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.
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The temperature in our apartment this morning was 20C (68F). So much better than a few days last week. The forecast in western France is for very strong winds this afternoon and evening-up to 100 kph (62 mph). That should significantly affect the high tide today.
We wanted to walk along the digue (seawall) this morning and walked towards the Esplanade Saint-Vincent where the bus stop is located. A bus #8, which follows the coast was parked at the stop. We decided to take it to the end of the digue and then walk back. Convenient! Usually this bus is jam packed with people wanting to go to various beaches. Not today. We got off at the Kennedy bus stop and walked along the digue. The tide was out, lots of sea weed at this first beach but very breezy. It was the only place along the entire 4 kilometer walk that we saw a significant amount of sea weed.
Once we reached the Intra-Muros most all of the parking spots were full. Only the underground location had a line to enter and showed spaces remaining. We read in the paper that yesterday was the “change-over weekend” where people vacationing for the month of July were returning and people coming to vacation for August were arriving. We couldn’t see any difference or increase in numbers yet.
We had a nice if brief visit to the Plage du Môle to cool off in the ocean.
mardi 30 juillet 2019 – Tuesday, July 30, 2019
It rained over night, but we didn’t hear a thing since our building is made from granite. The weather forecast was for rain and wind this afternoon.
As we walked past the basin this morning we saw the Spanish ship El Galeón Andulucia. It had come in yesterday for a 4 or 5 day visit.
We decided to walk to Saint-Servan, stop at the market, then head to the beach near the Solidor Tower where there is a brocante, an antique sale and flea market every Tuesday. Sandy wore a jacket for the first time since the evening of the July 14th fireworks. The wind hit us in the face as soon as we exited Intra-Muros. It was a constant 25 kph from the southwest with gusts around 40 kph. We held on to each other as we crossed the bridge. There seemed to be a lot of empty parking lots today. Maybe people returned home or stayed away with the weather forecast.
At the marché Sandy wanted round zucchini, having seen so many last Saturday. None today! She bought a yellow pepper and normal shaped zucchini instead. There were only about one third of the usual exterior stalls at the market. We also purchased a little meat at the butcher.
We walked towards the beach in Saint-Servan. Again, the wind was very strong. At the Solidor brocante only about half of the normal amount of displays were outside today.
We walked back over the bridge to return and decided it was too windy to stay outside any longer. We felt like we had fought the wind the entire 4 kilometer trip. In the afternoon there were at least 3 different rain showers. None of them lasted very long or were very strong but the wind continued.
mercredi 31 juillet 2019 – Wednesday 31 July 2019
The last day of July! Where did our time go and how could tomorrow be August already? Lovely cool but sunny morning. The wind from yesterday has moved on. Sandy read in the local paper about two events yesterday. The first, a sailboat with 4 passengers had capsized in the wind and had to be rescued by helicopter. The second, a swimmer, had to be rescued. Both articles repeated warnings to everyone to be aware of the weather when entering water either on foot or on a boat. Ditto for Michigan!!
Sandy met with Christine today. Christine’s daughter, who lives in Paris, is getting married on 12 September 2020 in Saint-Malo. The next year will be exciting for them.
Our afternoon walk again proved interesting. No boules game, possibly due to the wet court, but there was a lot of action on the ramp leading to the ocean. Since this is the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of France there are lots of activities to commemorate the event. There was a group of men dressed in American army uniforms from WW II, a jeep, a tow truck, another vehicle, and the landing craft docked a little way out into the water from the ramp. All of the vehicles appeared to be from the WW II period. We watched, along with many other people, while the soldiers backed the vehicles down the ramp, waded into the ocean, and parked the vehicles on the landing craft. The landing craft had it’s front ramp lowered into the water and indicated it was from Normandy. With all four vehicles, plus a group of men, it moved off slowly into the English Channel. It was bound for Granville on the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy.
We will have more about the World War II reenactments as we get closer to the date of the liberation of Saint-Malo by the American Army under General Patton on August 17, 1944.
jeudi 1 août 2019 – Thursday August 1, 2019
Cool, humid, and cloudy this morning. We purchased new monthly bus passes and started to walk to the Intermarché. Along the basin we saw the Etoile du Roy and the Le Français leaving the basin for their trip to Paimpol where there is a large festival scheduled for the next few days.
Paimpol is also home to the bi-annual “Festival du chant de marin” (sea shanty festival) which attracts thousands of visitors over three days in August.
We did our shopping at the Intermarché grocery store and stopped at the Rocabey market. Sandy purchased two cordon bleu pieces and a piece of Comte cheese by herself. All went well.
As we walked to the bus stop to return, one of the lady boules players arrived. We greeted her and she responded with a smile and a “bonjour”. Nice to be recognized.
Our local paper, Le Pays Malouin (the Malouin country) had many articles concerning the military reenactments which use equipment like we saw at the harbor ramp yesterday.
Chez Marcel was our choice for dinner tonight. They are famous for kebabs. Not the “shish kebobs” that are well known in the USA but shredded lamb, shredded lettuce, fresh tomatoes all piled high in a pita type flat bread. The kebabs are served with belgian style fries and are delicious with their “fait maison” (home made) white sauce.
After eating we enjoyed an ice cream cone, chocolate for Phil, and rhubarb for Sandy from Sanchez as we waited for entertainment. Each Thursday night in August the Les Corsaires Malouins singers sing “Sea Shanties” from the area. To be included as a member of this group you not only have to have been born in Saint-Malo, but also still reside here. There were about 14 singers present last night.
vendredi 2 août 2019 – Friday August 2, 2019
Today was a day of high tide with a co-efficient of 100. We walked to the Porte de Dinan to see the ocean before shopping at the boulangerie. There were only 4 rows of stones showing at the top of the wall. Good thing there was little wind today or there would have been a lot of flooding. There were several warnings in the newspaper reminding tourists to be careful where they park. We’ve seen many cars underwater due to careless parking during a high tide.
Stopped in to visit with our friends Marie-Dominique and her husband Michel at their HÔTEL QUIC EN GROIGNE. Their hotel is listed as #1 hotel in Saint-Malo. We stayed with them the first two times we visited Saint-Malo for vacations back in 2010 and 2011. They were fine and so is their family.
Our next stop was the post office for stamps and a quick stop at a gallery where we purchased two inexpensive watercolors of the local area. We want to replace two pictures in our bedroom in Michigan and these will look great.
We stopped at the boutique named Entre Mer et Plage to buy a key caddy. We found one made out of metal with three sailboats. Very appropriate for here.
Finally we stopped to see our friend Jean-Louis Jacob at his pottery boutique. Sandy purchased a candle for us to take to Michigan and another small gift. He had new fabric bags this year with his logo and Saint-Malo-Quimper on the front. He gave us two since we are good friends and also customers. It was a successful and enjoyable morning.
After watching the boules game for over an hour we headed to the harbor to check out the tide. This mornings 4 rows of stones showing turned into 28 rows of stones showing this afternoon. In fact, the entire wall was out of the water.
samedi 3 août 2019 – Saturday August 3, 2019
On our way to Saint-Servan this morning, we stopped to look at the high tide. It was about the same level as yesterday with a co-efficient of 104.
Saint-Servan was having their summer street wide flea market and we love to look at everything. We didn’t buy a thing, but wandered through the streets for over 5 kilometers, just browsing.
On the way back from Saint-Servan we walked through the Solidor area by the harbor. It always seemed like we walked here at low tide, but today it was a beautiful high tide.
Before going to the apartment, we stopped at the harbor and saw this interesting site, a dog getting off a boat with its life jacket on. Cute and its owners care about its safety.
And we also saw the new rescue boat for the fire department.
We watched the boules game in the afternoon and Pierre talked to Phil about joining them as a player next year. Sandy always thought Pierre had been a professor and Phil asked him. He taught music, especially the coronet. Another player, Philippe owns a white Scottish Terrier named Gavroche. He is a darling dog and very photogenic.
Lots, and lots of people with children in town today.
dimanche 4 août 2019 – Sunday August 4, 2019
Happy Anniversary to us! 46 years of marriage today.
We walked to Rocabey to look at the braderie (flea market) sponsored by the Handicapped Society of France. It is a very small event with only 4 tents. The items for sale have been donated by families when someone dies. There was a table full of books, religious artifacts, linens, and antiques / old, but not antique, household goods. Sandy always wants to teach them to organize the linens, but they just heap 4 folding tables with everything. If you’re looking for a pillowcase you literally have to search through dozens of other items. You might be lucky and find something or not.
We walked back along the ocean just after high tide. There was almost no beach all up and down the coast.
The weather forecast listed the air quality here as “Excellent!” today. We think it’s excellent everyday.
For our mid-afternoon 46th Wedding Anniversary dinner we again ate at the B’Art à Thé on the Place du Marché aux Légumes. We had a nice surprise, we got to taste the chilled cantaloupe melon soup. It was very good. The meal was 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.