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132 travelers at this place

  • Day41


    July 30, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    One of my favourite books is All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and it is set in St Malo, an old port city in Brittany surrounded by granite walls. It has been a dream of mine to visit this place and it did not disappoint. St-Malo has the highest tides in Europe and the ocean can rise 13 metres in 6 hours. If you walk along the promenade when the tide is out, you simply can not fathom how the water could travel in over a kilometre and rise up over the huge sea wall - until you come back later in the day, and there it is. In one location there was a lovey sandy beach with a natural swimming pool and a 8 metre diving board and when we returned in the afternoon, the actual board was under water. The old city is wonderful to explore and many beautiful old buildings line the seafront.Read more

  • Day45

    Watching the Tides

    October 4, 2019 in France ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    It's a strange feeling walkin on sand, knowing that in a few hours time, it will be 10 metres under the sea. But such is life in magical St Malo. Life in this city is intimately connected to the daily cycle of the rising and falling of the tremendous tides. Just watching the process is a truly hypnotic experience.

    As we left our hotel this morning the tides were at their highest. Although it is now a couple of days past the monthly maximum, the variation between high and low water levels is truly extreme.

    As the waves crashed into the sea wall there were loud thumping noises as the reflecting waves collided with those coming in. Regular sprays of foam were thrown high into the air. Crowds of people had gathered, just to watch the waves.

    Later in the day the sea had retreated many hundreds of metres, revealing a vast expanse of clean sand. This sand becomes a daily playground for a diverse range of activities. Dozens of wind surfers were also making use of the stiff breeze to race back and forth on the water. At the same time, the late afternoon sun was making a bashful appearance from between the clouds to cast an eery light on the Citadel. It really was quite a spectacle.

    In two day's time we will be leaving St Malo and heading back to Nantes to collect a hire car. From there we will be spending a few day's exploring the Dordogne Region. It has been a remarkable trip but our thoughts are starting to turn back to those waiting for us in Australia.
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  • Day12

    Euro5000 - Bordeaux - Nantes - St-Malo

    September 18, 2019 in France ⋅ 🌙 15 °C

    European5000 - Stage 11: The end is coming closer... Castle breakfast for the early birds 🦅, a car swap before Nantes, and some fine oysters in Saint-Malo... One more stop in France 🇫🇷 tomorrow, and we can celebrate our first S.A.C. Rally in Amsterdam 🇳🇱! #European5000 #E38 #728 #LongestStageTillNow #Bordeaux #Nantes #SaintMaloViaDinard #CarSwapBmwForVwRead more

  • Day43

    Hello St Malo

    October 2, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    It is a great feeling to complete something that has been anticipated for such a long time. It is an even greater feeling when you have been able to share the experience with a group of like minded people. Unless you have actually done something like this, it is very difficult to convey exactly what it is like.

    After being through so much together, the members of the group really do begin to feel like some sort of extended family. That always makes it somewhat difficult when the ride eventually finishes and the time for farewells starts.

    Although the "official" trip finished this morning after breakfast,, the final time the whole group was together was at dinner last night. Several had to leave early this morning to catch trains to various other places. By the time we sat down for breakfast, we knew that our group was already beginning the process of breaking up. We will surely miss the fun and camaraderie that was an integral part of every day of the past 5 weeks.

    For six of us, the adventure will continue a little longer as we make our way north to St Malo. This is a wonderful coastal city in Brittany that we fell in love with several years ago. We have been back many times since then and never fail to be mesmerised by the place.

    St Malo has a rich history, being home to numerous privateers (state pirates) from the 16th to 19th centuries. It was also the site of a very important German naval base in WW2. When the German commander refused to surrender at any cost, it meant that the original old city was almost completely destroyed in the allied bombardment. It was then rapidly reconstructed in the 1950s. At first glance the city still looks medieval, however on close inspection, you can see that it is a brilliant reconstruction of what was originally here.

    There is another natural phenomenon that makes this place special - the super tides. The coastline in this region is home to some of the most extreme tidal variations on the planet. In fact the variation between high and low tides can regularly exceed 10 metres. In order to protect the city of these huge tides a massive stone sea wall has been constructed. Even with the impressive wall, at times of the king tides, the huge waves can go over the wall and crash into the waterfront buildings. At such times huge crowds gather to watch the spectacle.

    We had all had a marvellous time in Le Croisic, so much so that several of the group started to dream about how good it would be to retire there. But now the time had come for us to leave. Along with Maggie and me, there would be 4 others travelling with us to St Malo. This included Gerry and Gael and also Annie and Kay.

    The trip to St Malo meant that we would have to take three train trips. First we had to travel to Nantes, then take a second train to Rennes, and finally a third train to St Malo. Such trips can be much more exhausting than cycling, especially when you have to rapidly drag your luggage up and down numerous staircases in a very limited amount of time. It is at times like this that everyone decides that their luggage is too heavy, but no one ever remembers that when the time comes for their next trip.

    Somehow we all managed to survive the trains and we finally arrived at the Gare St Malo at 6.30 pm. Of course we still had a very lengthy walk to the Hotel Beaufort. It must be quite a comical sight seeing six old people dragging their suitcases over cobblestoned steets, vainly trying to dodge the dog poo and avoid snapping the castors off their bags each time they bounced over a curb.

    Eventually six exhausted seniors arrived at the hotel. For us it felt like we were back home. The hotel is situated right on the ocean front and the views are priceless. The manager explained to us that we had arrived right at the time of the "very dangerous king tide" that would arrive in just two hour's time. In order to help protect the hotel they proceeded to fasten wooden shutters and armoured glass panels to the seaward facing windows. I had always wanted to witness the king tides, but had not realised that it was due on the very night of our arrival.

    Although the tide rose right on time at 10.38 pm, the sea was quite peaceful. No waves came crashing through our first floor windows. I was just slightly disappointed.
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  • Day44

    The St Malo Citadel

    October 3, 2019 in France ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    Apart from watching the never ending performance of the rising and falling of the huge tides, the other major attractions of St Malo are walking the huge sea wall and exploring the so called "old city". With such monumental tides and damaging waves to defend against, the city requires a very serious barrier to prevent their buildings being destroyed by the marine onslaught.

    The major part of these defenses is a gigantic stone wall that has been erected along the Atlantic coastline. Not only does this wall provide a primary defence against the huge waves, but it also gives the people of St Malo a perfect place to walk, jog, cycle, roller skate or walk the dog. At any time of the day you will find a continuous passing parade of people and dogs moving past.

    The old city (aka "The Citadel" is an impressive walled city that was home to a German garrison in WW2. The commander of the garrison refused to surrender and this resulted in nearly all of the original structure being destroyed by allied shelling and bombing. It was a complete waste of a priceless historic relic. An intensive 12 years rebuilding plan from 1948 to 1960 resulted in the construction of the current reproduction of the original city.

    On our first free day in St Malo we had no ambitious plans, apart from walking to the city and then wandering the full length of the sea wall. So that's exactly what we did. We even got to see a couple of dolphins cavorting near the water's edge. It was a perfect day and an ideal way to relax after our long days on the bike.
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  • Day12

    Almost done...

    September 18, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    Good morning everybody! Today is the last complete day of driving. Starting at Saint Melo and after visiting Omaha Beach we are going to find a place to set up our camp before crossing the finish line at Amsterdam tomorrow afternoon.Read more

  • Day12

    Power Plant Dinard

    September 17, 2019 in France ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    Straße führte heute entlang der Rance von Dinard nach SAINT-MALO über ein Wassergezeiten Kraftwerk aus dem Jahr 1966. Damit eine der Tagesaufgaben erledigt.
    Weiter ging die Fahrt bis zu unserem Hotel in der Nähe von SAINT-MALO.Read more

  • Day51

    Saint Malo Teil II..

    July 21 in France ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    sodele.. echt schön hier. heute war ich laufen am Strand, dann dem Nachbarn mit dem Wohnmobil geholfen, er sprang nicht an (Batterie) und dann mit dem FAhrrad in die Altstadt zum Schwimmen an einem schönen kleinen Strand. Tolles Wetter. Dort kann man auch Cats ausleihen. Wow.. ich war dort und habe gefragt, aber irgendwie trau ich mich nicht.. die wollen 48 Euro die Stunde, was schon mal sehr teuer ist und ich wäre alleine auf dem Cat und hier ist viel Wind und viel Welle und viel Klippen. ne ne.. alleine zu gefährlich. Windsurfen daher auch nicht, Da muss ich wohl warten, bis ich ein Anfänger Revier für Windsurfen finde. Cat wäre ja noch möglich.. zu zweit bei viel Wind. :-)
    Dann zu einer Creperie.. sehr lecker.. herzhaft mit Schinken und Ei und Käse.. dazu Rose..
    Jetzt gleich gehe ich noch einen angesagten Burger essen, bin gespannt :-)
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