Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Saint Malo, France

Our journey from Guernsey to the France coast took something like 9 hours. The sky was threatening to rain the whole time, as usual. At least there was reasonable wind.
My crazy husband decided to do some fishing off the back of the boat. We were worried. The boat was tilting and bouncing so much I had a hard time holding on in the cockpit. He tried for a bit then gave up not long after. Soaked, cold and no fish.

I lasted about 2 hours before I retreated back to the comfortable sofa below deck and rested. This is the view I got from the window down there. The boat rolled quite a bit and a number of times I thought it was the end. It was a horrible thought: I was going to drown, with 60s music blaring on the background!

We were not able to go directly to Saint Malo because of the tides so we stopped at a small French bay for the night. We were all very pleased to be in calm water.

As we approached the bay a friendly (and cute!) local boat boy appeared and directed us where to anchor. He was also great help with the lines and the buoy. Remarkable service and hospitality compared to the ports in the Channel Islands!

After a nice dinner and a peaceful night sleep we set off first thing in the morning and the journey to Saint Malo took 2 hours. We pretty much had to motor all the way. As we approach the Saint Malo we felt instantly in love. The place is beautiful!

There is a lock seperating the 4 basins in Saint Malo from the tidal changes. We made it there just on time for the lock's opening and we were the only boat going in. Good thing we had experiences working with locks before so we knew what to expect roughly. It was still a little stressful because the boat is bigger and the lock is gigantic compared to the ones we used on the waterways around the Thames. Here we were waiting for the water level to rise inside the lock, with about 59 fenders on the side of the boat.

Once the water level inside the lock equalized with the level in the basin, the gate opened.

After they stopped the traffic and the pedestrians the bridge opened to let us through. Quite an operation especially when they have to do it every day.

We found the best spot to moor, right in front of the grand gate of the old walled city. Since it was our last day on the boat we had some cleaning up to do. We wasted no time. Afterwards we managed to squeeze in a meal and a power tour in the old walled city.
The wall.
Behind the gate and the wall we found small shops, food stalls, cafes and creperies everywhere we looked. It was like heaven.

I was literally drooling.

The food scene is a lot more happening here compared to the Channel Islands.
English and French. The contrast couldn't be more stark.
We finished our trip with what was to be the best meal for our trip and said goodbye reluctantly. It would have been nice if we could explore Saint Malo(and eat ourselves silly) for a couple more days.

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