million euros and has a staff of 37 people. It has 8 floors including an underwater observation room. It did not come into the ecluse/lock but stayed out in the harbor.  It certainly has an interesting shape.


Really expensive yacht “A” (300 million Euros) in the harbor.

Saturday September 24, 2016

Saturday September 24, 2016 we took the bus to the Mediatheque to return Sandy’s library books then caught another bus to Parame Mairee. Sandy wanted to make chili and split pea soup to eat before we leave so we needed to purchase some meat.  When we returned she made the chili and after lunch we took a bus to the Gare.  Today began the 2 day Saint-Michel braderie and it is a very large event.  Several blocks down each side of the street plus two rows in the middle are filled with items for sale.  We didn’t buy anything but we did see our friend Jean-Louis J. who wished us a good winter and he looks forward to seeing us in the spring.  We wished him the same.  Delicious creme/chou, from Simon patisserie, for dessert filled with pistachio for Phil and framboise for Sandy.


While Sandy was in Simon patisserie I took this picture of the building across the street.


While Sandy was in Simon patisserie I took this picture looking south down the street.


While Sandy was in Simon patisserie I took this picture looking north up the street.

Sunday September 25, 2016

Sunday September 25, 2016 is sunny and 13 C. Sandy walked to Simon boulangerie for our breakfast.  Just as she was about to cross the street to enter the shop, the boulangerer stepped out of the door, locked it, and walked towards the tabac for a smoke break.  The time was 9:10.  This is the second time this has happened so she needs to adjust her breakfast shopping time.  She walked back up to La Fournee Malouine and purchased a croissant and pain au chocolat for our breakfast.  While she was in line, Anne and Elizabeth daughters of the Quic-n-Groigne hotel proprietres walked into the boulangerie and asked for their poulet/chicken.  It was being held for them in the cooler where the boulangerese sells sandwiches.  Interesting things going on here.

After breakfast we walked across from the casino to look out at the sea.


Fort National at low tide.


A lot of sails on the water.


Waves going in on the Sillon beach.

On our way back, we walked past the basin where a German ship M1068, Datteln, has been moored for a couple of days.  The DatteIn is a minehunter ship.  We ended up by Port de Dinan and spent some time sitting on a bench and looking at the harbor.  There’s not a lot going on today, very quiet but beautiful and sunny.


German minehunter ship DatteIn in the basin.


German minehunter ship DatteIn in the basin.

Monday September 26, 2016

Monday September 26, 2016  Today was the day when Simon boulangerie decided to close on Monday.  They had been telling Sandy  for a few weeks that they would close on Monday, but they never decided on a specific date.  Today was it!  So, she walked a little extra and shopped at La Fournee Malouine.  After breakfast we took the #8 bus to the Courtoisville stop to shop at the Carrefour Market.  It is larger than the Carrefour City we have Intra-Muros, but not as large as the Intermarche.  However, they carry all of the Carrefour products that we like.  We purchased about 6 items and were back home within an hour.  The bus ride home took 4 minutes.  Sandy made split pea soup with ham from the butcher, panne cotta, and did some laundry.


Carrefour Market in the Courtoisville section of Saint-Malo.


Condor ferry starting its turn before backing up toward the dock.


Corsaire ferry tied up by the ramp, waiting for the next crossing to Dinard.

Tuesday September 27, 2016

Tuesday September 27, 2016 and Sandy shopped at Simon boulangerie for our breakfast.  The baguette and the croissant were hot from the oven.  Delicious!  She shopped at the Intra-Muros marché for fruits and vegetables and Monsieur Alix confirmed that after Friday, he will be on vacation for the next two weeks.  Too bad for us!!  It was drizzling as Sandy walked back from the marché so we took our umbrellas with us to catch the bus to Christine’s house.  Good thing we did, because we would have been wet.  We had a lengthy conversation with Christine and checked our homework.  Sandy told her about the visit to the mayor’s office and how impressive it was.  Christine hadn’t been there and wanted to be sure she remembered to visit next year when it was again open.  Christine had organized a large picnic on the beach last Sunday and the menu was galettes.  She had a lot left and gave us four to take home.  We had them for dinner with sausage inside. While Sandy was preparing dinner, she looked out our window towards the Place de Marché du Legumes and saw a large group of Asian people with microphones, placards, movie cameras etc.  There were close to 30 people.  It appeared to be a “movie making group”.


South Korean film crew shooting a scene for their television program.


A stunning flower we saw in Parame.

Wednesday September 28, 2016

Wednesday September 28, 2016 was forecast to reach a high temperature of 23 C.  We needed to buy milk, yogurt, and butter within the next 2 days. We decided to shop at E.Leclerc since it is next to the hardware store Bricorama.  Phil needed 3 or 4 items from the hardware store to repair the curtain rod in our bedroom and we needed a door stop.  While waiting for the bus, we saw the same Asian group filming besides the carousel near the moat and castle that Sandy spotted the night before.  They were definitely filming. We took the bus and commented how there are always a few additional passengers besides us on any bus we take.  There are many people here that do not own cars.  However, after shopping and boarding the bus to go home at 11:55, we remembered that Wednesday is always a half day of school for students here.  It took 35 minutes to reach the Intra-Muros from Leclerc, when it usually takes 15 – 20 minutes.  We stopped at many stops along the route and 10-15 students entered the bus each time we stopped near a school.  When we reached the gare/train/bus station, it was mobbed!!  There were students waiting at all the bus stops.  As we pulled away, we counted more than a dozen other buses, all either full or nearly full of students, departing for areas outside of the city.  Most of the communities here have maternelle (elementary) schools, but few have college (middle) schools or lysee (high) schools.


Corsaire ferry still going back and forth to Dinard.


The pilote (pilot) boat returning after escorting a ship out to sea

Thursday September 29, 2016

Thursday September 29, 2016 Sandy shopped at Simon boulangerie for our breakfast.  She asked the boulanger if they were now closed on Monday and his answer was yes. We decided to go to the Rocabey marché for olives and a little meat.  Sandy will purchase yellow peppers tomorrow to make stuffed peppers to eat over the weekend.  She also bought white mushrooms and cooked them in an omelette with potatoes for lunch.  One hundred fifty grams cost one euro and 5 centimes.  Very reasonable!  After lunch we spent a little time in the Place du Marche aux Legumes feeding bread to the little birds.  We purchased the bread earlier in the summer, used it to make meatballs, then froze the remainder.  Since we turn the refrigerator/freezer off when we’re gone, it needed to be used.  The birds were very happy with it!

Friday September 30, 2016

Friday September 30, 2016 andSandy shopped for the last time from Monsieur Alix’s stand in the Intra-Muros marché. He will be on vacation until we leave for Paris.  Sandy thanked him for wonderful fruits and vegetables this year.  He wished us a good winter and said he hopes to see us in the spring.  Another French shopper was talking to Sandy in English and French.  She told Sandy that she spoke in French very well.  That was a first! We started with a bus ride to the end of the digue and walked back.  Sandy took some of our left over bread and the gulls enjoyed it.  It was very clear today and you could see a long way out into the ocean.  On the way back we made reservations to have dinner at Diver’s Cite.  Good thing, because they start their two week vacation on Sunday. Delicious dinner accomplished!


Example of a typical bus, looking toward the driver.


Example of a typical bus, but with Sandy seated by the window.


Sandy feeding the gulls on the digue


Looking toward the Intra-Muros from the digue.


21 septembre 2016 à Saint-Malo – September 21 in Saint-Malo


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Wednesday September 14, 2016

Wednesday September 14, 2016 is very breezy and cool.  The temperature was 16 C when Sandy bought Phil’s croissant at Simon boulangerie.  After breakfast we took a walk to the basin where the ship National Geographic Orion was moored.  It came in around 5 am this morning during high tide.  The lock is only open about 2 hours before to 2 hours after high tide, which occurs twice a day.  It will most likely depart between 16:30 and 20:00 tonight.  For anyone wanting an expensive cruise, the web site lists the price from $8,000 to $16,000 for an 8 day trip.  Of course there are many, many activities included.  We were able to see kayaks stacked on the deck of the ship and bicycles parked on the dock.national-geographic-orion_29561430162_onational-geographic-orion_29591221021_o

Thursday September 15, 2016

Thursday September 15, 2016 is drizzly and cool.  For the second day in a row the temperature was 16 C when Sandy bought our breakfast.  Today, the boulanger gave Sandy two madeleines as a gift.  They are similar in texture and taste to a cake donut.  They have a distinctive shape and come in a variety of sizes.  They look like a raised, fat, pointed in the middle mini loaf (US loaf pan).  Phil dipped his in coffee.  It rained lightly until about 14:00.  We took a walk later looking at the low tide and many people walking out to Fort National.  We stopped at the wine shop (they were out of our usual white wine last week) and the tabac to pick up the weekly edition of our local Pays Malouin newspaper.

Friday September 16, 2016

Friday September 16, 2016.  Sandy had to wait until the sun rose before she shopped at the boulangerie for our breakfast. It had been raining and was very gray. It was as if summer was over today. Phil wore trousers for the first time in at least a month and Sandy wore a jacket. The high temperature was 18 C and the wind speed was up to 40 kph. This is the weekend of the grande marrée or high tide and the wind will make the tide more dramatic.  The sun rises at 7:46 and sets at 20:15.  We are losing 4 minutes of daylight per day.  On our way to catch the bus, we saw where the city had piled huge sand bags on the street to try to prevent severe flooding at high tide.  We spent two hours with Christine for tutoring and she continued our “brain work-out.”  On the way back to our apartment we stopped and Sandy made a reservation for us to have dinner tonight at Divers Cite.  It’s a good thing she did because with our reservation they were “complet” for the evening.  We shared an entree of crab fritters (accras de crabe) on a bed of salad, Phil had sea bass for his main dish (plat), and Sandy had beef steak.  A very delicious two hours!!

Saturday September 17, 2016

Saturday September 17, 2016 is definitely cool!  Sandy wore a jacket and slacks to buy our breakfast baguette since the temperature was 14 C.  Chilly!  Sandy took the bus to the Rocabey marché to look around and buy black olives.  On the way back she walked by Gomina coiffure to see if the shop was still in business.  The door was locked and everything looked as normal with products in the window etc.  We’ll need to return on Tuesday to see if our hair cut will take place in the shop or the owner’s apartment.

Sunday September 18, 2016

Sunday September 18, 2016 is cloudy but warmer than yesterday.  Sandy walked out the Porte de Dinan just after high tide to look at the sea.  The Corsair ferry was actually disembarking on the street level because the co-efficient was 110 and very high.  She walked to the end of the ramparts as far as the beginning of the Mole des Noires and could see where the waves had washed sea weed up over the wall onto the pavement.  That must have been a spectacle to see.  She purchased our breakfast from La Fournee de Malouine before heading for home.  This is the weekend of the “Journées Européennes du Patrimony” which is explained as: “The European Heritage Days offer a great opportunity to discover public and private buildings open their doors for the first time or exceptionally, unveiling their wings, their unique history or their secret collections.”  Sandy visited the office of the Mayor which was inside the castle and was a gorgeous, huge room.  Then she went to the exposition of the ship Le Pourquoi-Pas which was constructed in 1907 and sailed to the arctic on over 15 different missions.  The exhibit is presented on three levels of the Tower Bidouane within the rampart walls.  She visited a public school where a braderie was held but didn’t purchase anything.  For dinner Sandy shopped at our local butchery alone and bought tomate farcie and pork chops.

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Monday September 19, 2016

Monday September 19, 2016 was the last morning for the Grandè Mareè for September.  We walked towards Porte St. Vincent to look at the tide, but it was not extraordinary.  While the co-efficient was 111, there was no wind or storm at sea so the sea was very high on the ramparts, but moved with gentle waves.  We took the bus to E.LeClerc to do a little shopping.  Not too much since we’re down to less than a month before we return to the USA.  Sandy took care of housekeeping chores and homework after lunch.  We did see the painter who told us he’d be at our apartment on Thursday morning.


High tide at Fort National


High tide at the Plage du Sillon

Tuesday September 20, 2016

Tuesday September 20, 2016 is sunny and cool.  The temperature was 13 C when Sandy shopped for our breakfast.  She’ll have to start using the hair dryer if the temperature stays this cool in the morning.  After breakfast she walked to La Poste to mail a letter and watched workers assemble a huge crane near the park/playground.  There were also a few people still demonstrating the closing of the Intra-Muros post office with banners, flags, and signs.  She stopped by Gomina coiffure to make sure the building was still open for our haircuts on Thursday.  The proprietrice talked to Sandy and said she would still be in this location for our appointment. Most of the rue de Dinan (main street through our part of town) is closed.  Holes have been dug near the sidewalk and barricades surround the hole.  When we stopped at the pharmacy to refill one of Sandy’s prescriptions, the pharmacist (Philip) told us they were working on the gas and electric lines.  The delivery men trying to drive large trucks down the street were not happy.

Wednesday September 21, 2016

Wednesday September 21, 2016 is the first day of fall in the U. S.  The temperature in the morning is 13 C (in the 50’s).  In the afternoon the high temperature reaches between 19 C and 23C depending on a sunny or cloudy day.  After breakfast we took the # 8 bus to Rotheneuf.  It is a very pretty village/quarter.  They have one boulangerie, one wine shop, one tabac/bar, one creperie, one restaurant, one chocolate shop, and two traiteurs or catering (ready to eat) food. We walked around, enjoyed a cup of coffee seated outside and returned on the bus.  It is a lovely sunny day with little wind and a temperature of 19 C.


Le Rotheneuf bar – presse in Rotheneuf centre


View of Rotheneuf from the bus stop.

13 septembre 2016 à Saint-Malo – September 13, 2016 in Saint-Malo


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Tuesday September 6, 2016

Tuesday September 6, 2016.  Today was the day of the Intra-Muros marché.  Sandy purchased pastèque (watermelon) , melon (cantaloupe), fraise (strawberries), peche plat


pêche plat (flat peach)

(flat peaches) which are not available in the US, pomme (apples), poire (pears), salad (lettuce), tomate (tomato), pomme de terre (potatoes), and carrotte (carrots). We took a walk on top of the ramparts and happened to luck out and spot a ship in the harbor.  It was just high tide and the ship was waiting to enter the ecluse. It is called the  Nao Victoria and is the replica of the Magellan ship that made the first round the world  voyage in the sixteenth century.  The Nao Victoria has the following dimensions: – length ht = 27 m – width = 7 m – draft = 3.30 m – air draft = 22 m.  Imagine sailing around the world in this tiny, bucket shaped boat.  It will be in Saint-Malo for the next 4 days. Click here  for more information about the ship. While walking around the neighborhood, Sandy met and talked to our neighbors.  They will be returning to Paris on Thursday.


The Brittany Ferry Bretagne is 6 times longer and 4 times wider than the Nao Victoria.  The Brittany Ferry goes between France and England.  The Nao Victoria circumnavigated the world, almost 500 years ago.


Não Victoria


Wednesday September 7, 2016

Wednesday September 7, 2016.  The forecast is for a high temperature of 31C which is 88 F.  Hot for here!  Sandy spotted the van of a painter we had been trying to talk to on her way back from buying our breakfast croissant.  After breakfast Phil walked over to talk to the painter.  They both returned to our apartment so the painter could see what we needed to have painted.  Hopefully he will follow through with his date to return.  We walked to the Sillon beach (Plage du Sillon) to see if we could walk in the water but the tide was too high.  So, we walked back to the Plage de Bon Secours beach to enjoy a lovely walk in the water.  There was a small cruise ship idling, probably waiting to enter the ecluse and we spotted not only one but two cormorants fishing for their lunch. We found out later that the cruise ship did not enter the basin but stayed moored off the Mole.


Cruise ship anchored just outside the harbor.

Thursday September 8, 2016

Thursday September 8, 2016.  We made it through another hot day yesterday and it was wonderfully cool this morning at 17 C.  Our friends will be leaving for the train station just before 11:00 so we waited to say “bon voyage” to them before leaving our apartment.  We took the 11:10 bus to Carrefour at La Madeleine Center to shop for groceries.  There were very few people shopping and we were back on the bus to return to the Intra-Muros at 12:22.  After lunch Sandy worked on homework and we took a walk to the harbor around 16:30.  Phil spotted two young cormorants fishing for their dinner.  The Corsaire Ferry arrived and departed, and the Condor Ferry was loading passengers and cars.


The local fish merchant delivering to a group heading out in the boat.

Friday September 9, 2016

Friday September 9, 2016 we spent two hours with Christine on French lessons.  We (all 3 of us) can have an almost fairly normal conversation in French with Sandy only asking for an occasional translation of a word or two.  Much improved from April!  The high temperature for today was 24 C but still felt very warm in the sun. We enjoyed BLT on a French baguette for lunch with a slice of watermelon  (the lettuce and also the tomato) fresh from the marché this morning. Our neighbors that returned to Paris called on the telephone and Sandy answered.  She was able to understand and answer a few sentences in French before panicking and handing the phone to Phil. A first for her and the phone!!

We ate dinner at La Chouamerie restaurant, ranked 14 of the 313 reviewed restaurants on Trip Advisor in Saint-Malo. It opened in 2012 and is just around the corner from us. It was a very pleasant evening.  There were 6 choices for a plat/main dish; a formula fixed menu, and lovely desserts.  Phil had bar (sea bass) and Sandy had beef.  For dessert we tried Lemon Posset and Coulant au Chocolat.  The lemon was a custard/creme anglais and the chocolate/custard was hot and bubbly on top with creme.  They were both delicious!


La Chouamerie Restaurant

Saturday September 10, 2016

Saturday September 10, 2016 is cool and partly cloudy.  There was a chance of rain for the afternoon and around 3 pm started sprinkling.  All of France is very dry from lack of rain. We could really use a day or two of good soaking.  It continued misting or sprinkling until around 19:00.  It was cool enough that we had chili for dinner. We had a quiet day for sure.


Flowers in the Place du Marche aux Legumes


Place du Marche aux Legumes


Place du Marche aux Legumes

Sunday September 11, 2016

Sunday September 11, 2016 and we woke up later than usual.  So late, in fact, that Simon boulangerie was out of croissants when Sandy shopped for breakfast.  Phil enjoyed a croissant almond instead.  We spent an hour and a half on the beach today.  We walked in the water at high tide since the co-efficient was only 32.  For the first time we walked in calf deep water on the side of the pool.  A co-efficient of 32 just barely covers the walls of the pool. We took our beach chairs and enjoyed an almost “private” beach with hardly anyone there after our walk. It was fairly cool all day with the high temperature only reaching 22 C and mostly cloudy.


Sandy standing on the wall at the swimming pool when the high-tide was low.


Wall around the swimming pool.

Monday September 12, 2016

Monday September 12, 2016 was very cool and drizzly when Sandy bought our croissants for breakfast.  The forecasted high was 29 C, hot for here but the morning was great.  We took the bus to the Rocabey post to mail a letter and walked to the Intermarche grocery store for Cheerios, gaseous water, and ice cream.  They actually had 3 check out lanes open today.  A first for our own parking lot behind our apartment building – there was only one car parked there today instead of the usual 11-13 cars all juggling for a spot.  Definitely fewer people around today.


A couple of kayak classes heading out from the beach.

Tuesday September 13, 2016

Tuesday September 13, 2016.  Sandy shopped at the Intra-Muros marché for vegetables and fresh fruit.  She “played tourist” and walked through town looking in the tourist shops.  After lunch she worked on homework for our tutoring lesson.  Phil stayed in the apartment and took it easy since he was having problems with his foot the last day or two. Around lunch time we heard a lot of thunder and it rained off and on for a few minutes.  Later the sun came out and the temperature reached 27 C.  There were more thunderstorms predicted for later in the night.

3 septembre 2016 à Saint-Malo – September 5, 2016 in Saint-Malo


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Wednesday August 24, 2016

Wednesday August 24, 2016 was much cooler than yesterday.  Our predicted high temperature is 22 C while Paris should be 36 C again today and for the next 3 days. We watched the news around 19:00 and heard that Paris set an all time record for heat.  Very few of the hotels, homes, and apartments there are air-conditioned so it must have been miserable.  We spent two hours with Christine for tutoring.  She told us she had been swimming twice this year and she usually doesn’t swim at all because the sea is so cool.  The water temperature is always in the 60’s F this time of year.  We haven’t been swimming yet, although we’ve been in up to our knees many times.

Thursday August 25, 2016

Thursday August 25, 2016  has seen fog rolling in from the sea.  There is a little breeze from the north and the temperature is 17 C. Very pleasant when Sandy purchased our baguette for breakfast. We walked in the ocean in the morning before high tide.  The co-efficient was only 70 so there was plenty of beach.


At low tide, thousands of little sea creatures seek refuge by digging in the wet sand.

Today is the day for our hair cuts.  We found out today that the owner (proprietrice) sold her building.  She will work for another coiffure but also cut our hair in her home.  She lives very close to us.

Friday August 26, 2016

Friday August 26, 2016 was nice and cool when we walked to catch the bus.  We shopped at Intermarche grocery store.  It wasn’t crowded because the Rocabey marché wasn’t open.  We did some housekeeping chores and Sandy worked on homework.  In the afternoon we walked to the harbor and watched the Corsair ferry come and go, the Condor ferry arrive, and a few individuals row out in dinghies to their boats.  It was much warmer in the sun than in our apartment.  Paris continued their horrible heat of 36 C while we reached a high temperature of 23 C.  We enjoyed dinner at Diver’s Cite.


Sandy spotted these noisettes (hazelnuts) in the marche.

Saturday August 27, 2016

Saturday August 27, 2016.  The predicted high temperature today is 31 C.  That’s hot, but not as hot as Paris.  We wore our bathing suits and headed for the beach around 10 am.  The tide was out and there was a lot of beach before we reached the water.  There was more seaweed on the beach than we’ve ever seen.  We had to walk quite a way before we even reached clean water.  However, once we reached clean water it was the warmest we’ve ever felt it and was crystal clear.  There was very little wind so it was quite hazy when looking towards the horizon.  We could hear the “rumbling” of the Condor Ferry and it took a few minutes before we could see it.  The waves were very gentle as the tide began to come in.  It was a very hot day!

Sunday August 28, 2016

Sunday August 28, 2016 was much cooler.  After breakfast we walked to Saint-Servan to the Solidor Métiers d’Art to look at an exhibition-sale of 50 professional artists and artisans crafts (wood designers, glassblowers, sculptors on metal, earth, stone, jewelry designer, ceramists, mosaic artists, textile designers, leather goods, miniaturist, etc.) each having a range of their personal work. We didn’t purchase anything, but the exhibits were interesting to look at.  It was low tide and we could see how sailboat owners had to tie up/prop up their boats so they weren’t damaged between high and low tide.  The wind increased while we were away from our apartment and it was very blustery on our return walk.  Total distance for walking this morning was 5.6 km or 3 miles.


Us in Saint-Servan, yes it is a selfie.


Solidor Tower in the Saint-Servan part of Saint-Malo.


Solidor beach (plage) at low tide.


The small black shape in the middle is a cormorant.

We watched several families packing and loading their cars on their return to work this week.

Monday August 29, 2016

Monday August 29, 2016 we took the bus to the Rochebonne beach and walked back, this time on the dike/digue instead of in the water.  Sandy almost needed a jacket since the wind was blowing at 25 kph.  The sun was shining and we noticed a cruise ship moored in the basin.  It came in around 5 am at high tide.  We took care of some household chores and homework after lunch then walked to the harbor at 17:00.  The cruise ship was inline to go through the ecluse/lock. We watched it pass through and the “pilot boat” was waiting to escort it to the English channel.  Very interesting to watch.


Cruise ship BERLIN in the basin Saint-Louis.


Cruise ship BERLIN in the basin Saint-Louis.


The BERLIN leaving the lock (ecluse) to go to its next destination.


The BERLIN getting up to speed as it leaves the harbor.


Sail racing on the beach (plage).

Tuesday August 30, 2016

Tuesday August 30, 2016  is 13 C — in the 50’s!!  We took care of some household chores, and Phil met our neighbor Jean for coffee.  They are returning to Paris next week having been here longer than ever before, since April. After lunch we walked to the Mediatheque to return library books and stopped in at the Gare to buy our bus pass for the month of September.  We waited in line for 20 minutes.  We’d forgotten that school resumes in France next week, and there were several students waiting to buy their school bus pass.


Austria license plate seen in the parking lot.

Wednesday August 31, 2016

Wednesday August 31, 2016 and the last day of August.  Sandy wore a jacket this morning when she walked to the boulangerie to purchase our baguette and croissant for breakfast.  The sun was shining and the air is fresh. After lunch we walked to the closest beach, Plage du Mole where a few weeks ago we had walked around the mole.  Today there was a cruise ship moored in the harbor.  The tide was just beginning to come in and there was a lot of beach to walk on.  There were less than half the amount of people today compared to last week since the majority of weekly/seasonal tourists had left. Very pleasant and not too hot!


Condor Ferry entering the harbor.


Walk in the water at low tide.


Sandy in her supervisor pose.


Unknown cruise ship in the harbor


View of Petit Be and Grand Be from the Plage Du Bon Secours.


Thursday September 1, 2016

Thursday September 1, 2016 we took the bus to the Intermarche grocery store for a few items, stopped at the butcher in the Rocabey marché and found out they will be on vacation from this coming Saturday until September 22nd.  They’ve earned it, I’m sure after all of the tourists have left.  Even so, we waited in line at least 15 minutes today.  Sandy bought black olives from the olive (tapinade) vendor and two slices of pizza from the caterer (traiteur) while Phil waited in the butcher line. Our lunch  with the pizza slices tasted delicious and dinner with pork brochettes was a real treat!  All  well worth standing in line to buy. The sun sets at 20:40, much earlier than July.  Each day has at least 5 minutes less daylight.


Seriba license plate in the parking lot


Friday September 2, 2016

Friday September 2, 2016.  We spent two hours with Christine for tutoring today.  It was exhausting!!    We’re working on two different past tenses of verb conjugation.  A drain on our brains. Our neighbor Denise turns 84 years old today.  We left a birthday card for her in her mailbox on our way to Christine’s house for tutoring. The sun doesn’t rise until almost 7:30 now.  Our neighbor upstairs, returned to work after her vacation during the month of August and leaves  for work each morning before the sun is up each day.  Delicious steak for dinner!

Saturday September 3, 2016

Saturday September 3, 2016 and it’s sunny and nice when Sandy shops for our breakfast.  Simon Macaron Bouglangerie has the best Croissant almonds of any bouglangerie in Sandy’s opinion.  She usually is early enough to bring back a baguette still warm from the oven.  Can’t beat that type of breakfast.  Today we took the #2 bus to the Decouverte stop near the Intermarche hypermarket and walked about 10 minutes to a fabulous  flea market (braderie).  It was held at the site of the Banque Alimentaire or Food Pantry/thrift store warehouse.  We had been here in 2014 to donate our set of pots and pans.  When our kitchen was remodeled in 2014 we chose an induction cooktop and bought new flat-bottomed pans specifically for induction cooking.  Our old pots and pans were only 2 years old and had been used less than a total of 8 months.  They were a good donation.  The sale today was huge and very interesting.  There were many pieces of furniture priced to sell.  Huge “french country” style dining room tables, 6 chairs, and large hutch/buffets were priced at 60 – 80 euros. We also saw beds, dressers, 6 foot long chests with a lift top lid so heavy, Phil had trouble opening it.  We also saw a lot of household goods, linen, and many items for children.We purchased a metal, two piece decorated chicken for one euro.  It was very heavy and Sandy thought it was a mold for chocolate.  Very cute!  It was at 5 rue de General Ferrie and we don’t want to miss it in future years.  When you found an item you wanted to buy, you gave the item to a worker who then “tagged” the item and gave you a matching tag with price listed.  You took the price tag to the cashier and paid.  The cashier stamped your item paid and you returned the ticket to the original worker.  You were then given your item and ticket and could either leave or continue shopping.  Very efficient!


Our big purchase from the flea-markets.


Unknown flower near the flea-market.

Sunday September 4, 2016

Sunday September 4, 2016 was fairly quiet.  Several of the nearby merchants and restaurants were closed.  We went to the Mediatheque so Sandy could check out a few books.  Later in the afternoon we went upstairs to our neighbor’s apartment for an aperitif.  A tranquil day for us.

Monday September 5, 2016

Monday September 5, 2016 is Labor Day in the US and many people there had a 3 day holiday.  It is a normal working day in France.  High tide was at 10:15 so at 11:00 we took the bus to the end of the digue to walk back towards Intra-Muros in our beach shoes.  While waiting for the bus the wind picked up, the temperature dropped and it began to rain lightly.  We took the bus to our stop, walked to the sea, saw where the tide was too high to even see any beach, and waited 15 minutes for the same bus to take us back home.  We need to think about the height of the tide or the co-efficient.  It was scheduled for 80 meters, too high only 45 minutes after high tide, to walk on the beach.

Late in the afternoon we took a walk to the harbor.  It was low tide and not much was happening.  The sun was now out and was blazing down on us.  We could only stay about 15 minutes before it got too hot.  Quite a mixed bag of weather today.


The harbor at low tide late in the afternoon.


The harbor at low tide late in the afternoon.

23 août 2016 à Saint-Malo – August 23, 2016 in Saint Malo


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Monday August 15, 2016

Monday August 15, 2016.  Phil ended up with blisters on his toes from walking so far and  long in beach shoes the past two days.


Path of our walk along the beach.

It was lovely and cool so we had a quiet day.  We took care of laundry, household chores, homework, and reading. Sandy picked up a few items from the Intra-Muros Carrefour city grocery store.  It is very common to see dogs on the stairs or at the entrance to the store waiting for their owners to finish shopping. She was really surprised to see a mother cat and her two kittens peeking their heads out of their owners backpack which had been placed at the entrance to the store.  The cats were a novelty to all of the shoppers as they stopped to see the cute animals.28380307943_165da10fdb_o28380308613_1ccf766c3e_o

Tuesday August 16, 2016

Tuesday August 16, 2016 was sunny and a high temperature of 25ºC.  The wind was out of the north and was nice and cool.  We shopped at the Intra-Muros marche for fruit and vegetables.  Today we purchased “pastique” or watermelon.  It made a delicious lunch!  In the afternoon we spent some time at the harbor watching boats come and go.  Since it was almost high tide, we watched some “idiot aged males” (as Sandy refers to teenagers) jump into the sea from the top of the basin.  It was at least a 20 foot drop. There are many rocks and boulders below in the area where they were jumping, but fortunately for them, the tide was high enough to prevent any injury.  Of course, they did feel the need to drop their swimming trunks to “moon” the passing boats and passengers.


People getting ready to board the Corsaire ferry for the ride to Dinard.


Loading the Corsaire ferry for the ride to Dinard.


Corsaire ferry in the foreground and Condor ferry in the background.

Wednesday August 17 2016

Wednesday August 17 2016 was sunny and cool in the morning.  By the time we returned from Christine’s tutoring session it was warmer.  The predicted high temperature was 29ºC / 85ºF.  Our apartment did not feel hot but we kept the french doors and the awnings closed facing the sun while we were gone.  We haven’t had any significant rain for over a month and we heard on the news that there are water restrictions in part of the country. After lunch the sun disappeared behind the clouds and the cool air continued to move in.  Fortunately for us, we escaped the heat again today.

Thursday August 18, 2016

Thursday August 18, 2016 was supposed to be cloudy all day.  We took the 8:40 am bus to Carrefour at the Madeleine center to avoid crowds and do our shopping.  We completed all of our shopping and were returning to our apartment on the 10:15 am bus.

There were very few people around even in the Intra-Muros all morning.  However, even though the weather forecast was for 100% cloudy, the sun came out around lunch time and was a beautiful day.

We were invited to our friends Jean-Louis and Claudine’s house for dinner.  Their daughter and her family would be joining us. Sandy had purchased a small picture book to take as a little gift to their petite-fille /grand-daughter who will be 2 years old next month.

Usually Jean-Louis picks us up in his car when we go to their house.  Today, we offered to take the bus now that we are better able to figure out directions, places, locations, etc.  We took a bus from the Saint-Malo Gare to the Gare near his house.  The trip took only 20 minutes and there were only 4 additional passengers besides us on the bus. It was a lovely evening, great conversation, and of course delicious food.  It was the first time for Sandy to try moules (mussels).  Claudine is an outstanding cook and Sandy doesn’t hesitate to try anything she prepares. The bus route stopped running at 19:30 so Jean Louis brought us home.  Sandy did discover that we could return on another bus route that leaves from a different location at either 22:00 or 23:00.  Jean-Louis was very kind to bring us home at midnight and we didn’t turn into pumpkins.


In the morning, there was a car from Russia in the basin parking lot.


Sandy eating moules (mussels) for the first time.

Friday August 19, 2016

Friday August 19, 2016 was drizzly and cool, only 15ºC when Sandy walked to buy our croissant and baguette for breakfast. Phil met our neighbor Jean for coffee at 10:30.  When Sandy met them a little later it was raining hard enough to use an umbrella.  We picked up prescriptions from the pharmacy and headed home.  After lunch there were a few off and on showers, the sun came out and it turned into a beautiful day.

Saturday August 20, 2016

Saturday August 20, 2016 is sunny and 17ºC when Sandy shopped for our breakfast. Today was one of the days of the Grand Maree where the coefficient of the tide is greater than 100. For more information on the grand maree: The wind was very strong too, which is why Saint-Malo has the highest tide in Europe several times a year. We took our beach shoes to walk in the water two hours after high tide.  As we approached Porte Saint-Vincent we saw the bus waiting and decided to take the bus to Rochebonne beach and walk back.  When we arrived at the beach we could see that there was room to walk in the sand almost the whole way back.  However, the wind was blowing directly at us, the waves were higher and the water deeper than we expected.  Sandy would have been knocked down by the waves or blown down by the wind if she hadn’t been holding Phil’s hand.  There were many people riding surf boards, boogie boards, and kite boards.  We saw later where one of the hotels that faced the beach had windows broken out by the tide.  Quite a spectacle to see and experience.  When we arrived back to Porte Saint-Vincent, our calves were sore and we felt as if we had used many muscles on our return walk.


The starting point of our walk along the beach.


Beautiful day strolling along the beach.


The waves making their way to shore.

Sunday August 21, 2016

Sunday August 21 and we took a mid-morning walk to the Plage de bon Secours to look at the high tide (grande maree).


A high tide (grande-marre) with waves hitting high on the breakwater.


High tide (grande-maree) waves hitting the rocks at the base of the ramparts.

Monday August 22, 2016

Monday August 22 and we took the bus to the La Madeleine center.  We were looking for covered toe sandals for Sandy.  We went to Go Sport and InterSport, but neither had the correct size and color combination.

Tuesday August 23, 2016

Tuesday August 23 and it’s going to be a hot day, around 33 C which is around 90 F.  We went for a walk on the beach, but it was cut short as the tide was coming.  With the tide coming in we quickly ran out of beach to walk on, so we cut it short.  It was still a nice walk and we got it in before the heat of the afternoon.


Some different colored beans at the marche this morning.


A seagull came to visit at the window ledge.

14 août 2016 à Saint-Malo – August 14 2016 in Saint-Malo


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Monday August 8, 2016

Monday August 8, 2016 and it’s raining when Sandy walked to the boulangerie for our breakfast croissants.  The chance of precipitation for today was 0%, but a rain cloud must have blown in from the sea.  The sun appeared before noon and the temperature high for the day was 20C or 68F.  We took care of housecleaning chores in the morning.  Sandy can’t reach the top row of windows on our french doors leading to the balcony.  She asked Phil to wash them today.  Phil heard many people coming and going in their cars as he was back and forth between the living room, dining room and balcony as he washed the glass panes.

Tuesday August 9, 2016

Tuesday August 9, 2016 is sunny but cool. The high temperature was again 20 C or 68 F. Sandy wore slacks and a jacket when we took the bus to Carrefour at La Madeleine Center.  We left our apartment at 8:35 this morning to try to avoid tourists and crowds.  We arrived at the store a couple of minutes after they opened.  We purchased all of our items, checked out and were waiting at the bus stop in less than 50 minutes.  However, we purchased so much that Sandy had two reusable shopping bags and Phil wheeled our “cart” which seemed like it weighted 40 pounds!  We hadn’t been shopping except to pick up an item or two for a few weeks and we made up for it today.

In the afternoon we picked up prescriptions from the pharmacy then headed to the harbor.  The tide was on it’s way out.  We watched jet skiers depart and several Corsair ferries arrive and depart.  We walked out to the end of the Mole Noir (breakwater) and decided that was enough sun.  The water was a beautiful emerald color (Cote de Emerald) and many people were enjoying the beach and sea.  It was odd as we walked on the mole and looked down into the water, to think that just the other day, we had walked in the sand around the same structure.  You get a different perspective from walking on land and then walking where water covers the same spot.


Beautiful day at the harbor.  Condor ferry and Corsair ferry in the background.


An interesting sail on this boat.


Beautiful day at the beach; sand, sun and surf.

Wednesday August 10, 2016

Wednesday August 10, 2016 we walked to the Médiathèque La grande passerelle Saint-Malo. It was sunny and cool.  Sandy chose a few books written in English and a few children’s books written in French.  She found the book by Kevin Henkes, titled in English as “Wemberly Worried”.  In French the title is “Juliette s’inquiète”.  Interesting to compare the words from each edition.  In the afternoon it was still too cool to comfortably enjoy the sea, so we took a walk back out to the Mole and enjoyed the harbor.  The sun was hot when it came out from behind the clouds but the fresh breeze kept us from feeling uncomfortable.

Thursday August 11, 2016

Thursday August 11, 2016 is very cloudy.  It looks like it will rain any minute and looks as if it’s time for the street lights to go on in the evening. By the time we took the bus and walked to Christine’s house for tutoring the sun was shining.  No rain in site!  As we waited for the bus to return to Intra-Muros the electronic sign told us we’d only have to wait 9 minutes.  However, the bus didn’t arrive for 20 minutes.  This was the longest wait time we’ve ever had.  Good thing it was a cool day.  We even had to sit in the sun to wait for the bus because the wind was so strong.

In the afternoon we walked out onto the Mole.  There were two cruise ships in the harbor (Insignia and Crystal Symphony) and another cruise ship (Star Legend) in the basin.  All five of the Corsair ferries were operating, the Condor ferry arrived, and there were many sailboats, a few jet skis, and pleasure craft on the water.  Very busy and interesting to watch all of the people etc.


Star Legend in the basin


Insignia in the harbor


Crystal Symphony in the harbor


Shuttle boats from the two cruise ships in the harbor

We wanted to listen to the chants de marin (sailor songs) where the vocal group the Corsairs Malouins interpret sailor songs of yesterday and today.   We love to eat kebab’s at Chez Marcel’s and thought we’d stop there, take our kebab’s to eat at the park then listen to the vocal group.  What a surprise!  The line was out the door and would have probably taken an hour for our food.  We walked over to the (new in 2015) Fish and Chips shop and decided to give it a try.  The food was ready in 10 minutes, the staff were very friendly, and the food was delicious!  We had to find a spot outdoors to eat where the wind didn’t blow quite so hard because it was so cool. We decided to wait until next Thursday to listen to the vocal group because it was so cool.  Try to remember how cool we felt this evening over the next few days.

Friday August 12, 2016

Friday August 12, 2016 is sunny, with a nice breeze, and cool.  The high temperature was 22 C or 72 F. We walked to Saint-Servan to purchase meat from the butcher.  While Phil was in line, Sandy bought blueberries from one vendor and black olives from another.  The lines weren’t too long and we walked back home without bridge or pedestrian delays.


Very nice desserts!

The “La Route de Rock”, which is a specialized programming dedicated to the independent and legendary artists is taking place this weekend.  There are groups performing from Australia, UK, United States, and other countries.  They are performing on the beach and at Fort St-Père.  Usual attendees are young,  wearing hiking books and several backpacks etc. Here is the link:

Also this weekend is the Brainiebas de Regates a St. Malo La mer en Fete!.  This regatta takes place between Saint-Malo and Cancale and includes two days of boat parades at both locations. More information can be found here.

Saturday August 13, 2016

Saturday August 13, 2016 We took the #8 bus down to the Kennedy stop  which is the north end of the Digue, and walked in the water with our beach shoes back to Intra-Muros.  The walk was about 2 miles and a wonderful, lovely, cool walk.  Very invigorating by not lifting your feet our of the water.  We saw quite a few jelly fish that looked like brown striped and spotted hot air balloons, and two dinner plate size white/clear jelly fish. Sandy stayed clear of them!


Crystal clear ocean water and Sandy’s right foot


Walking in the water on the beach at low tide.


Our walk in the water on Saturday August 13.

Sunday August 14, 2016

Sunday August 14, 2016 we walked on the beach from Porte Saint-Thomas near the castle, more than halfway to the north end of the Digue and back.  As we walked around the only piling of rocks Phil spotted our friend and notaire Eric.  How funny to see someone we know!.  In the afternoon, we were able to FaceTime with our son Michael and hear what’s going on with him.  Winona, apparently, is doing fine without us.


7 août 2016 à Saint-Malo – August 7 in Saint-Malo


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Wednesday August 3

Wednesday August 3, 2016 is again a drizzly day.  The temperature was already 22 C or 70 F and the humidity was very high for here.  We took the Navette bus to the Gare (train station) to check on the train tickets we purchased online yesterday.  We reserved them in preparation for our return trip to the USA in October.  The seats that we selected were called “duo cote de cote” meaning face to face, but the numbers didn’t match up.  The agent assured us we had selected correctly and offered to print our tickets for us.  We only waited about 3 minutes and all our questions were answered.  Next we walked across the street to return library books, then walked to the Intermarche grocery store for 5 items.  It started to rain enough for us to use our umbrellas and the wind had picked up.

Thursday August 4

Thursday August 4, 2016 and we spent two hours with Christine for tutoring.

In the afternoon we went out to the harbor and saw some fishing boats unloading their catch.


Fishing boat unloading their catch – shellfish

Today was our 43rd wedding anniversary and we enjoyed a delicious dinner at Divers’ Cité Restaurant. Phil chose escargot for his entree and boeuf avec bernaise sauce (filet) for his plat.  Sandy ordered an entre of crab “fritters” on a large salad but asked to eat it when she served Phil’s plat to him.  Unfortunately, something was “lost in translation” and her salad was served with Phil’s escargot.  Really wasn’t a problem and it always tastes wonderful.  For dessert Sandy ordered profiteroles with caramel sauce and Phil ordered chocolat liegoise which consists of chocolate ice cream, hot fudge sauce and real whipped cream on top.  Too much “caffeine” for Sandy at 9 pm.  It is always a pleasure and a treat to eat out!

The highlight of dinner was being entertained by the restaurant owners’ little white dog!


Restaurant’s little white dog

Friday August 5

Friday August 5, 2016 Sandy met our friend and tutor Christine at the Mediathèque De Saint Malo at 14:00 for an outing.  Christine wanted to drive Sandy to see “one of the most beautiful villages” in France.  It is called Saint-Suliac and is about 5 km from Saint-Malo. Saint-Suliac offers a panoramic viewpoint of the Rance estuary. For a long time it was a village of trawler men who fished off Newfoundland and the statue of the Virgin de Grainfollet watched over these fishermen. In the narrow streets where children play as they come out of school, flowers grow between the granite stones of the magnificent houses. A tide mill, old salt marshes, a menhir or standing stone are just some of the local treasures to admire in an exceptionally well-preserved site.



For more information on Saint-Suliac:

They spent several hours wandering around the tiny streets, pathways, and alleys, admiring the beautiful flowers, architecture, and or course the beaches.  It really is a beautiful village!  The selection of a village to become one of the most beautiful is based on:  The selection of villages takes place in 4 stages:

  1. Evaluation on the basis of a village’s application
  2. On-site evaluation
  3. Quality Committee
  4. Quality Charter

The concept to become most beautiful is:  Some 32,000 villages have shaped the French countryside over time and those of them that are members of the Association “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” (The Most Beautiful Villages of France) share the same passion and ambition: to make the exceptional quality of their heritage known and recognized and to invite you to encounter their history, their land, their culture and their inhabitants. Come and share an art of living, charm and authenticity in 154 places charged with emotions…

Saturday August 6

Saturday August 6, 2016 is the day of the grande braderie of Saint-Servan.  All of the commercial businesses have tables of sale items in front of their stores.  Individuals and salespeople from other areas also set out tables or blankets with items displayed.  There are always food tents of sausage galettes, and the bars/restaurants set up extra tables outside.  It is quite the “party” atmosphere.  We walked to Saint-Servan, up the street to look at items on one side of the street and returned down the other side without buying anything.  We saw our friend Jean-Louis J. and he now feels like we’re truly friends since he exchanged kisses on the cheek with Sandy.  Phil got a handshake.  We spent a few minutes at the harbor watching the pirate ship unload 6 people at a time into an inflatable boat.  The Corsair ferry was making it runs between Saint-Malo and Dinard. It was just 2 hours after high tide and the water was quite high up the ramp.

At 16:00 we walked to the beach.  Depending on the number of other pedestrians, the walk can take as long as 12 minutes.  The tide was out.  Way, way out!  We walked from the Plage de Bon Secours where the pool is over to the Plage de Mole.  We were able to walk in ankle deep water all the way around the mole.  That was a first!  The water was cool, but very pleasant.


Sandy enjoying the sun and water


Sandy walking through the water at low-tide


At low tide you can really get a good perspective on the size of the harbor breakwater. That is Sandy standing in front of the breakwater.


Tide was really out, we were able to walk out past the end of the breakwater. The breakwater is 500 meters long, about 1,600 feet.

Sunday August 7

Sunday August 7, 2016 was the day of the Marche’ de Créateurs in Rotheneuf.  Our friend Jean-Louis H. helps to organize and run this art show with his relatives.  It is set in a lovely place overlooking the sea.  There were over 100 artists displaying and selling their creations.  We looked at paintings, soap, candles, glassware, pottery, clothing, baby items, and many stands selling jewelry.  We didn’t want to buy anything so after a quick walk through we headed to the bus stop.  The sun was shining, the temperature was 26 C or a very warm 79 F and we were hot! The bus was 25 minutes late, but when it arrived was a deluxe “charter like’’ coach with windows open on both sides.  20 minutes later and we were back in our apartment with a lovely breeze blowing.  Since we spend most of the time here loving the cool weather, a warm day is very unpleasant.  Glad to be home.

2 août 2016 à Saint-Malo – August 2 2016 in Saint-Malo


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Wednesday July 27

Wednesday July 27 we took a bus from the Gare Saint-Malo to Saint-Briac-sur-Mer.  It was a 55 min ride through Dinard and Saint-Lunaire.  We hadn’t traveled in that direction before so the ride was interesting.  When we arrived we stopped into the tourism office to pick up a map.  Saint-Briac is much different from Saint-Malo.  There were only single family residences, just a few restaurants, a mini golf course, and beaches with alleyway/paths.  We walked almost an hour to see several beach areas.  It was interesting to see and we were glad it was cloudy and cool.  We had a very nice lunch on the terrace of a brassiere/pizzeria including a profiterole for dessert before catching the bus back home.  We were gone just under 6 hours and tired after our excursion.


Saint-Briac-sur-Mer harbor


Chateau du Nessay, Ville de Saint-Briac-sur-Mer

Thursday July 28

Thursday July 28 we heard, then noticed a city truck, pumping something from the sewer behind the apartment next door to us.  Several people walking by the truck complained about the odor.  When we left our apartment we walked in the other direction.  Since we didn’t have tutoring,  we picked up 3 items from Intermarche and bought meat from the butcher in Rocabey.  As we walked through the market there were many additional vendors and shoppers compared to April and May.  Nothing we needed, so we headed home.

After lunch we went to the coiffure for hair cuts then walked to the Place du Lion near the Hôtel France et Chateaubriand to wait for the “waiters race.” At 16:00 about 50 waiters/waitresses were competing in a race through the Intra-Muros.  Each of them carried a round,  metal tray with a glass bottle of 33 cl of flat water and a large glass filled with water.  They had to run through the streets, down a long flight of stairs, and back to the starting point.  They each wore a sign saying which bar or restaurant they represented.  Some of them were dressed in costume, a giraffe suit, masks, and typical ancient attire of beret, black trousers, white, shirt, suspenders, and black or red apron.  Very amusing and interesting to watch.  We know one of the contestants from our visit in 2014. He is now a server at  Charley’s bar which is very close to us. The winners were determined not only by the amount of time to run, but also the amount of liquid remaining in their glass and bottle.  Several competitors came back without a bottle or glass.  We saw city workers later in the afternoon cleaning up all of the glass that was lost when the racers descended the staircase.


The winner of the “waiters race.”


A sign of the times.  Most events have an armed military presence.

Friday July 29

Friday July 29 Sandy shopped at our local market for fruit, shopped at the boulangerie for breakfast (enjoyed a croissant almond today) and we were at the bus stop in time to catch the 8:55 bus to E.Leclerc.  They carry a pineapple flavored yogurt that Phil really likes. Sandy likes the price and taste of their coffee.  The coffee is from Brazil. It is the store’s brand and costs 2.10 euros for the equivalent of an 11 ounce size bag.  We shopped, waited for the bus and were back in our apartment by 10:25.  This is the 4th day in a row that is cloudy and cool.  So much better than the 95 F day we had last week!

Saturday July 30

Saturday July 30 we took the 11:15 bus along the beach towards Rotheneuf.  We walked from one the end of the digue/dike towards Intra-Muros.  There were few people out since it was cool and cloudy but we enjoyed ourselves.  It took us an hour to walk back but we did stop and sit at a bench for a while to watch sailboats and the Commodore Goodwill on it’s weekly arrival.  The tide was out and there was an amazing amount of sand and beach.  Around 16:00 we left our apartment.  We took the navette (shuttle) bus from Porte de Dinan to Saint-Servan.  The traffic was unbelievable!  So glad we weren’t driving.  It took forever to arrive at Saint-Servan maire where we got off.  We were there to pick up “takeaway” dinner from Le Paradise d’Asie.  We chose two nems (egg rolls), and a chicken main dish.  We decided to walk home.  As we passed the bus stop we noticed it would be another 19 minutes before the navette bus arrived.  As we approached the ecluse/bridge we heard the alarm go off.  By now it was 17:00.  Sure enough, there was a huge tanker like ship heading towards the ecluse leaving the basin.  It took 12 minutes for the ship to fully enter the ecluse and then two sailboats joined it.  By the time the bridge closed, pedestrian and car traffic were allowed to move again it was 17:20.  That was an extremely long trip for what should have been less than 45 minutes round trip.  New lesson learned – watch the tide schedule before walking to and from Saint-Servan!


Sunday July 31

Sunday July 31 was finally sunny!  We stopped at the local butcher around 11:00 to buy a poulet roti / rotisserie chicken for dinner.  We spent around 35 minutes at the beach late in the afternoon.  The tide was coming in so the beach area was disappearing rather quickly.  Sandy had a few goosebumps as the wind was quite strong even though it was a brilliantly sunny day.  Phil was too warm since the temperature was 22 C or 71 F. We enjoyed the chicken with tiny new golden potatoes and fresh green beans for dinner.  Our dessert was a caramel and a vanilla choux/cream puff.  Sandy bought them at the Simon macaroon  boulangerie/patissier this morning and they were delicious!!


Busy day at the beach.

Monday August 1

Monday August 1 and late in the afternoon we decided to take a bus to the end of the digue and walk back.  We took the number 8 bus from esplanade Saint-Vincent.  The bus was very crowded.  Every seat was taken and about 20 people were standing, including us.  We took the bus to the Kennedy bus stop and walked along the digue back to Intra-Muros.


View of the Intra-Muros from the digue. It was low tide and you can see how wide the beach is at low tide.

Tuesday August 2

Tuesday August 2 we walked to the gare to purchase our bus passes for August.

On the way back we walked through the Saint-Vincent gate and saw that one of the doors was closed.  It was interesting because we had never seen either of the doors closed.


26 juillet 2016 à Saint-Mal0 -July 26 2016 in Saint-Malo


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Monday July 18

Monday July 18 is hot!  The forecast is a high temperature of 30 C or almost 90 F.  Hardly anything is air-conditioned, but it always cools off at night.  We finished homework and did a few housekeeping chores this morning.  Phil made pancakes for lunch using the pancake flour we purchased from the Maison du Quebec when they celebrated “Quebec” days.  Very tasty!  This afternoon we went to the beach around 16:00 or 4:00 pm.  High tide was expected at 19:00 or 7:00 pm tonight.  Even three hours ahead of time, we moved our chairs every 10 minutes or so.  When the tide finally reached our flip-flops and towel, towards the walls,  we headed home.  The water felt warmer, but then the air was much warmer!  Plenty of people later this evening are going to regret having stayed so long in the sun today.  There were lots of sunburns!

Tuesday July 19

Tuesday July 19 was already hot when we woke up.  The predicted high temperature is 34 C.  Phil read on-line that the heat and wind we are feeling is coming up from the Sahara Desert.  No wonder it’s hot!! We’ve never been here when it was this hot.  We met Christine for our normal tutoring and it was unpleasant sitting in her house because of the temperature.  We had several glasses of water during our petite pause.  At least there was shade at the bus stop


Hot temps 18th and 19th

when we were ready to go home.  In the afternoon we didn’t do much except read.  It was even too hot for Sandy to concentrate on her homework.  The temperature was just shy of the record for the day. We left the kitchen and shower room window open all night, took luke warm showers before going to bed and had our fan blowing all night in our bedroom.  No problems sleeping.

Wednesday July 20

Wednesday July 20 the temperature was much better!  We completed homework in the morning and went to the beach in the afternoon.  The water felt warm to our feet but the air was very refreshing.

Thursday July 21

Thursday July 21 the air felt cool when we woke up. Sandy almost needs a sweater today.  We met Christine for our tutoring session and the walk from the bus stop to her house was great!  Her mother-in-law (belle mere) is celebrating her 90th birthday this weekend.  Christine and her husband are hosting 50 relatives for dinner Saturday night and Sunday noon. Her husband is one of 8 children.  Before we left, the workman had arrived to put up the tent with a wooden floor in their backyard.  It will be an exciting weekend at her house.

A new ship was in the basin this morning.  It is a Russian sailing ship which had been at the big festival in Brest.   The name of the ship is the SHTANDART.


Russian ship SHTADART



Russian ship SHTADART

Friday July 22

Friday July 22 was lovely and cool.  We did a little shopping at Intermarche after buying fruit at our local market.  Sandy made a reservation for us to have dinner at Diver’s Cite and went alone and spoke in French.  Her language is improving. This afternoon we took our chairs and spent awhile relaxing with our feet in the sea.  The tide was on it’s way out and we had to walk a long way to reach water.  There were many people with rakes searching in the rocks for their dinner.


It was low tide and we walked way out from the ramparts.


Sandy enjoying her chair on the beach.

Saturday July 23

Saturday July 23 was great weather day.  We spent about 3 hours with our trip to the braderie at Paramé.  We saw a lot of stuff, but we didn’t buy much.  There were some interesting things at the braderie. There was a pig roasting in front of a restaurant, a set of baskets for a donkey and our friend Jean-Louis.

In the afternoon we went to the Port Dinan to watch the boules game.


Alain playing at the boules area by the Port Dinan

After the boules we went to the harbor.  There was an emergency fire department ambulance parked at one of the ramps.  After about 20 minutes, a boat came into the harbor and brought someone to the ambulance.  The person seemed to have a leg injury of some sort.


Ambulance staff getting ready to load an accident victim.

Sunday July 24

Sunday was a pretty quiet day.  We walked to the Médiathèque to return some books and check out some more.  On our walk we passed the basin and we saw that there were quite a few of the Transat race boats  moored there.  They had completed the return leg of the race which was from Montreal, Canada to Saint-Malo.


Transat boats in the basin.


Monday July 25

Monday July 25 was q very quiet day in the streets.  It was very pleasant as we walked to the Quic-en-Groigne Hotel to visit our friends Michel and Marie-Dominique.  They are finally finished helping one of their daughters move to Bordeaux and Michel’s mother change apartments Intra-Muros. We took care of some correspondence, finished homework and headed to the beach after 4:00 pm.  The temperature of the air and the water felt great!

Tuesday July 26

Tuesday July 26 has been a pretty overcast day.  The temperature has been very nice, but not much sun today.

We did see a car with a license plate from Poland today.  They  drove a long way.


17 juillet à Saint-Malo – July 17 in Saint-Malo


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Sunday July 10

Sunday July 10 is a cloudy day with a forecast high of 23 C.  We took the bus to Paramé to see the closing ceremonies and exhibition of the Folklore du Monde.  We were fortunate to watch and listen to the group from L’Ukraine or Kazakhstan.  They were our favorite from watching the parades earlier this week. The group following them were from Brittany.  The clothing of the Bretagne group was black and white.  The music was primarily bagpipes.  Much different than other nations.



Folklores du Monde at Parc des Chênes


Monday July 11

Monday July 11 a fire truck and ambulance arrived on our street.  Sandy watched as men used the “cherry  picker” from the elevated firetruck to bring a man out of the building across from us on a stretcher.  It was quite a feat!


Firemen evacuating an elderly person from a 2nd floor apartment.

We took care of some shopping after breakfast.  In the afternoon, we made a few stops Intra-Muros and then we walked to the harbor.  As we watched boats come and go, a seagull  (Goeland) flew on the side of us.  It was low enough that both of us spotted it and looked because it had something large and yellow in it’s beak.  Usually they are flying with shells in their beaks.  They fly straight up, then drop the shell to crack it and enjoy their meal.  Today, we watched the gull fly straight up and drop the yellow item.  It turned out to be an apple.  It was really funny to see the bird flying with something as big as an apple in it’s mouth.  We didn’t think they’d eat apples, but sure enough, two or three birds arrived to help the “apple carrier” finish the meal.

Tuesday July 12

Tuesday July 12 was our regular tutoring session with Christine.  Sandy got her two-hour lesson and also a bouquet of roses from Christine.


Sandy and her bouquet of roses from Christine.

About 16:00 we heard a loud “beeping” coming down the street.  Usually that means a delivery truck is backing up.  This afternoon it was the return of the fire truck cherry picker.  Two firemen were “practicing” using the equipment to go as high as the top or 4th floor of another neighboring building. There are few apartment building with elevators here, so they need to be prepared.

Wednesday July 13

Wednesday July 13 started out partly sunny.  As we waited for the bus to take us to E.LeClerc to look for “camping/folding” chairs, it started to pour.  Good thing we were standing next to the bus shelter!  It only rained for about 5 minutes.  The bus arrived and the sun came out.  We were fortunate to find two chairs at the hardware store Bricorama, next door to Leclerc.  They were hidden behind several other chairs and were all that remained of the lightweight variety.  We took them and headed home.


One of the two chairs we scrounged for at Bricorama.

After lunch, we took our new chairs to the beach to try them out.  We sat at the edge of the water with our feet in the ocean.  The waves were definitely cool.  We moved our chairs because the tide was going out.  It was a gorgeous day with lots of fresh air, sun, and wind.  A lovely way to spend part of the afternoon.

Thursday July 14

Today is the Fête Nationale – National day.  It is not referred to as Bastille Day here in France.

At 10:30 in the evening we walked out to watch the fireworks.  We walked to the Esplanade Saint-Vincent area right by the Office du Tourisme.  We were just outside of the huge crowd, but could see the fireworks very well.  It was 30 minutes of ground fireworks and aerial fireworks accompanied to music.  Very nice.  As the fireworks ended we made a hasty retreat back to our apartment to avoid the crowd.


Fireworks on 14th July on the Saint-Malo beach.

This was the same evening in which the tragedy in Nice occurred.  Any place in France celebrating the Fête Nationale could have been a target.


Friday July 15

Today we went for our French lesson at Christine’s house in Paramé.

In the afternoon we had Denise and Jean over for an aperitif. Denise is learning some English and brought a little book she had purchased.  It was a tourist phrase book and she had some questions for Sandy about pronounciation.

Saturday July 16

Today we went to the boules court which is outside the Intra-Muros area, right next to the Port Dinan.  Our friend Alain was participating in a boules match. We’re still not clear on all the rules, but it did look like fun.  There were two teams with five people on each team. Each person got to roll two balls.  They seemed to be having a really nice time, competitive, but in a good natured manner.


Boules game – our friend Alain in the center wearing a white shirt.


Boules game outside the Intra-Muros right by the Port Dinan

Later in the afternoon we headed to the beach.  Today we arrived when the tide was coming in.  So, we set up our chairs and enjoyed the waves.  With the tide coming in, every 5 or 10 minutes we had to pick up our chairs and move them back a little, away from the ocean.  The chairs have really worked out nicely.  After about 30 minutes we headed back to the apartment.  Phil had forgotten his cap so it was time to get out of the sun. Even after 4:00 pm, he was sunburnt in only 30 minutes.  The sun is very intense here.

Sunday July 17

The big thing today is the braderie in the Mouchoir Vert (Green Handkerchief) area of Saint-Servan.  The braderie was quite crowded with vendors and shoppers.  It seemed like it was bigger than we remembered from 2014.  We made a small purchase at a stand supporting the local animal shelter.  We also made a purchase of a small shade umbrella which hopefully will work with the new chairs.

As we approached the half way point in the braderie, there was an announcement that a 30 second moment of silence would be held in honor of those killed in Nice on July 14. The flags at the government buildings have been flying at half-staff in remembrance.

Just as we got to the next to last stand in the braderie, we saw our friend Jean-Louis J.  We had last seen him at a braderie in May.  We have known him for 4 or 5 years, when he had a shop here in Saint-Malo and when he had a shop in Quimper.  Now he is slowly moving back to Saint-Malo.  It was very nice to see him.  As usual, we made a small purchase, this time it was two cups and saucers from the HB Henriot factory in Quimper.1

On the way back from the braderie, we stopped at the Rosarie Sainte-Anne to look at the roses.   A lot of beautiful blooms and a lot of flowers needing to be dead-headed.


Rosarie Saint-Anne

9 juillet à Saint-Malo – July 9 in Saint-Malo


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Thursday July 7, 2016

We had our usual French lesson with Christine this morning.

We got to see the Folklores du Monde parade at 6 in the evening. We were then entertained by a couple of the groups. Very interesting. Pictures are at this link.

Friday July 8, 2016.

Today  the day started with bright sunshine and a temperature by 2 pm of 23 C.  We took care of some shopping and looking around this morning with the plan to go to the beach after 3 pm.   Sandy packed our “beach bag” with water to wash off our feet, a towel, water shoes, and a rattan mat to put everything on while we’re in the water.  However, by 3 pm it was cloudy and the temperature had cooled off.  So, Sandy worked on homework while Phil read a book. The forecast for Saturday and Sunday are sunny and a high temperature of 26 or 27 C.  We’ll go to the beach over the weekend since our bag is already packed.

At 6 in the evening we watched the Folklores du Monde parade and were entertained by a couple of the Folklores du Monde groups.  This was the third night in a row that we have seen the groups.  Tonight was extra special.  The musical quintet called “Los Uros” provided the music.  They are from the Lake Titicaca area in Peru.  They accompanied dancing groups from Bolivia and Argentina.  They were excellent and Sandy’s favorite so far.


Los Uros from Peru

There have been many more people arrive in Saint-Malo this week.  There are more people walking in the streets, we hear more car doors open and close as people arrive, and restaurants are busy at all hours, not just the French “dinner hour” of around 20 hours or 8 pm.

Saturday July 9, 2016

Today the L’Hermione left Saint-Malo.  It had been here for about a week.  We had to wait about an hour for the ship to pass our position on the ramparts. The L’Hermione was accompanied by the Etoile du Roy and dozens of small boats.   Pictures of the departure of the L’Hermione are at this link.

As we waited for the L’Hermione to sail by, we got to see small coastal freighter enter the harbor, the Brittany Ferry steamed off to England, the Condor Ferry entered the harbor from Jersey, and we could see the Condor Commodore Goodwill approaching on the horizon.

We went to the beach this afternoon.  The water was still really cold, but we were able to wade around a bit.


L’Hermione departing Saint-Malo


6 juillet à Saint-Malo -July 6 in Saint-Malo


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Tuesday July 5 and Wednesday July 6.

Tuesday July 5, 2016 is cloudy and gray.  The predicted high temperature is 18 C or 65 F.  Very pleasant to be outside walking around.  We’re still using a duvet on our bed and wearing jackets and long pants.

This afternoon, the sun came out, shone brilliantly and the temperature felt much warmer!

The Folklore du Monde group scheduled a parade each day in the  Intra-Muros for 6 in the afternoon.  It was cancelled on Monday because Croatia cancelled at the last-minute.  Tuesday we watched three groups; the Cripple Creek Cloggers from Tennessee USA, a group from Ukraine, and a group from Argentina.    Very entertaining!   We’ll post the photos at the end of the Folklore du Monde festival.

We have officially been in France for 4 months as of Monday!

Wednesday July 6, 2016.  The expected high temperature is 19 C or 66 F.  The sun is brilliant and there are a few clouds going by.  The air is clean, cool and without any odor.

We took the bus to Cancale.  It is home to the oyster farms and a well-known and liked community on the coast.  The bus ride was very pleasant as it follows the coast and you look out onto a variety of blue-green colors of the ocean.  There are gardens, grazing cattle, horses, flowers and many stone cottages, houses, and manors to see.  We walked around the town, down a steep hill to the port and chose a great brasserie for lunch.  Phil chose the menu that included oysters for an entree, moules and frites for the plat and chocolate cake for dessert.  Sandy chose the menu of pizza delice (ham, cheese, tomatoes), a glass of wine, and coffee with a piece of chocolate candy. We had a nice view of the ocean from our table.

The local oyster farmers were out this morning harvesting oysters.  As we ate, tractors passed by pulling flat-bed trailers loaded with oysters, the boats used to harvest the oysters and the oyster harvesters themselves.

The Folklore du Monde parade featured a group from Spain and a group from Columbia.  They were very good.
















Cancale – Mont St. Michel in the background






Cancale – Mont St. Michel in the background

3 julliet 2016 à Saint-Malo – July 3 2016 in Saint-Malo


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It has been a while since our last post.  That was mostly my fault. My habit of doing a daily post, like most of my good habits was easy to stop, unlike my bad habits which are always difficult to stop. So, there were no posts for most of June.  June was not a great month as Sandy had to go to the doctor multiple times, had a foot X-ray, had a blood test and a uric acid test.  But now it is July and she is in much better shape.  The second round of antibiotics seem to have done the trick.  Her foot is feeling better than it has for months! So we will put June and Sandy’s foot problems behind us and head into the second half of the year.  – Phil

The ship L’Hermione is moored in the basin.  L’Hermione is a replica of the French 3 masted ship which took the Marquis de LaFayette from France to America 1780. The ship participated in several naval engagements against the British navy during the American Revolution. A bunch of L’Hermione pictures are at the end of the post.

This is the week of the Folklore du Monde which is an interesting festival held every year here in Saint-Malo.

We have seen many individuals dressed in 17th and 18th century costumes to coincide with the ship.

It is still daylight at 22:30 or 10:30 at night and the sun rises at 6:10 am, although we aren’t awake to see it.

We now have a library card for the Saint-Malo Médiathèque which is part of the Pôle Culturel La Grande Passerelle.  Sandy is able to read aloud (not always with a correct pronunciation) and understand about 85% of a book written in French for 7-10 year old children.  Believe it or not, that’s great progress!