Tuesday, April 07, 2009

St Malo and Mont St Michel

We were going to go all the way down to Carnac to see the neolithic stones which are very similar to stonehenge just more of them but in the end decided that the 350km round trip just wasn't going to be worth it to see them so we drove along the coast to St Malo. St Malo featured in Neal Stephensons 'System of the World' as the pirate port which, as it turns out, was essentially true albeit state sanctioned pirates.

The old St Malo was a fortified city on an island similar to the photo of Fort National pictured below but on a much bigger scale. The buildings in the town are four or five stories high and only the top floors can peek over the walls. We walked around the wall for a bit before traipsing over to Fort National and back.

The tide was out and when it goes out here, it really goes out. At Mont St. Michel it recedes 18km, from the top of Mont St Michel which is about 600m one can barely see the shoreline in the distance. Back in St Malo, we stopped to have some coffee and a 'crepe nutella' which was every bit as good as I remember it from Avoriaz.

We're not having much luck with internet access, we can't find an orange wifi point anywhere and ended up war driving through towns looking for wifi hotspots. There are lots of them but no orange ones, this is not looking good. While walking around St Malo there was a statue of Surcouf the legendry pirate which was pointing out to sea but some smart alec had put a condom on his outstretched finger.

From St Malo, we went back to Mont St Michel and paid the 23 EUR entrance fee which is exhoritant but worth it at the end of the day. We got these audio guides which talk you around the attraction and give you loads of information about the history and people that have been there. Very interesting but there is absolutely no way I could have been a monk; aside from the chastity thing, to sit in prayer for 8 hours a day, have meals in silence and live in an abbey which is absolutely freezing just wouldn't have worked for me!

By the time we left Mont St Michel, I was feeling decidedly edgy and needed to get on my bike and get some endorphins racing around which is what I did, cycling the 35km to Mont St Michel and back. On the way back I saw this photo opportunity. Holland obviously doesn't have a monopoly on picturesque windmills.

Had another great pasta with pesto meal with wine, I'm really going to get used to this. Shower and in bed by 21:30 - this is the life!

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