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le lundi 7 août 2017 – Monday August 7, 2017

The temperature is 12 C or 53 F. Chilly! Today is the day for the Intra-Muros braderie (flea market and store clearance sale). Sandy walked to the boulangerie (bakery) to get our breakfast at 8:15. The Place du Marché aux Légumes  was already full of tables, and blankets where individuals had set up their items for sale. A super interesting morning! First we saw our friend Marie-Dominique with her twin daughters and her oldest daughter. They arrived to secure their prime selling location at 5 am!! Next we saw our neighbor who is from Paris. He set up his table at 5:15 am.

To see the braderie, we walked down the main street, rue de Dinan.  As we were walking, a camouflage dressed soldier carrying an automatic rifle politely said “pardon madame” to Sandy.  Another first!

After a coffee at Charley’s Bar with a pain au raison and some people watching, we headed home.


empty seats at Charly’s bar – people are always coming and going – within 5 minutes all the seats were taken

In the afternoon we walked to the harbor. The streets were jam packed with people shopping at the braderie tables. We actually had to stand still a few times to wait for the path to clear. In the harbor we spotted what looked like a military yacht moored in the bassin (basin). It was actually a private yacht called Skat and registered in the Cayman Islands. It was flying a Cayman Islands flag. It’s only 70 meters long and 14 meters wide. You can learn more about this super yacht by clicking here.


SKAT berthed at the North Mole, Port of Gibraltar, By Moshi Anahory – http://www.flickr.com/photos/mosh70/9248727609/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27198522

le mardi 8 août 2017 – Tuesday August 8, 2017

It was raining hard enough that Sandy had to hold an umbrella open on her way to and from Maison de Pain which is the closest boulangerie to our apartment. Good thing she had remembered to bring a bag for the croissants and baguette or they would have been wet. We had set our alarm and woken up early to do some shopping.

Sandy was at the Intra-Muros marché before the veg and fruit vendor, Monsieur Alix, had even displayed all of his prices. Peach plat (flat peaches) are one of our favorite fruits here that we can’t buy in the USA. His fruit is always good and it is wise to take his recommendations.

After the marché we were on our way to the bus stop. We didn’t need our umbrellas, but our glasses were covered with rain drops. We took the 8:40 bus to La Madeleine Center which is where a huge Carrefour Hypermarché is connected to a mall which has smaller shops. The rain stopped by the time we arrived. We had a lot of unusual things on our list like Brita water filter, specialized light bulb for our kitchen ceiling light, mixing bowl, and shower squeegee. We finished our shopping just as Darty (similar to Best Buy) opened at 10. Phil was looking for a small battery operated radio but couldn’t find one today.

Next we walked across the parking lot to “GoSports” (similar to Sports Authority) to look at athletic socks. Sandy had good luck searching for socks. Three pair of just slightly above the ankle socks were 6€.

Back to the bus stop. On one side of the street the wait was 15 minutes, on the other side of the street, the wait was 7 minutes. It doesn’t matter which direction we travel, since both bus lines end at the gate to Intra-Muros so we opted for a 7 minute wait.

After unloading everything we were off to Charley’s Bar for a coffee.

None of the individuals had put out their items for the second day of the braderie due to the early morning rain.

Sandy made a delicious BLT sandwich for our lunch today on a baguette. We wanted to mail a letter at the “post office” so walked in that direction at 3 pm.


Flower beds near the Post Office.

The streets were jammed full of people! Since everything had dried out, people brought out their wares to sale. Next we stopped at the Hôtel de Ville (city hall) for yellow recycling bags. They are provided free of charge as they are in the USA. Afterwards we went to the harbor to see what was going on.  A small weather front was coming in across the bay from the direction of Dinard.  The clouds were low and threatening, but no rain developed.

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le mercredi 9 août 2017 – Wednesday August 9, 2017

Sandy noticed the brick missing as she left our building. There has always been one brick against the inside entry wall so people bringing luggage etc inside could keep the door from closing.

The forecast was for rain in the morning and clear in the afternoon. That’s not what happened! It was sunny until 9:45 then the clouds and rain moved in. Every time that the rain stopped, the street dried, and we decided it was okay to take a walk, the rain started again. The temperature dropped and stayed to just around 60 F for the remainder of the day and night. If Sandy hadn’t gone to buy our breakfast at 8:30, she wouldn’t have left the apartment for the entire day.

We think the neighbors from Paris who own the apartment at the top of our building arrived last night.

le jeudi 10 août 2017 – Thursday August 10, 2017

It was definitely cool when Sandy bought our breakfast. People are wearing what appears to be winter weight jackets. We took the bus to Rocabey to pick up a few items from Intermarche grocery store. When we buy Perrier it is heavy to bring home, so we try to buy it when there isn’t other weighty items. I also had a discount for a shower squeegee on the fidelity card so we picked that up too.

Next we walked to the marché to stop at the butcher. While we waited in line (lengthy today because of tourists in August) Sandy asked Phil if he’d eat any of the rillettes (rillettes are a preparation of meat similar to pâté) as an aperitif. His answer was he’d probably have to be intoxicated for it to happen. Rillettes are a preparation of meat or pork or poultry (goose, chicken) or fish (salmon, tuna, etc.), or even crustacean (crab for example), cooked long over low heat in the fat. Then the flesh filaments are easily detached and form “rillettes.” By cooling, the grease goes up. It looks like a large dish of cold, congealed, light gray in color mixture; formally referred to as “Brown Pig Jam”. Not appealing or appetizing to finicky eaters. We ordered a small pork tenderloin, two slices of ham for sandwiches, and a thick piece of ham to have with a sweet potato. His meat has such a delicious flavor, it’s always a treat to eat.

A visit to the wine shop in the afternoon to pick up a couple of bottles.


Sandy’s favorite white wine from the wine merchant – Cave de l’Abbaye Saint-Jean – 2 minutes from our apartment

After putting things away we enjoyed a coffee at Charley’s Bar. However, the temperature had dropped, now 57F, and we stayed less than an hour. At home, even Phil was cool enough to put on a fleece pull over.

le vendredi 11 août 2017 – Friday August 11, 2017

Sandy brought our breakfast croissants home and shopped at the marché for fruit and vegetables. Monsieur Alix advised her to try green plums today. They were delicious to eat with our lunch. We were out the door of our apartment by 9:20 to catch the bus for tutoring at Christine’s house. It is always entertaining at her house and we were tired after two hours of serious concentration. We had a few good laughs today when Sandy misunderstood one of Christine’s questions. She was soon straightened out.


beautiful flower garden on our path to our French lesson

After lunch we walked to the quay where the 7 single engine boats participating in the VOR (Volvo Ocean Race). It is a race of 65 ft long single engine boats that are fully crewed. Beautiful boats!!

le samedi 12 août 2017 – Saturday August 12, 2017

The weather forecast is for 0% chance of precipitation and cloudy with a high of 19C or 66F. We walked to the harbor just at high tide (11 am) to see if the boats involved with the Volvo race were sailing. We watched several small birds, we don’t know what kind they are, dive into the sea, go completely underwater, then fly out of the water and away. They are fascinating to watch and since the tide was in, we could see the birds a few inches below the surface and through the water.   When we returned to the apartment we researched the diving birds.  They are “sterne_pierregarin” (a tern) and more information on them can be found at this link.

We also saw some new gulls wandering around the harbor.  They always look a little lost.


Young gull

All 7 of the boats were waiting to go through the locks and the temperature began to cool off. Sandy walked back home for a heavier jacket for herself and a light jacket for Phil. She was back for maybe 2 minutes and it started to drizzle. Looking towards Dinard we could see the rain approaching. We headed for our apartment instead of a walk along the beach towards the Solider Tower.

In the afternoon we walked to the Plage Salbons (Salbons beach) area which is just south of the harbor.  It is a charming little area with a beach, boats, paths and cafes.

le dimanche 13 août 2017 – Saturday August 13, 2017

Today the weather is great.  Our challenge is we want to go to an outdoor marché which will be difficult to get to for us.  It is Sunday and the buses do not run frequently.  As it turns out we spent about 3 hours going and returning from the marché.  We only spent an hour at the marché.  The 3 hours of travel were really time spent mostly waiting for the buses.  There were severe delays and some buses just went missing.  Still it was an interesting and pretty place to visit.


MARCHE DES CREATEURS DE ROTHENEUF Aire du Nicet – Avenue de la Varde

The marché is set right on the cliffs which descend to the ocean.  A really pretty area.

On our return to the apartment we met our neighbor from the top floor.  He was on his way out.  We had a nice little discussion and caught up on what was happening in his family.