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Published: August 10th 2010
Today we have a full day trip and fortunately Tim feels good again so I don’t have to go stag.
Catch a taxi to the train station (sounds odd I know, catching a taxi to catch a train, unfortunately to catch a train from near the hotel we have to switch a trains a couple of times and we just don’t have that kind of time - Tim is not a morning person!)
After finding our train we discover our seats are facing backwards. Now anyone who knows me knows I get train sick in about 5 minutes facing the wrong way (that’s why I drive them, always guaranteed to be facing the right way, hahaha!), so since the seats are really big, I swivel around in my seat so my back is leaning on the seat in front of me, but now facing the right way, and I’ve gotta say, it’s pretty comfy!
We meet our driver at the train station. We are the only ones so it works really well for us! The guy driving us is really informative and gives us maps and info for each place while we are on our way to that
Dinan very old and historic. It is a walled city, so it is completely surrounded by a very high fortress wall. Walking to the entry in the wall we walk through very steep, narrow streets. The buildings are kept in their original state, so there are a lot of timber and stone buildings. The only reason everything was kept like this and not updated is that the town was quite poor and could not afford to update. This has now worked in their favour as this is the reason thousands of people come to visit.
Inside the walled area it is still a small town as well as a tourist attraction. People still live and work in there, so there are hairdressers, newsagents and churches. There is also a clock tower that you can climb inside (as if we haven’t done enough stair climbing!). So up we go, and get the fright of our lives when the bells go off (didn’t read the sign in French that says the bells go every 15 minutes!). Great view from the top of the whole town though.
MONT ST MICHEL
Next up is Mont St Michel.
The cathedral is built on an island that used to be 8km from shore, now it is only 2km. The road that goes to it is completely covered with water twice a day. The government is reconstructing the area so that it once again becomes the island it was meant to be. The downfall for tourists is that they will no longer be able to park so close as they do now. Instead parking in town and catching shuttle buses partway and walking the rest.
The building has been built and added to through the centuries, but has been kept original. As it has been built on a rock island you can see where they have used the rock as walls and pathways instead of chipping it away.
There are hundreds, probably thousands of tourists there today. Si it gets a little crowded going through the cathedral. The cathedral is enormous inside, there are so many huge rooms and different chapels. There is a room with a beautiful big pond inside with giant columns surrounding it, other huge rooms with nothing in them except for supporting columns, there was one room with big tables with white table cloths
on them, no chairs and in the centre of one table there was a big hour glass that we had no idea what it was meant to be used for (people in the room had all sorts of different theories from the monks could only speak to each other for as long as it took the sand to go through, they could only eat while the sand was moving, they had to pray while the sand was moving….).
We had lunch in a nice little café. There was a lot of eating options, the street is so narrow and crowded we pretty much jumped into the first one we could read the menu just to get out of the crush! After lunch we spoke to a lady with a giant poodle, I’ve never seen one so big, Tim even liked it. It had a really nice nature. They were staying on the island, on holidays from America. It’s a shame Australia doesn’t let people travel in and out of the country with their dogs I know quarantine is there for a reason to protect us but surly there are ways of immunizing digs to ensure they stay healthy and
can come back into Australia without spending six months in quarantine.
Our last stop for the day is St Malo. This is another walled city and has a large fortress wall surrounding the historic houses where people still live normally just like in Dinan, although St Malo is much bigger. There is a large port with some very nice boats and lots of yachts. There are a lot of nice beaches which were very popular considering the water was so cold! Most of the shops were geared around tourists, lots of souvenier shops. There was a lot of buskers. The best ones were a group of guys that played old time music but with a comedic twist. We had the best waffle there, we knew it was going to be good when the cook kept eating them! We had it with Nutella and cream, about 10,000 calories I reckon, terribly messy but oh so nice! I got a ‘small’ fairy floss on the way out while we were waiting for our driver. It was enormous, as high as my arm is long!
Two and a bit hour train ride back to the Paris and a
nice walk back to the hotel. Nice way to spend our last day is France!
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Congratulatons! and Thank you!
We are planning to visit St Malo,Dinan and Mont St Michel in May (for the first time) and your photo library and comments were great--and very helpful! Congratulations on your marriage! all the best..Lori