Last April, on a rather grey chilled afternoon, I had the off-chance to visit a town in northwest France – in the region of Brittany – that I had never seen before: Saint Malo. Not exactly sure what to except, I arrived on the train from Paris early in the day, a little wary from a long weekend wedding in England that had ended only the day before. Peering through the raindrop stained windows of the taxi, my first impressions were more than pleasantly surprised.
Old town Saint Malo is a quaint, cobbled-stoned village with the typical winding narrow streets and sprawling patios. The exception, of course, is that this town is perched on the seaside and surrounded by the thick, stone walls of a fortress. This ancient armor encasing the old town abuts a sandy beach and remind us of a time when English privateer ships sailed the channel toward this foreign land. A famous French author, Chateaubriand, is buried in a raised tomb on a tiny island off the beach of Saint Malo. This spot on the coast of Brittany was also the home of Jacques Cartier – credited with discovering Canada – who set sail from Saint Malo toward the unknown New World in the 1500s.
If you find yourself in this charming slice of France, be sure to stay in the town center, old town, and visit the help-yourself candy store offering barrels of sweets guarded by two rather authentic pirates – fun for the kid in all of us.
A photo visit: