azamara journey cruise ship, backroads bicycle tours, boulangerie, butcher, cdgval, delta, digue, door handles, genevieve, guy, hotel quic-en-groigne, jean-louis j, La Fournee Malouine, monsieur alix, museum of poop, paramé marché, Place du Marché aux Légumes, plage du mole, Porte Saint-Louis, rennes, restaurant, riviera cruise ship, toulouse
This is our last week in Saint-Malo for this year. Mixed emotions as usual.
lundi 26 août 2019 – Monday August 26, 2019
in addition to the marmot entertainment on France3, we are often highly amused at several French television programs. France5 has shows which are considered documentaries but often their content is very funny and/or peculiar. We always watch the shows in the French language with French subtitles to help with comprehension.
A show titled “Les trains, pas comme les autres” (The trains, not like the others) features an extremely friendly presenter name Philippe. He visits various countries around the world. The trains, train stations, passengers, local sites and cultures are featured throughout the show in a very casual way. We always learn something or see new places from watching the show. Last night England was the featured destination. The presenter took a ferry to the Isle of Wight. The presenter interviewed two local men who were searching the countryside of the island for animal poo. We’re thinking they are scientists studying something interesting. That would have been funny and quite bizarre. However they are founders of the Museum of Poo, which is really funny and bizarre. The museum is housed in a former public restroom still complete with urinals where they display many varieties of poo! The Official Poo Website is a bit different. Peculiar for sure! The presenter, Philippe, was laughing during most of this portion of the show. Not surprising.
Another show, “J’irai dormir chez vous.” (I’ll go to your house and sleep.) features an even more amusing presenter. This presenter, Antoine, walks around with a couple of video cameras. One is mounted on his shoulder at about head height. He does the show on his own when visiting countries. He does a lot of walking and introduces himself to local people. After talking to them he asks if he can sleep at their house. He has been housed in sheds, dilapidated houses, caves, tents, and other odd places. He carries his own sleeping bag and always wears red shirts. One episode was about the washing and wearing of his shirts. Wearing the same color means never having to decide what to wear and is easier when doing laundry. No whitening additive needed. He has visited Peru, Bolivia, Indonesia, Albania, and many island nations. We have learned a lot about other cultures from watching this show.
Sandy began to organize our apartment for the winter. She seals any dry food products (rice, pasta, risotto etc) in glass or plastic containers until next year. She places scented clothes dryer sheets inside linens, clothing or anything soft so they don’t retain any musty odors over the winter. While we leave our heat set very low, it is seldom cold enough for it to turn on.
At the boules game Phil talked to Geneviève and told her we would invite her and her partner Guy for an aperitif next year. They exchanged email addresses and she said they’d look forward to a visit.
Phil spent much of the day replacing the handles on all the doors in the apartment. No door knobs in Europe, only handles.
mardi 27 août 2019 – Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Sandy wished Michel, Monsieur Alix’s son, a good year and told him au revoir pour cettee année, goodbye for this year.
We had our last hair cut for this year and told the stylist the same thing. She said she looked forward to seeing us next year.
Our neighbor below, from Toulouse, stopped us on the stairway and talked for a few minutes. This was the longest conversation we’ve had with her in the 8 years we’ve been coming here. She asked where we were from and was surprised when we told her the USA. (Most people think we are English.) She also didn’t know that Jean, our neighbor on the 4th floor, had died last year.
At the boules game this afternoon, Geneviève said we’d exchange “bise”. We are officially friends if we greet each other with a kiss on both cheeks. Sandy sat between Pierre and Josette during the game and they chatted a little with each other. Alain told us he’s planning to visit Denise in Paris sometime in the next two weeks. He has a couple of medical things to correct before he can head off to Paris.
After the boules game we went to the Mole and saw the RIVIERA cruise ship in the harbor.
mercredi 28 août 2019 – Wednesday, August 28, 2019
We took the bus to the Paramé marché to buy two pork chops. We also wanted to tell the butcher and his assistant goodbye for this year. His assistant told us they are starting their two week vacation this Sunday. She told us she’d see us next spring.
We walked back on the digue, almost 5 kilometers and it was so pleasant with a lot less tourists. The tide was out a long way and it was hazy and cloudy. A lovely day to be out anyway.
In the afternoon we took a walk on the mole and a new cruise ship was in the harbor, the Azamara Journey. As the tourist crowds go down toward the end of August, more cruise ships usually start showing up in the harbor.
jeudi 29 août 2019 – Thursday, August 29, 2019
After breakfast we told Marie-Dominique and Michel, owners of the Hôtel Quic-en-Groigne, good bye for this year. Michel was on his way to meet with his mother to help her choose someone that will help her clean etc in her apartment.
We stopped in the street and had quite a good talk with Madame Yvonne (boules observer). She told us the players Philippe, and Lillian were on vacation this week. Her son will come from Rennes to pick her up and take her back in September. She said she plans to return next April. We told her we’d see her this afternoon on the boules terrain.
Next we stopped at Jean-Louis J’s pottery shop to tell him good bye. He wished us a good trip and a good winter.
It was an interesting morning full of French conversations.
Sandy continued cleaning, sorting, and putting things away for the winter. Our cabinets and refrigerator are pretty bare!
At the boules game, Jean-Yves arrived towards the end of the game with his little dog. Another player had to leave early, and Jean-Yves took his place. Geneviève, and Sandy watched the dog and kept him from getting hit with the balls. He is very cute, very spoiled, and tiny.
We bid Alain good bye for the year and thanked him for everything he does for us. He confirmed with Sandy to leave the mail on the small kitchen table and dispose of the publicity.
There was a small cruise ship in the basin today. We got a picture of it as we were walking to the boules game, but it left the basin before we saw its name. Oh well.
After the boules game, while were walking home, we passed two vans from BACKROADS tours. Every year we see a lot of bicycle tours in Saint-Malo. Our friends a the Hôtel Quic-en-Groigne have lots of bicycle tours staying at the hotel each year. Bicycling the Brittany region is always a popular sport.
vendredi 30 août 2019 – Friday, August 30, 2019
We continued to clean, store items, clean out the refrigerator and run the cleaning cycle in the dishwasher. We watched several families pack up their cars and leave.
Before going for a late lunch, we stopped at the boules game to say goodbye to the players and spectators we knew. It has been a very good experience watching and talking with all the people each day.
We had a late afternoon lunch at the B’Art à Thé restaurant in the Place du Marché aux Légumes which is a 1 minute walk from our apartment. Actually from our kitchen window we can see in the kitchen at the restaurant. We had a delicious meal. The owner of the restaurant has been very nice to us and we said a nice goodbye to her. We told her we will be back next year for more good food.
samedi 31 août 2019 – Saturday, August 31, 2019
Saturday morning we went to the La Fournee Malouine boulangerie for breakfast. It was great as usual and we got to say goodbye for this year.
We took a bus to the train station, gare, and waited a bit impatiently for our train to Rennes. It was a local train which made about 5 stops on its 45 minute run to Rennes.
At the Rennes train station we had about 55 minutes before our fast train to the airport arrived. The train station had been undergoing remodeling for the last three years. Now it was complete and it is very nice. We bought a sandwich and drink to have on the 3 hour ride to the airport.
Our train was on schedule and since we rode first class it was a very nice experience. The train arrived on time at Charles de Gaulle Airport on time and we had a 2 minute walk to the hotel.
dimanche 1 septembre 2019 – Sunday, September 1, 2019
Departure day started just fine with a continental breakfast at the hotel. We got to the departure terminal quickly, waited about a half hour in line to check our baggage and only about 15 minutes to go through security.
The flight was slightly delayed by some difficulties at the main European flight control center in Brussels. The flight was very uneventful. This was the first time we had flown Delta to France and it was a good experience both coming and going. The flight arrived on time and we got through passport control very easily. The rental car was ready for us and the drive to Grand Rapids was very easy. We picked up our car at our son’s house and Sandy drove it to Holland, following behind Phil who was in the rental. We’ll return the car on Tuesday morning.
Overall it was a pretty good couple of days traveling from Saint-Malo France to Holland Michigan.
Another wonderful experience in France. In 2011 we were not sure how our gamble on a second home adventure in Saint-Malo would work out, but it has been a really great experience.
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