Friday, July 30, 2010

Saint-Malo! “Not French, not Breton, but Malouins…”

Last weekend I went to visit my friend Carly in Saint Malo. Andre and I had wanted to go together but he couldn’t get the time off work, and since Carly is heading back to Canada in September, last weekend was the time to go.

Saint Malo is a port city in the Bretagne region of France. It’s just under four hours from Paris by train so from Arras it was about a five hour trip.It is also the birthplace of Jacques Cartier.

Carly and Clément have been living on a sailboat for the summer in a harbour just outside the walls of the old city. When I arrived Carly gave me little tour within the city walls. We stopped in a café/cake shop for a piece of humungous cake, which we couldn’t finish even between the two of us. One of Carly’s friends then met us and we headed back to the boat to relax before Carly went to work for seven.

Carly’s friend and I then went together to get some dinner before going to the Malouin to join a few of Carly and Clément’s friends. The Malouin is a ship that belongs to Clément’s uncle. It’s pretty big and there were quite a few of us there. Everyone spoke mostly French so it was very good practice for me.

Carly and Clément arrived and by one o’clock it was decided that we should go to the Bellecoque; a favourite pub. We ended up going to a discothéque as well, my first discothèque in France. It was a very late night, I’m not sure what time we made it back to the boat but we didn’t get up until one in the afternoon the next day.

- Discothèque! -

Waking up at one, we had just enough time to go get some Moules et frites (Mussels and Fries) before Clément had to go to work. Carly and I returned to the boat and lazed around in the sun for the afternoon. Carly had to work at seven again so I went to hang out with some of the friends of Carly and Clément that I had met the night before. They were at the Bellecoque watching a live band but I got lost in the winding streets and missed the band. I arrived in time for a pint before we headed out to a friend’s house for a b.b.q. It was a big b.b.q. with lots of friends hanging out on the patio and lounging on bean bag chairs in the grass. I even played a game of petanque, or at least I think that’s what it was… We played with small flat metal disks and a board. One disk was smaller then all the others. The object of the game was to get as close as you could to the small disk that was thrown first.

The next day we went for lunch at Clément’s grand parents place. They rent a beautiful little summer home right on the ocean. The tide comes up so high that apparently, when sitting on the balcony, you can get splashed by the waves.

After lunch we did a bit of shopping before heading to the sailing club where Clément works. We had been hoping to go for a sail but since it was a Saturday and very busy Clement was asked to work. Carly and I headed out in a Kayak instead. We went all around the little bay where the sailing club is located. The landscape is incredibly beautiful.

Jacques Cartier's House near Clement's work

Suiting up for a Kayak

After dropping Carly off at work Clément and I got some supper; more moules et frites! Carly finished work a little after eleven and then we went to a party. It was then decided that we should all go to Escalier, a nightclub located out in the country side. I have heard a lot about the French Nightclubs out in the middle of no where. They stay open until seven and some can even have multiple buildings. The one we went to is pretty big, and has large out door space with picnic tables. It was kind of like going to a huge house party. The sun started to come up a little after six and people slowly started to leave to catch cabs and make their way home.

We made our way back to the boat and I had to get ready to go, my train home left at 12:13. It was a wonderful French weekend.

Thank you Carly and Clément!!

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