Kar nag delices

Somewhen in the dark reaches of the night, we hit some over-swollen swells – the ferry lurched and seemed to crash through 7 storey waves. Made it difficult to sleep, combined with the proximity of the ceiling and I managed scant snooze time. Alas, no funereal dirge to wake us this trip – I think some clever previous passenger had disconnected the speaker in our cabin. Thank you, whoever you are!

We joined the milling throng by the information desk and waited the pre-requisite 2 hours to disembark. We managed to fight our way through the school children (why do school groups get to leave the boat first? They’re young, they can wait) and stepped out into a beautiful clear St Malo morning.

All very bright and cheerful, we climbed aboard the bus which Mirinda didn’t want to board. She thought the huge crowd of non-moving kids was getting on. Oh no, this coach was for us and about 6 others. Another nice trip to the terminal where Mirinda’s passport was looked at while she was actually present unlike in Portsmouth where I showed both passports to the guy at the ticket desk while Mirinda was guarding the bags.

We were the last people to leave the terminal but, as last time, there were 2 cabs waiting for the stragglers and we were quickly whisked off to the hotel. It felt like coming home! We were just given our key and told the room was free already (at 8am!) – no names, no pack drill – so we went straight to room 6 and dumped our bags.

It was then down for the traditional Breton breakfast galette and a much needed coffee. We took a stroll around the ramparts to walk off the galettes before slowly making our way back to the hotel for a mid-morning snooze.

Stupid Gaz left our toothpaste on the ferry! Couldn’t find a chemist open and there is NO supermarket in St Malo inter-muros but it was only 11:30. Given that most of St Malo doesn’t open until 2pm at the earliest, I was hopeful for a little more success later. Thus were my thoughts as my eyelids grew heavier and the fog descended. Zzzzzz

I managed to sleep for 3 hours and Mirinda for 4, we then hit the now extremely crowded St Malo streets. We stopped at a café for a coffee and ice cream and counted all the poodles – there were 5 – and watched the many other small dogs being escorted round the square.

There was one confident little chap without a lead who just seemed to be patrolling his territory, unafraid to see off potential threats like Doberman’s and bull terriers, providing, of course, they were securely held by their owners.

Crowds in St Malo

Crowds in St Malo

We purchased the customary 4 tins of Breton biscuits and some little biscuity, sugary things that Mirinda wanted because they are mentioned in The White Horse. In French they are called “kar nag delices” but she calls them sugar biscuits. I’m not sure if the white horse is the nag.

Then it was back to the room for a restful bit of reading. This is EASILY the best way into a holiday. I recommend St Malo for a great, slow launch for anyone wanting a holiday away from the pressure of real life.

Dinner was at Le Lion Dor. I had duck breast in a pepper sauce followed by Grand Marnier crème brulee and Mirinda had 3 lamb chops, followed by crepe with chocolate, toasted almonds and vanilla ice cream. All washed down with a Leffe. Yumbo scrumbo. Then a slow stroll back to the hotel by 8:30pm.

“We have to be the saddest people in St Malo,” declared Mirinda as we prepared for bed.

Nothing on the TV was English so I was quickly asleep.

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