In 2020 we did not go to Saint-Malo (SM) France. Since 2010, the only other year we did go to SM was in 2015. The COVID situation kept us from going in 2020. In 2021 we came to SM for 3 months. However the blog continued to be dormant. A mix of extreme laptop problems and a general malaise kept the blog inactive.
But we are back this year, 2022!
So, we are here in Saint-Malo. This is how we got here this year.
in April we went to Chicago to get our long stay visas because we are going to stay 4 months this year
in April, Sandy did all the travel planning for the flights including the arrangements for the cat, Sophie
May 12 we rented a car and drove from Holland Michigan to Detroit Metro Aiirport, DTW – that was a 3 hour drive
we checked our bag and got Sophie through TSA without problems, then the ground crew took Sophie so she could be loaded onto the plane – she was traveling in the climate controlled hold for the flight
our flight left on time and arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Paris
we stayed that night, Friday the 13th, at the Ibis Styles hotel at the airport
early on the 14th we got our rental car and headed out for Saint-Malo (SM)
we took it easy on the drive and arrived mid-afternoon in SM and checked into our Hôtel Quic-en-Groigne
Sandy and I went to the apartment to start to get things organized, while Sophie stayed at the hotel
the apartment was in good shape and the hot-water boiler worked the first time we tried it! – every other year it had given us a problem
By the end of the day on Sunday May 15 we were settled in the apartment and most everything was going smoothly.
We still had the rental car, so on Monday May 16 we went to the Carrefour Hypermarché to do some shopping. With the car it would be easier to get the purchases home, rather than taking the bus.
Tuesday the 17th we took the rental car to the gas station to fill it up before returning the vehicle. This was only the second time I had pumped gas in SM and it took me a few minutes to understand the process. A little different than in the US, just enough to throw me off.
After returning the rental car, we walked to the new Intermarché Super, which just opened last week. It replaces a smaller Intermarché which was 300 meters closer to our apartment. The new store is a bit farther away, but it is much bigger and very up to date. We did a bit of shopping and then headed home. It is about a 40 minute walk back to the apartment.
We got to see our friend Jean-Louis J the other day. We have known Jean-Louis for about 10 years now. We always stop by his shop to say hello and to take a picture of Sandy and him. We’ll stop by and have a coffee with him in the next weeks.
Here is a small gallery of photos for our week in Saint-Malo. Clicking on a photo will open up a larger view of the photo.
So this is the end of our first whole week in Saint-Malo for 2022. Hopefully this post will be fairly viewable and of some interst to you.
Have a good week and we’ll post again next Sunday. Au revoir.
A lot of pictures this week! And a couple of videos.
lundi 8 juillet 2019 – Monday July 8, 2019
Today at breakfast Sandy was reading an online story in the local French paper, Ouest-France (West-France), about a dolphin sighting. Yesterday, just off the salt water swimming pool and beach, a pod of 20 dolphins was spotted. That must have been some sight!
We shopped at the large Carrefour hypermarché to replace our bathroom scale and pick up a few items. July is one of the two months when sales are held all over France. There were many discounted shelves and bins to look at.
We took a late afternoon walk on the beach Plage du Sillon. I got really lucky getting the 3 photos in the gallery below. The gull played it perfectly. It looked right. It looked left. Then it took off! Perfect.
On our way back we wanted to look at another beach, Plage de Bon Secours, where the swimming pool is located. Apparently we had forgotten the direct path to take and wandered around through small pathways before we reached our destination. Since it was low tide, (the pool is filled when high tide comes in) the sides of the pool were easily visible. Beautiful day with the air temperature of 23C (74F). But with a water temperature of 17C (62F). The water is too cool for us!
mardi 9 juillet 2019 – Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Sandy’s feet were a little tender after walking 11 kilometers yesterday.
After picking up strawberries, flat peaches, cherries, lettuce, green beans, and brown mushrooms from our local marché we stopped at the florist stand. Three years ago was the last year the florist had a permanent store at the corner of our street. Since then, she and her husband are “pre-retired” and are selling flowers just at the marché. She is at our local Intra-Muros marché and her husband is at the Saint-Servan marché. Today she had Alstroemeria flowers, a favorite of ours, and we bought a bouquet of 6 pieces.
Next we stopped at the Hôtel de Ville, city hall, to talk to the lady at the reception office. She listened to our plea about parking posts last week. We wrote a thank you note to her and asked her to pass the note on to the officials. She seemed genuinely pleased to be thanked for her part. The work in front of our building is complete and only one post is still missing behind our building. A week is really a quick response here.
Today we noticed a large cruise ship anchored in the harbor. We get four or five of these ships each summer. They are too large to go through the lock (écluse) into the basin, so they anchor in the middle of the bay. Tenders are used to shuttle passengers from and to the ship. There was even roof top seating on the tender boats. This ship is “The World.”
The World is a private residential community-at-sea. There are only 165 individual homes on the ship. Yes, you read that correctly, 165 individual homes on the ship. You can read more about The World by clicking this link.
Sandy found the following information about The World on the internet.
largest private residential yacht in the world
only 165 residences
priced from $2 to $20 million
studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments
a six-bedroom penthouse suite
annual maintenance fees which can range from $60,000 to $270,000
owners get to help choose the destinations
approximately 20 countries are represented
a movie theater
When I first saw this ship and the number of decks on it I thought there might be one or two thousand passengers. As it turns out there are usually only 150 to 200 passengers (owners and guests). There are 280 crew members.
We’re guessing this is for the 1%’ers of the 1%’ers. Very, very fancy and only for the very wealthy!
mercredi 10 juillet 2019 – Wednesday 10 July 2019
On our walk back from the Rocabey Intermarché, we saw the LE FRANÇAIS moored in the basin. It is a 3 mast sailing boat for hire. You can find more information at this link.
Last weekend Phil had used “Harry’s” sliced bread to make bread crumbs for the meatballs . Harry’s is a French company which makes American sandwich breads. We bought eggs last week too, so we had both eggs and bread left. Sandy used them to make French toast for lunch. The eggs sold in France are almost always brown, from brown hens, and are never refrigerated in the store. They’re on a shelf in the store similar to cereal or canned goods. They are a beautiful color.
jeudi 11 juillet 2019 – Thursday 11 July 2019
Sandy met with her tutor Christine while Phil shopped at the E.Leclerc hypermarché. Christine told Sandy the winter population of Saint-Malo is about 50,000 people. The 14th of July celebration is this Sunday. Another 40,000 people are expected in the area to watch the fireworks at 23h10.
Christine also said she’d been swimming this week. She said the water wasn’t too cold, it had already reached 19C (66F). Can’t imagine water that cold to swim in!
The cruise ship, The World, was still moored in the harbor this afternoon when we watched the boules game. After the boules game we walked to the harbor. Got lucky and spotted a cormorant in the harbor. Got really lucky as I was able to get the camera out just before it decided to take flight.
On our way back to the apartment we stopped in the Place du Marché aux Légumes to people watch and listen to a performer. Here is a short clip of his performance.
Fiddler in Place du Marché aux Légumes video
vendredi 12 juillet 2019 – Friday 12 July, 2019
Today it is cloudy, cool and the air is full of moisture. It is barely sprinkling. The drops are so fine you can hardly see them at all. But, you can definitely feel drops on your arms.
The restaurant on our corner is getting a very large awning on our side of their building. It will provide shade in the heat of the day and protection from rain. They have 3 tables under the awning. They must be doing a pretty good business to afford such an addition.
Around 15h30 we tried to take a walk on the beach. High tide was expected at 16h30 with a co-efficient of 57 which means it is a very low high tide. We walked a ways then were running out of beach. The waves were washing towards us but we saw one of the stairways up to the digue and quickly made it before our feet were wet. Back to the harbor for us!
On our way to the harbor we went past one of the basins. We have been watching the freighter ACTIVE unload it’s cargo in the basin. It started unloading on the 8th of July and by the 12th it was completely unloaded. Not sure why it took so long, but then again that might be normal.
samedi 13 juillet 2019 – Saturday July 13, 2019
Saturday morning we took a walk to the Rocabey marché. On the way we witnessed the following interesting event.
Saturday morning, a man, a motorcycle and 3 dogs
The man on the motorcycle zoomed past us with no dogs. They were running behind him trying to catch up. He eventually stopped and they all jumped on the motorcycle.
We had seen this man and his 3 dogs on the motorcycle before. Another time we saw him on a bike with one dog and the two others in an attached cart. He had always zipped past before I could get my camera ready. This time he sped by us with no dogs. About 100 meters ahead he stopped and let the dogs catch up. The first 2 jumped on to the motorcycle. The 3rd was too tired to jump up and had to be lifted on to the motorcycle. Then they sped off.
Saturday morning after the man and his dogs
Saturday morning at the Rocabey marché was interesting with a big crowd.
We wanted to buy a couple of Cordon Bleus from a new vendor Sandy had noticed the other day. We also were looking for round zucchinis (couregettes). If we found the round zucchinis we then wanted to by some tomato stuffing (farci a tomate) to use in the zucchinis.
The marché was incredibly crowded. Every vendor seemed to have ten to fifteen people in line. But we found everything we needed even if it took a while.
Sandy had found a recipe for stuffed round zucchinis and wanted to try it.
I took the short video below while I was in line for 20 minutes at the butchers in the Rocabey marché. To make the video larger click on the symbol for full screen in the lower right part of the video.
Rocabey marché video
Tonight we are trying a new restaurant, B’Art à Thé, a tearoom which serves mainly vegetarian dishes. It is 5 minutes from the apartment on the Place du Marché aux Légumes.
dimanche 14 juillet 2019 – Sunday July 14, 2019
Today is the French National Day (Fête nationale) also called The Fourteenth of July (Quatorze juillet). Tonight at 23h10 there will be a large fireworks display here in the Intra-Muros section of Saint-Malo. The fireworks will be set off from the breakwater (mole) and are supposed to last about one-half hour. That is a lot of fireworks!
14th July Fireworks – 48 seconds
Left the apartment at 22h55 for the 5 minute walk to the Fireworks area. After 20 minutes of fireworks, which were great, we walked back to the apartment and were in bed by 23h45.
How to view additional photos.
You can view an album of photos by clicking one of the following links. The photo album will open in a new browser window with the photos.