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  • Day44

    A Surprise Attack in Dinard

    October 3, 2017 in France ⋅ 🌙 8 °C

    October 2nd marked a rather significant day for Maggie - her 65th Birthday. She was actually thrilled to have reached such a great old age and to be able to celebrate such an event in beautiful St Malo. We can now both be officially classed as genuine "old farts".

    This week the tides are progressively working their way towards the monthly peak. By this weekend the tides will be at their maximum and all the homes and businesses along the sea wall will be closing their shutters to help protect them against the wave damage. We took the opportunity of one of the growing low tides to walk far out to sea and look for interesting sea shells. We found a few colourful small shells to keep as a souvenir of a beautiful early autumn day.

    By this time of the year the tourist season has largely ended and the towns have reverted to their normal cycles of life. The weather is mild and the deciduous trees have just started to take on the first signs of yellow, amber and red. It is the perfect time to travel in Europe. Forget the hot and crowded months of July and August !

    In the evening we joined David and Carol and Gordon and Sue to celebrate Maggie's birthday at a nearby restaurant called the "Kidy Gwen". It seemed a somewhat mysterious name so I asked the owner what it meant. She explained that it was made from the initials of all the chefs. I guess that made perfect sense.

    Somehow the staff discovered that it was a birthday and, at the end of the meal, brought out Maggie's desert decorated with a flaming firework that seemed to go on forever. The entire restaurant sang "Happy Birthday" (in French of course) and ensured that this will be a birthday she will never forget.

    Dinard is a smaller companion city to St Malo, situated across La Rance and reached by a 10 minute water taxi ride from the citadel. We chose to spend our last full day in St Malo by spending a few hours in Dinard. The weather has settled down to provide a succession of fine and sunny early autumn days and the short ferry trip was absolutely delightful.

    Earlier in the day we had farewelled David and Carol who were heading off on the long trip back to Melbourne. After sharing so much with them over the past 6 weeks we were really sad to see them leave. This meant that our team was down to just four.

    We arrived in Dinard just as the large outdoor market was packing up. These markets are a feature of many French towns and provide a fantastic insight into the French culture.
    After wandering around the quiet streets for some time we purchased a sandwich and a couple of cakes to enjoy by the seaside. After finding a lovely spot to watch the waves gently lapping the shore I felt that there could be no place on earth where I would rather be. Maggie opened her Tarte Framboise (raspberry tart) and began to enjoy her favourite French cake. All was well with the world. But it didn't stay that way for long.

    Suddenly, out of nowhere, a huge seagull swooped out of the glare of the sun and grabbed a large portion of Maggie's tart. By itself that would not have been so bad if the bird had not also taken that very moment to completely empty its bowels over the two of us. We looked down and were shocked to find that we had been covered in a huge splatter of dark green seagull poo. It was a quick way to spoil the magic of the moment, but somehow we both laughed - what else could we do ?

    Maggie sadly had to dispose of the remnants of her prized tart and we both set about trying to clean ourselves up. It is a moment that will long live in our memories. In spite of the seagull bomb, it was still a lovely day and we had so much to be thankful for. Tomorrow we will be leaving St Malo and making our way to Vannes. We are already looking forward to our next visit to St Malo in 2019.
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