Posted by: vlibrizzi | September 13, 2010

Two days in Brittany: Saint Malo and Cancale

Last Wednesday night, C. and I flew to Paris for an all too quick four-day trip: two days to explore Brittany, and two days at a wedding.

So with only two days to explore a whole region, we weren’t sure where to begin. Talk about last minute planning…by last Monday we hadn’t even reserved hotel rooms yet!

But then I took a look at the weather forecast last Tuesday night and it was obvious where we should go…to the coast!

So, once we arrived in Paris, we rented a car and drove the four hour drive out to Saint Malo on Brittany’s north coast, with a late lunch pit stop for some crumbles and tarte tatins at Dame Cakes in Rouen.

We arrived late at night (oh how we missed the French emobouteillage!) to hundreds of people standing around outside our hotel.

We hopped out of the car to take a a look for ourselves and noticed that the water from the English channel was rising up above the sea walls! (Apparently this happens all the time at the changing of the tides.)

So we cautiously walked into town (narrowly avoiding being hit by massive waves), and had a quaint but yummy French dinner at

The next morning we woke up to survey the damage around town and, to our surprise, it seemed as if nothing had been affected. We sat at in the breakfast room of our hotel on the water (Hotel Beaufort) and nibbled on croissants as we watched people like the couple in the photo above walk by on their morning stroll.

We joined them all after breakfast and walked into the downtown to see the huge castle (photo above) and walk along the ramparts which overlooked the coast (photo below).

The coastline was absolutely beautiful!

And the downtown area was typical of small French towns….utterly charming!

Later that afternoon we took a drive along the Emerald Coast of Brittany and watched the tide quickly changing.

As you can see in the photo below, at sometimes during the day, this island is not accessible by land, and at other times, the water recedes and the residents can access their home. Pretty amazing, huh?

After some driving, we needed to take a lunch break, so we drove to the tiny port town of Cancale, which is famous for it’s oysters, and ordered up about two dozen of them to feast on in a small restaurant that overlooked the ocean. We were in heaven!

Then we continued our drive along the coast, stopping every so often to take walks on the sand or snap photos of the craggy cliffs.


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