Saturday, May 12, 2018

Saint Malo

For our last day in France, we went to Saint Malo.  This isn't far from where Mont Saint Michel is located.  It was recommended by a friend of mine, and we had a great time there.

Saint Malo was once the home of some pirates.  Because the King of France at the time profited from their pilfering, he turned the other way and let the pirates run free.  This went on for over 100 years.

The city is completely walled in.  It sits right on the ocean, and there were several forts in the ocean around the city to help with its defense.  The city was bombed during WWII, but St. Malo decided to rebuild to replicate who it looked when it was originally built in the middle ages.

City of St. Malo

 You can walk the wall around the entire city

 Our eldest - Arlington - fed a seagull

 The tide was out for awhile as we walked around, and these boats were beached

 We walked out to the hills and a fort around the city

 Fort out in the ocean that used to protect the city
 Jacques Cartier who is known for "rediscovering" Canada

 There was a pool on the beach - filled with ocean water - where peopel could swim

 Rocky areas around the city

 The tide was out, so we walked and climbed this hill and explored the beaches around it

 Saw this seagull grab a live crab out of the ocean and eat it.
 Because the tide is out, clams dotted the rocks that would normally be underwater.

 Finding a lot of seashells that washed up on the beach
 This would all be underwater at high tide

 Views from top of the hill we climbed

 As we walked back to the city, we noted the tide was coming in - fast.  There is a guy in a yellow vest that was blocking people from going out to the island since the path out would soon be underwater

 This restaurant served Finley Soda.  (the name of our daughter). Unfortunately they were out of it, so we did get to try it.
 After we explored, we spent the afternoon eating delicious French food (like these Beignets that were the size of our head).

Friday, May 11, 2018

Mont Saint Michel

Today we drove to Mont Saint Michel.  This was in the opposite direction of Normandy, so that is why we were glad for the car.

Mont Saint Michel was beautiful.  And huge.  It is normally surrounded by the ocean, but when we visited, the tide was so far out, we could walk on the beaches all around it.

We spent the whole day at the Abbey.  We visited inside the church and abbey and then walked around the town eating food and enjoying the shops.  The island was very very crowded.  After the big Paris tourist attractions, this is the most visited in France.  And I can see why - it was something to see.

On our way back to Caen, we stopped in Saint Lo to take some pictures since that is where my Great Uncle was killed.  It is a small city that didn't keep much memory of the war (especially since the Americans and Germans were responsible for flatting it), but there were a few things.

 Mont Saint Michel from a distance 

 When the tide is in, this sand is completely covered with water
 We walked out to the island (took about 45 minutes).  IT was a really great walk

 This buoy would be afloat when the tide was in

 This would all be underwater during high tide.  It stretched as far as I could see.

 We saw quite a few tours who were being led across the sand (which would have been underwater at high tide).

 The crowds on the island

 Mat and Cainan and I put our feet in the water and it was freezing

 The Abbey at the top of the hill

 Houses on the island
 View from the top of the Abbey out onto the sand 

 Church attached to the abbey

 Courtyard outside of the Abbey

 This wheel was inside the abbey and was built to deliver supplies from the ground
 Large fireplace in the great hall

 Inside the abbey

 Memorial plaque for the fallen in Saint Lo.

 Lookout tower from medieval times
 We visited a church in St. Lo that was heavily bombed during the war.  They kept a lot of the church in tact, and only partially rebuilt what was lost as a reminder of the war.

 Bell from the steeple that wasn't replaced
 Pictures of the town after the heavy bombings

 The dents in the church from the bombings remain
  A piece of shrapnel that landed in the side of the church.  It was diffused but left

 How they left the church after the bombing
City of Saint Lo