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.  


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!


8 juin à Saint-Malo – June 8 in Saint-Malo


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Wednesday June 8 is a cloudy, cool day.

Phil left the apartment right after breakfast to make an appointment for Sandy to see the doctor tomorrow morning at 11:20. Her foot was less painful last night but more swollen this morning. He also stopped at the Hotel/restaurant La Pie Qui Boit to cancel Sandy’s appointment with Natalie for a crochet lesson. His next stop was 4 Saisons to buy fruit since we missed the market yesterday.

Sandy cancelled our tutoring session with Christine scheduled for tomorrow and cancelled our lunch invitation with our friends Jean-Louis and Claudine for tomorrow. The rest of the day was very quiet with little activity.

The highlight of the day was a lunch of mini-pizzas. 🇮🇹🇮🇹🇮🇹🇮🇹🇮🇹🇮🇹🇮🇹🇮🇹🇮🇹🇮🇹🇮🇹🇮🇹🇮🇹



7 juin à Saint-Malo – June 7 in Saint-Malo



It is Tuesday June 7 and we should have been at Christine’s house for tutoring.

Sandy apparently worked too hard yesterday and caused her foot to be in pain. After climbing up and down the ladder numerous times to wash the windows in our bedroom her foot had enough bending. She was up most of the night and was not able to walk well enough to see Christine. She spent the day off her foot reading and napping. That meant Phil had a quiet day too. The weather was cloudy and around 20 C or 68 F. Let’s hope for a better night tonight and a better day tomorrow.  Sandy needs to build up her energy since she has a huge vide grenier (flea market) to attend on Sunday.😃27321974911_92157b6af0_b

6 juin à Saint-Malo – June 6 in Saint-Malo


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Monday June 6, 2016 was the day for cleaning and rearrangement.

Phil worked in the living room and dining room.  Sandy worked in our bedroom, the shower room, and the wc.  Things are cleaner and shining.

This was the warmest day we have had here so far. The high temperature was 23 C or 73 F. Even though it was warm there was very little breeze and the dew point was high.  It is supposed to get foggy this evening.

We walked out to the harbor around 16:00.  We could see the fog coming in from the ocean. There was a lot of activity in the harbor for a Monday.  The Corsair Ferry came and went twice from Dinard.  The Condor Ferry arrived from the Channel Islands.  There were people on the sand bars searching for mussels and other sea creatures.  It is called “pêche à pied” or fishing on foot.


Etoile Molène on the left, Condor ferry in the background, and Corsaire ferry in the foreground

An ambulance arrived and seemed to be waiting for something.  Soon a large white sailing ship, similar to the pirate boat, appeared.  It is the Etoile Moline which is a ship used for tourist excursions.


Etoile Molène

Two employees from the boat brought  two  passengers to the ramp and the emergency workers took them inside their van.  The van left a few minutes later.  There must have been an injury or illness on the sailing ship.


Passenger from the Etoile Molène being taken to the ambulance

There was also some work going on in the harbor for the dock which will accommodate the local fishing boats.  It looks like it will be done by the end of June.


Work going on to build the dock for the fishing boats

5 juin à Saint-Malo – June 5 in Saint-Malo


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Sunday June 5 and the sun is shining!

Today was the first day in 2 weeks that Sandy shopped for breakfast.  Her foot is much better but  she is still taking it slowly when walking.  After a gana baguette, pain au chocolat, and a pain au raison for breakfast from Maison du Pain we were ready for some activity.

Sandy washed a load of clothes this morning and was able to use the balcony dryer rack for the first time this year since the sun was shining.

We put on our rain boots and headed off for the beach/plage de Bon Secours.  The tide was going out, not yet low tide, so there was plenty of beach and tide pools for us to walk in.  We walked around for almost an hour enjoying the view and the calm.


At the beach, we enjoyed a coffee and Orangina at the Bar de l’Embraque formerly known as the Bar de Soleil.  We noticed a new menu for sea food and sandwiches posted today.  They were not posted last Thursday when we watched the pool fill with sea water. It’s a lovely place to sit and watch the beach, the people, and the ocean even if they are at least 30% higher priced than other restaurants Intra-Muros. Their view cannot be beaten.


Bar de l’Embraque


4 juin à Saint-Malo – June 4 in Saint-Malo


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Saturday June 4 is foggy and gray.  It is international day for us.  We will be in…

  • France
  • Asia
  • Ireland
  • Italy


Phil walked to the Maison de Pain for a gana baguette for our breakfast.

We left our apartment around 9:30 to walk to Porte de Dinan to catch the “Navette” bus to Saint-Servan.  The navette, is a shuttle bus which takes a route from Intra-Muros, to the Gare, to Saint-Servan and then back to the Intra-Muros.

We wanted to check out the roses at the Rosarie Sainte Anne and stop at the Au Panier d’Italie to purchase food for dinner. We waited only 4 minutes for the bus and we were off.  It was fun riding a slightly different route. The bus route passed the yacht whose mast we see from our living room window.  We walked past the Asian take away restaurant that we always comment “some time we’ll have to stop” there.

Not all the rose bushes at the Rosarie were in full bloom.  However, the flowers that were blooming were gorgeous!  All our pictures from today’s visit to the Rosarie are at this picture link.2016-06-05 La Roseraie Sainte Anne


Roseraie Sainte Anne


Roseraie Sainte Anne


Roseraie Sainte Anne

A gentleman taking a walk in the Roseraie spoke to us and Phil had a short conversation with him.  He told us he was 90 years old and lives in the neighboring retirement home.  He was very friendly, spoke fairly slow, and Sandy understood everything he said.


The retired man who spoke with us in the  Roseraie Saint Anne


Sandy admiring the flowers in the Roseraie Sainte Anne

We walked around another corner and heard an older lady talking to us.  She was on the other side of the fence, on her knees, and at first we thought she’d lost her glasses.  She took Sandy’s hand while Phil walked to the gate to see what was going on.  By then, another gentleman met Phil at the gate and said the lady was from the nursing home. A nurse came out to talk to the lady, who let go of Sandy’s hand.  A second nurse joined the first nurse. The nurses thanked Sandy for her help and took the lady inside.  The man told Phil the gate is locked for a good reason.


We stopped in the Asian take away restaurant Le Paradis d’Asie and purchased 4 pork nems (egg rolls) and a chicken-vegetable-noodle dish and a shrimp dish.  There were 10 large-sized shrimps in the dish and Phil enjoyed them.  Sandy ate about half of her chicken dish so the rest will be lunch another day.


Asian take-out restaurant in the Saint-Servan district of Saint-Malo


We made a second stop at the Irish store, LE COMPTOIR IRLANDAIS DE SAINT-MALO, for orange marmalade. It was a short stop, but still a little taste of Ireland in Saint-Malo.


Our third stop was at the Au Panier de Italie for lasagna, and gratin filled courgettes/zucchini for tomorrow.  This stop took a little bit longer.  There is so much good-looking food in this place we could have stayed much longer.  We’ll just have to come back again.


After our delicious Asian lunch we went to the harbor and quite a lot of activity was under way.

But the first thing we did was to get out the bag of old bread, broke it into small pieces and fed it to the birds.


We saw the harbor pilot’s boat come into the harbor from the direction of the ocean.  That usually means a ship has just left the harbor or a ship is just about ready to enter the harbor.


Harbor pilot’s boat returning to the harbor

A few minutes after the return of the pilot-boat, the Condor Ferry which had been in the harbor left its dock and headed out of the harbor.  At the same time, the Condor Ferry cargo ship Commodore Goodwill was approaching the harbor.


Condor Ferry (on the left) leaving the harbor and Condor ship Commodore Goodwill (on the right) entering the harbor

3 juin à Saint-Malo – June 3 in Saint-Malo


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Friday, June 3 in Saint-Malo is forecasted to be a cloudy day.

A trip to the La Madeleine Center and the Carrefour Hypermarche.  While walking to the bus stop we saw a license plate from Denmark.  First one of the year from the Danes.

Denmark license plate

Denmark license plate

We managed to get everything on our list at the Carrefour.  We even got everything in the roller cart.  On the way back from the Intra-Muros bus stop at the esplanade Saint-Vincent we took a couple of pictures of the marquees which were being set up.  The marquees will be used this weekend when there is a bicycle event in the city.


Marquees on the esplanade Saint-Vincent for the bicycle event this weekend


Marquees on the esplanade Saint-Vincent for the bicycle event this weekend

In the afternoon we took a walk to the harbor to see what was happening.  It had been almost 9 days since our last visit to the harbor.  The construction in the harbor was still underway to accommodate the fishing boats.


Construction work in the harbor to accommodate the fishing boats

There were also a couple of men fishing from the other boat ramp.


Men fishing from the boat ramp

On the way back from the harbor we stopped at a used book shop.  Sandy took a quick look at their English language books, but decided she did not need one at this time.  There were still several back at the apartment which she had not read.

Our apartment is on the 2 floor (3rd floor in USA terms). From our apartment we cannot see the ocean, the harbor or the basin.  But we are actually just a few hundred feet from any of them.  Today there is a large sailing ship, the ANAKENA, in the basin and we can see the top of its tallest mast from our window (in the red rectangle below).27407576646_bdc9bcc683_k



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