Sunday, February 15, 2009

St. Malo-vely

Me: "Je cherche le voie pour St. Malo..."
Conductor: "Malo? C'est pas VOTRE l'eau, c'est MA l'eau!"
Me (thinking): Yes, haha, you're very funny, but my train is about to leave, quit making puns and tell me where to get on the freaking train!"

I no longer have classes on Thursday. I had to drop a class in order to be able to be a teaching assistant, and it was the one class that was keeping me from doing that, and so it had to go. I don't think the teacher wants me or will let me drop the class, but I'm not sure what I should do about that! After explaining this to her I had to leave the class early to go on a weekend trip, for which I felt SO awful because she was incredibly sweet, but I'm here to travel more than I am to go to class, so travel had priority!

And travel I did. I went with four girls (Myra, Miriam, Melanie, and Jenny) to St. Malo, Bretagne. It was about a three hour train ride from Caen. Part of that ride was on at TGV train, which I had never taken before-- those things are fast! We arrived in St. Malo in the evening. It is a beautiful, walled city-- soldiers used to patrol the wall and shoot down pirates with canons. The streets are small, winding, and very old. We explored them for a bit before having dinner at a charming creperie (I had a galette ratatouille). After a looong walk outside of the walls of the chateau, we found our hostel, played some Guitar Hero with one of the volunteers who worked there (Melanie kicked his butt!) and settled down to rest up for the next day.

Yesterday morning we walked from our hostel to the walled part of the city, following the shore (we were along the English Channel). The shore is lined with quaint restaurants and adorable houses, like these teeny tiny ones! We had a great view of the forts, which are on islands outside of the city. When the tide is low you can walk to them, I think. We then walked along the walls of the city, stopping every once in awhile just to gaze at the marvelous scenery. We also walked around the city to see the various historical sites that weren't bombed during WWII (truly a rarity in northern France).

Daniel and Sean came from Caen at around lunch time to spend the rest of the trip with us. We had lunch and then hit the beach! It was the most beautiful beach I have ever seen! The walls were behind us, the forts and the rocks in front, and beautiful sand beneath our toes. Here's a view from the top of the walls. It was such a relaxing time, writing Valentine's Day messages in the sand, climbing on the rocks, playing guitar, and just enjoying the salty air!

Not long after that I had to leave to catch my train, but not before I enjoyed a beignet (donut) with chestnut cream from the carnival by the port. I had to leave early because today I think I'm going to Rouen with Mathilde. Rouen is where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.

It was a perfect Valentine's Day weekend. There wasn't lovin' from a personal Valentine, but I was certainly feelin' the love from my new Caen friends! It's so sad to me that so many of these beautiful historical sites were destroyed during WWII, but considering how old they are, it's amazing that they have managed to survive at all. They never disappoint, especially in France.

1 comment:

Chris Symes said...

What an amazing place!