Where to go for a weekend in March? Before we embarked on our travel fast, we had a few exceptions already in the works. Back when we’d said there was no way in hell we were spending another winter in Paris, before we changed our minds, we’d told a friend she could have our apartment for a weekend. We were not about to renege, we would be going somewhere. The criteria: under 2 hours away by train and someplace we’ve not been before. Given that we’re spoiled for choice, we asked around. St. Malo was the answer. It had been on our list for a while, so with no further thought we booked our tickets. It’s on the northern coast of Brittany, France’s dairyland and home of my favorite yogurt, the eponymous St. Malo brand, which still comes in waxed paper cups.
And yet northern Brittany in March was probably not the best idea we’ve ever had. But we’re intrepid (motto: there’s no such thing as bad weather) to the point of stupid (yes, there is). The forecast called for rain and 40-50 mph winds.
The truth-in-travel shot
More heartbreak: we discovered there was an all-butter restaurant in St. Malo too late to make reservations. I come by my dairy fixation honestly; I was born in Wisconsin in an era when margarine was illegal. My infinite regret was somewhat relieved when our neighbor Julie told me that the butter that restaurant makes is available at the deli just around the corner from us in Paris.
The weather wasn’t all bad, we had glimmers of sun between the downpours.
We did drink an awful lot of coffee though, dodging the showers. Does Mark look tired? This is at the same bar we’d stumbled into (and then out of) the night before attracted by the sounds of a 2 man band and the local stout beer.
Being a seaside town, fishing was a major industry in St. Malo. (So was pirating apparently.) Mark had read about this style of vernacular architecture for fish markets and was excited to see one in the wild.
You know this is a bad-ass town when you see the manhole covers
A good portion of St Malo was destroyed in WWII by allied forces, thinking it was a major base of German troops. It was painstakingly rebuilt and while you can tell which portions are new, it doesn’t detract from the whole.
Protection from the sea. From Nazis, not so much.
Till next time!