…continued from First Day

The French woman then explained, in English, that we would be docking in 45 minutes and that we could get breakfast if we wanted. This has never happened before. I left Mirinda and went looking for a coffee.

I returned to the cabin and drank it there. Apparently Mirinda went for walk around midnight as she couldn’t sleep and said the ship was pretty much deserted out on deck. Except for a strange shadowy guy who seemed to be following her. It turned out he was one of the ship’s crew who must have been making sure she wasn’t going to jump off.

The Brittany Ferry, Bretagne, docked at St Malo

The ferry docked and without any customs or security fuss, we left the dock and, as there were no taxis to be had and a queue was forming, we walked into St Malo. Our first stop was Café Lincorn (Unicorn) for the usual celebratory galette & coffee then up the road to Hotel Des Abers – it’s just brilliant knowing where you’re going. We booked in but, unusually, the room wasn’t ready – the previous guests were still in it. We were able to leave the bags so we wandered off to return at 12.

We went for a familiar walk halfway round the city walls. The weather was not kind. We had rain, gales, sunshine, and big waves. We waved goodbye to the Brittany ferry as it returned to Portsmouth. We looked out at the island we walked to last time but it was now surrounded by water – it must have been very low tide last time.

Mirinda looking out over the St Malo walls during a brief respite in the foul weather

We eventually sat in a café watching the day trippers arrive through the main entrance to St Malo. We saw Le Petit Train but resisted the urge to go on it once again. We hunted for a grocer’s shop and bought fruit.

We were back at the hotel dead on 12. Mirinda hit (2nd) pillow and was instantly asleep. I sat reading and listening to a French busker singing Up the Junction in French. Very odd as it’s typically Clapham. I then left Mirinda to sleep and popped into St Vincent’s Church – St Malo’s cathedral – and had a bit of a wander.

Statue inside the St Malo cathedral

After Mirinda woke we went down to the beach. Lots of French families playing beach ping pong and getting burnt. A small family group of Germans, including one freezing granny, sat inside a deliberately drawn circle. It was all very ritualistic but I’m not sure what the circle was protecting them from. It certainly didn’t make the granny any warmer. We slowly strolled back to hotel.

Dinner at Licorne. Mirinda had her first (but certainly not the last) moules et frites of the trip while I settled for the hamburger that wasn’t horse. Had lovely crepes for dessert. Short stroll then back to hotel for some Archos then sleep.

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