The lady below us and her son arrived yesterday from Toulouse in southern France. She is probably close to 90 years old and he is in his 50’s. They keep pretty much to themselves. They arrive sometime between the first and middle of August and generally stay one month.
A comment Sandy has been forgetting is an item that is included on our salads at the restaurant B’ Art a Thè. The object appears to be the size and shape of a clear “Vitamin E” type gel cap but is full of balsamic vinaigrette. It is delicious! Wonder if we can find them in the US?
This morning we wanted to go to the Intermarche in Rocabey.We boarded the bus and wanted to get off at the first stop. We pressed the bell, the sign lit up showing a stop was requested. Sandy stood up, the man next to her also stood up and walked to the door. The driver drove past the stop. We called out “madame the stop please” in French and she kept driving. Another passenger said in English, you have to press the button. Sandy answered that she had, pointed to the red light, and finally the driver stopped at the next stop. The other passenger muttered to himself as we exited the bus. Apparently the driver was not having a good morning.
We were on our way to the Intermarche to look for packing tape. We found it in the hardware section with the adhesives.
We decided to walk home from the Intermarche and saw a lot of gulls on the basin.
Later in the morning we packaged our two new watercolor paintings inside the tube, Christine gave us. We sealed it up with our new packing tape, and went to the post office. The lady who runs the post is always polite and patient when we mail items.
After lunch, the boules game was on and we were greeted by 6 players. It was almost too cool in the shady court, but the players didn’t have much choice. The sunny court was still quite wet from the recent rain while the shady court was dry.
There was an interesting ship moored in the basin: Sea Cloud II. We think this is the second time for it to be here this summer.
Lovely sunny day today.
mardi 20 août 2019 – Tuesday, August 20, 2019
At the market this morning, Sandy asked for 6 stems of small roses. The lady florist must think we’re frequent shoppers as she gave us 8 but only charged for five and a half. That was a nice discount and the flowers look great. Unfortunately, it’s our last bouquet here of the year.
After we shopped at the marché we took a walk through Saint-Servan and the Plage des Bas Sablons. It was high tide, although it was a low high tide, and the beach was very pretty and quite a few people were on the beach.
Another lovely sunny day.
mercredi 21 août 2019 – Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Sandy commented about less tourists being around this week, at least Intra-Muros section of Saint-Malo.
We walked to the Carrefour at Courtoisville, did our little bit of shopping, and then walked home on the digue. It was high tide and the waves were great to watch and listen to. It was sunny and bright. However, Sandy decided she was incorrect on the tourists. There were so many people, bicycles, scooters, strollers, joggers, that it was difficult to walk.
All of the parking lots we passed were full and there were lines of cars waiting to enter. Ugh!
We walked through the Esplanade Saint-Vincent and saw Bubble Guy! He is in the picture below with a purple shirt and white pants. The kids and adults love his act.
In the afternoon we spent some time watching the boules game and then we went to the harbor.
jeudi 22 août 2019 – Thursday, August 22, 2019
Sunny again, but cool, only 14C (58F).
Sandy spent two hours with her tutor Christine for the last time this year. Christine and her husband are taking off for two weeks at a friends home in southern Spain.
Phil purchased new interior door handles for our inside doors. The current handles were here when we purchased our apartment. Antique looking, brassy/gold in color and not always working correctly. The light fixtures and handles on our french doors are silvery/satin in color in a newer style. Phil was able to purchase enough to change all of the interior doors. They will look modern and in sync with the rest of the apartment.
We talked to Alain at the boules game in the afternoon. He told us Denise and Gilles, in Paris, are doing well. A beautiful, sunny, warm afternoon.
After talking with Alain we went to the harbor. We saw this great looking sailboat in the distance.
Sandy spotted 3 cormorants in the harbor. They are awfully difficult to photograph because they spend a lot of time under water getting their food. When they surface they spend only a few seconds on surface and then they dive underwater. Since you never know where it is going to surface next it is difficult getting a good picture of the cormorant. Phil had been trying for about 4 years and had only succeeded in getting distant photos. But today Phil got lucky. He snapped off about 12 shots very quickly and got a great shot of a cormorant.
vendredi 23 août 2019 – Friday, August 23, 2019
Sandy purchased a piece of watermelon, and other fresh fruit at the market. Monsieur Alix, his son, and lady assistant greeted us even though they didn’t wait on us. Always pleasant to see a smiling, friendly face.
We walked to Intermarche to pick up the last few needed items and walked home along the digue. We occasionally hear a jet or plane, but not often. We looked up, above the beach, to see the French equivalent of the Blue Angels flying in formation and spewing blue, white, and red smoke. We waited a few minutes and they passed again. Interesting!!
Interesting at the boules game today. Alain wasn’t there, which we knew, but another lady we’d watched all summer came and shook our hands and said bonjour. Probably if we were here another month we’d be on “bise,” kiss on both cheeks, terms.
Our son Michael is an assistant professor and librarian at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. A photo of him while presenting to a class has been added to the library web site. So he sent us a screen capture of the web site with his picture. Very nice to see.
samedi 24 août 2019 – Saturday, August 24, 2019
The forecast for today is hot with a high of 30C (86F). Absolutely too hot!
However the water temperature st the beach was absolutely cold! The temperature in the water was 19C (64F) and super cold. It took quite awhile of continually moving around in the water before Sandy was numb enough not to feel the cold.
On our way back, we met our neighbors that live in Versailles, France and own the apartment on the top floor of our building. They just returned from a trip to Beirut, Lebanon and said the ocean temperature there was 29C (84F). They invited us for an aperitif at noon on Sunday to see all of the remodeling they had completed earlier this spring and summer.
dimanche 18 août 2019 – Sunday, August 18, 2019
At noon we went up to our neighbors apartment on 5th floor (6th floor in the USA) for an aperitif. They are on the top floor of the apartment building. Natale and Nicolas were there with their son Corentin. They were spending just a couple of days here to take a look at the remodeling work they were having done on the attic apartment which is above their apartment. They had purchased the attic and were remodeling it so their children Corentin and his sister Gwenaëlle could use it as their own vacation spot. The remodeling was coming along very nicely and looked great. Gwenaëlle was not with her family because she is spending the college semester in Beirut, Lebanon.
We spent a good amount of time discussing family matters, world affairs and just about anything else you could think of. We really enjoyed the tuna dip and the lobster dip. Phil got to try a new drink which Nicolas mixed. Unfortunately Phil cannot remember the name of the drink, but it was a potent drink.
We had a great late afternoon dinner at the B’Art à Thé restaurant. This was probably our 6th time at the restaurant and every meal had been delicious.
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.
Pretty quiet this morning when Sandy took our garbage and recycling to the center. She was 6th in line at the boulangerie today and several tables on the terrace and the interior were occupied. Tourist season is not over yet.
We took a walk in the morning towards the mole/breakwater. The temperature was so cool that even Phil wore a jacket. We reached the end of the Intra-Muros to look at the Plage du Mole ( breakwater beach ) and the wind was very strong. Sandy took her hat off so it didn’t blow away and we decided it was too windy to walk to the end of the pier. Instead we walked along the basin towards the esplanade Saint-Vincent, looked at the ocean then walked inside the walls to return.
a Nissan Leaf electric car getting a charge at the harbor
We enjoyed an espresso at Charly’s bar and watched people, dogs, birds, gulls, and waiters going to and fro. It was cloudy all morning.
In the afternoon we watched a boules game for a while on our way to the Cathedral. They were providing tours of their bell tower as a way to encourage donations for the renovations of some of their bells. We were at the meeting point but the guide said there were too many people. We elected to leave giving tourist in town for the day a chance to visit. We’ll return on Wednesday at 5pm or Thursday morning.
a cabbage growing in the garden by the castle
le mardi 28 août 2018 – Tuesday August 28, 2018
Sandy frequently sees unusual sites on her way to and from the boulangerie. Today on her return trip she spotted a lady walking down the street wrapped in a towel, heading towards the beach. There were no apparent swimming suit shoulder straps visible. This doesn’t mean much, except the temperature was 12C, 53F, and it was chilly. The beaches here are top optional, but not nude beaches. Maybe she was on her way to shower at a friend’s house.
At the marché Sandy was buying fresh fruit. Another customer from the UK was speaking to the assistant in English. Sandy heard him say that in Greece, an entire watermelon costs 1 euro. The assistant did not understand and was trying to ask him questions. Sandy helped and translated into French for the assistant. The assistant understood, then explained the whole conversation, including Sandy’s translating to Monsieur Alex.
At 12h00, Sandy agreed to meet Christine, our tutor at her house. She had invited Sandy to go to Rennes with her for the afternoon.They were going in Christine’s car which was not air-conditioned. It was a practical size for France, so fairly small but easy to park and drive on narrow streets. It was 22C in Saint-Malo, 27C and sunny in Rennes and hot in the car.
Rennes is a large city and the capital of Brittany. First they visited the Couvent Des Jacobins which had been turned into an exhibition hall. It was a beautiful, light and airy building with an interior cloister. The exhibit contained some of the artwork collected by a world-renowned collector named Francois Pinault. He has assembled over 3000 artworks of the 20 and 21st century. The collection was interesting and bizarre. Then they walked (Donna and Caron – you would be glad you weren’t with us) more than 7 kilometers in the center of the town.
Rennes reminded Sandy of Strasbourg. There were many pedestrianized small cobble stoned streets with bars, restaurants, and boutiques lining both sides of the streets. They were curvy, narrow, and fun to look at. Many houses were similar in style to the city of Dinard, France which has many half timbered houses that tilt one way or another. They also toured the grand Parc du Thabor, 25 acres in size, which is a very large park in the center of the city. It is considered an elegant and romantic French and British style garden. There was an aviary in the center and an Orangerie. They didn’t take time to visit the Orangerie or winter interior garden.
ancient architecture in Rennes
ancient architecture in Rennes
They stopped in the Cathedral which was a beautiful building built around 1845. They looked in several boutiques and arrived home close to 19h00. Sandy was very tired and her feet were sore. She enjoyed her outing, learned a lot about Rennes and practiced speaking French. Thank you Christine.
le mercredi 29 août 2018 – Wednesday August 29, 2018
Sandy was still tired this morning and chose to purchase our breakfast croissant at Maison du Pain, a very short walk from home. However, the sign on the door said, on vacation until September 5th. Sandy then walked to her usual boulangerie La Fournee Malouine but had extra steps since she didn’t intend to shop here.
while waiting for the bus we saw this freighter being unload in the basin
She spent two hours tutoring with Christine. Christine is leaving for a vacation in Spain tomorrow and won’t return until 11th of September. Sandy will take a plant for Christine to “plant sit” and a check to Christine later on that day.
le jeudi 30 août 2018 – Thursday August 30, 2018
Again it was cool, 13C and quiet in the morning. We noticed shutters in neighboring apartments staying closed yesterday. Back to school time. School starts Monday in France so time for the tourists with children to depart.
We took the bus to the Carrefour at the Madeleine Center to look for white dryer sheets. No luck! They must have discontinued them. Alain had given us a plant when we first arrived in Saint-Malo. We saw the same plant while shopping and took a photo to remember the name. It is called a Bromeliacea plant.
We did see “The General” a local character on our bus.
We watched Alain play boules for a while in the afternoon.
le vendredi 31 août 2018 – Friday August 31, 2018
Very quiet this morning. After breakfast we walked to Saint-Servan to buy meat from the butcher. We told him good-bye, he wished us a good winter. His assistant thanked Sandy for helping her practice English and wished us a Happy New Year and a good 2019. Sandy thanked her for her help in practicing French.
We have a lot of tasty meals lined up until we leave! We saw several cars being packed for departure. It was a sunny day with a high temperature of 20C, 70F.
Claude is 92 and still playing boules daily.
le samedi 1 septembre 2018 – Saturday September 1, 2018
Quiet again and Sandy spotted more people leaving with luggage, shopping bags etc this morning.
This weekend is the braderie at the Hippodrome or race track. In the past, an euro entry included a complimentary soft drink. This is the 50th anniversary of the event, so there was no charge, but also no free beverage. We walked around, looked at everything but didn’t buy anything. We spotted two pewter ducks, similar to our own, and a larger duck. We have never seen any of the pewter chickens that we have in Saint-Malo. Everything, the Gare, streets, stores are less crowded.
The temperature climbed to 26C, perfect beach weather. We walked in the ocean admiring the sail boats, the horizon, and enjoyed the cold water. We made a guess that there were only 10% of the number of people here today compared to the last time we were in the water. It seemed like paradise.
Fort National looking good with a stiff wind coming in from La Manche (English Channel)
the RENARD at full sails in the bay
le dimanche 2 septembre 2018 – Sunday September 2, 2018
There must have been a ferry leaving soon on it’s way to the UK when Sandy walked to the recycling center and boulangerie. About 8 British people were in front of her at the boulangerie. They all had backpacks, hand luggage, and larger luggage on wheels. They ordered something like 16 different vienoiseries (pain au chocolat, croissant, pain aux raisons, croissant almond) and each picked out their own order. It took quite awhile to get all of them purchased and departing before it was Sandy’s turn.
After breakfast and close to high tide, we spent awhile at the harbor. We watched a few boats travel in and out of the locks, Corsair and Condor ferries arrive and depart before heading home for lunch.
In the afternoon the temperature was 25C so we headed for a walk in the ocean. It was windier than yesterday but still lovely to enjoy the sun, fresh air, and sea water.