On the evening that we arrived in Saint-Malo, the light made the city glow like a colorized old-timey postcard. You know the ones? Everything cast in a pale yellow or green-blue or washed-out gray. Instead of parasols and bustles the beach goers wore hoodies and skinny jeans, but the sea air filling their lungs no doubt felt nearly the same as it would have a hundred years ago.
The early evening sunlight filtered through thick clouds that would open over the course of the next day and render photographs from the second half of our trip—an adventure up through Northern Brittany and Normandy—close to impossible. Not to worry: We won’t soon forget sloshing up the steps to the top of Mont Saint-Michel or scampering along slick cobblestones in Honfleur. I, for one, am grateful that a lack of photographs means that our drowned-rat dishevelment will be left out of the historical record. As I’ve said before: mine is an incomplete travelogue. Too busy checking out, to always check-in, as it were.
We stayed in Saint-Malo for only one night, but it jogged memories of visiting as a teenager and satisfied my reader’s itch to walk the same streets as Marie-Laure.
The historical walled city, known as intra-muros, was all but destroyed in August of 1944 when Americans bombed the town in an effort to wrest it from Nazi control. The city was rebuilt over the course of 16 years and it’s a sobering and fascinating experience to walk through the streets and notice new stones mashed up against the old ones.
Here, a few shots of our visit and a few small details from our visit in case anyone’s planning a wander there themselves.
For the curious:
Where We Stayed: The very lovely bed-and-breakfast, La Villa de Saint-Raphael is just a ten-minute drive from the walled city. The room where we slept was lovely and the hosts generous and kind. (True story: I found the place by googling “simple, pretty bed-and-breakfast Saint-Malo.” Ask and ye shall receive.) The entire place is a gem, entirely restored just four years ago. (If you go, ask to see the photo album of the process!) (No pictures, alas: but in Honfleur in Normandy we stayed two nights at the very lovely at La Chaumière. Highly, highly recommended.)
Where We Ate: Breizh Café was recommended to us in Paris, but the Saint-Malo location was a true delight with nary a waiting list to contend with! We had an extremely delicious meal served by a warm and friendly staff (plus crayons!) (In Honfleur, a dinner at La Chaumière does not disappoint.)
On Faye: A genius little Mabo linen dress from last summer that’s serving as a tunic this summer (like this one); equally long-lasting little pants from Red Creek Handmade (like these ones); summer salt waters.