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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

France - 12 May, 2004

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Mont Saint Michel (Auberge Saint-Pierre) N4838.153' W00130.727' 75 meters .
St. Malo N4838.947' W00201.699' 31 meters 71 km
Finish Aboard Brittany Ferries MV Val de Loire enroute to England . . . .

Total (BMW 330CiC)

2,124 km

Total (other):

455 km

Total:

2,579 km

 

Weather: Mostly clear, sunny and warm.  Cool wind.  Temperature of around 15C.

 

 

We have a lazy morning, enjoying our nice hotel room and snoozing in bed.  While the streets have gotten a bit noisier with the first wave of tourists to invade the quiet of the island monastery, we are pleasantly comfortable in our small haven.  We have persuaded them to include breakfast with our room, so we head down shortly before 10 AM to sample the food in their small, but good, buffet spread. After breakfast, we load our bags into our car and then go and explore the small village further.  We are fortunate - the weather has stayed favorable.

 

We take lots of photos here and there, exploring the tops of the fortress walls and the depths of the narrow, winding lanes.  Much of the town had been badly damaged in the Second World War when the German occupiers refused to surrender, but they have done a good job in rebuilding it in the traditional way.

 

We also find a few postcards to buy and sit on top of one of the fortress walls in the sun and write the cards as we want to mail them from the small local post office.  We also spend some time shopping for a few souvenirs.

 

Soon, the sun has risen to it's peak in the sky and it is time to make the long, steep walk back up to the monastery for the midday service.  This afternoon, there are many more attendees then there were last night.  In addition, a choir from the United States has come to sing during the service.

 

It is a wonderful service, with the sounds of the singing, praying, chanting and mass filling the vast hall of the cathedral.  With the bright skies, the cathedral is filled with the warm rays of the sun streaming in through the large windows at the end of the long hall.  We are interrupted by only a few tourists that make their way through the cathedral on their tour of the monastery.

 

After the wonderful service, we wander for a short while more through the village and then make our way to the post office.  But, of course, it is closed for lunch.  This is France after all.  So, we wait, along with a whole crowd of tourists, for the post office to open in order to buy our stamps and post our cards.  Then it is time to head on our way.

 

We jump in our car, put down the top, and head back to the main land via the causeway.  From there, we have decided to make our way to St. Malo.  We hope to catch a ferry to England from there.  It takes us about an hour and a half to arrive at the ferry terminal in St. Malo, where we discover that a ferry is leaving this evening for Portsmouth.  Just where we want to go to.  We purchase our tickets and then head to the old town to have a look around.

 

The old town in St. Malo is very compact and we are able to have a good look around the town and the huge fortress walls that protect it from invaders (other then tourists).  Along the way we find a quiet square to have our picnic lunch.  In addition to our lunch, we find a number of excellent little snack shops that sell wonderful chocolate covered biscuits filled with bananas.  We also buy some additional snacks for our dinner on the boat.  We are running out of time, so we need to head on in search of two other important items - petrol and wine.  Both are surprisingly hard to find, but in the end we are successful on both counts.

 

It is now time to board the ferry.  We make our way back to the terminal and drive up to the counter and go through all the formalities.  The customs and immigration guys pull us over and ask us lots of questions - maybe they are just curious about the car and the license plates.  They want to see what we are carrying and where we are coming from and going to.  It is funny - it is easier to get in the country than get out of it.

 

Once we have driven our car into the deep, dark caverns of the ferry - the MV Val de Loire owned by Brittany Ferries, we grab our overnight stuff, lock the car and make our way up to our cabin.  We drop off our stuff and wander around the ship.  We decide to pick up a few more things in the duty free shop and then sit at one of the many available tables with a window view and work on our journals.  We are in bed before midnight - we have to get up earlier in the morning tomorrow.

 

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