Saturday, October 15, 2005

St. Malo, The Return

Just joking, I've never actually been there before, but I was going with title consistency ;-) St. Malo is a haven within France... a secret Oasis... St. Malo is a small town on the Atlantic coast of France, about 1.5 hours west of the beaches of Caen. I'm going to let the pics tell my story, this one's from downtown St. Malo:



Of course because St. Malo is so close to the UK (just across the channel), many of the islands are owned or co-owned by Britain and there's lots of medieval castles. Can you believe this fortress about a half mile off the coast!



That pic was taken from the batiments of a walled castle... well castle slash village on the mainland. The inner-village which is protected by the castle's outer walls is flush with touristy stores, restaurants and other gems:



Although France is not currently at war, a select few dedicated warriors still man the batiments:



Just off the beach you see this stairwell sticking out of the sea. The beach is so flat and the tide so variable that every 6 hours the sea rises and falls so much as to make a land path to that castle in the first pic. In addition they build a square wall with a diving board (the weird steps) so when the tide recedes there's a public pool right there, fishies and all! Unfortunately I meant to go back and take a pic when the tide was down, but I forgot my camera the first day and the second I was in my surfing gear (more to come, see below!):



St. Malo is famous for the guy that "discovered" Quebec because he actually left from here. There's a bunch of monuments here for that guy... I just wonder if we should celebrate his "discovery" or not, it is Quebec after all, wart of Canada ;-) Just joking eh! (well kinda)



Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee:



The international (and especially the Canadian) flags are cool, but the story is even better. Just behind this now converted restaurant is where the castle dogs used to be kept. In order to enforce the curfew the guards used to let out all the ravaging dogs kept here at night to run around the skinny streets in search of any delinquents. Tres cool!



Another view of the dog pen. Who let the dogs out!



Ok, here's the story, I've never tried surfing/wind surfing/boogie boarding etc. before and it was finally time to de-virginize myself. Being near the coast with someone who has all the equipement and required clothes totally got me psyched up for it... that was until I put their wet suit on. Thank god this pic turned out fuzzy because let me tell you that you don't want to see the clear version. The suit was soooo tight on "my boys" that not only was blood circulation cut off to sensitive areas, but there was also a clearly visible division of "assets" seen through the skin tight suit. I say again, thank god for the flash and blurry photo! What a superstar ;-)



I won't bore you with stories or pics from the nightlife out at restaurants and bars with over 300 international beers on the menu (I forgot my camera ;-) , so picking up the next day we decided to go hiking along the coast... brilliant:



I love it:



The waves were returning after a 8-9 day hiatus so the surfers were out and about. We must have spent over 2 hours just watching them catch waves:



That's the city and castle in the background:



St. Malo rocks, just go there... period. More on last week's tour (which is still going on) soon...
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