Beach front of Saint Malo

Beach front of Saint Malo

I had chosen to stay in Saint Malo for a couple of reasons, there was no boat in the week and the next one was Fraiday evening or Thursday morning, I had no wish to move hotel in Paris as moving would have taken up most of the day, so the idea was to base myself in St Malo for a couple of days and I could always travel by bus or train somewhere for the day if need be, as it happened I had plenty to do with the discovery of the archive and my stroll around the cemetery took up an afternoon. Last year I had stayed in Hotel de l’Europe right by the train station and I had no wish to stay there again and I was pleased I had chosen the Ibis as I think there was little or no difference in price and the room was twice the size and everything was clean and tidy within in it.

My lunches were sandwiches that I made myself mostly from pickings from the Lidl store that was a little away from the archive, I walked some distance to the beachfront and sat on one of the numerous benches a bit further along the front away from the walled town looking out across the bay with the island of Cézembre I had discussed this with my outward travel companions John Clarke and Robert Waterhouse when we had entered St Malo and talked about the bombing (details at bottom of link) that had taken place that I had seen footage of, after the war goats were left to roam the island as it was so dangerous with numerous live shells still around, John also informed me that Napalm was used here for one of the first times. Jersey was so fortunate in that it did not suffer the devastion of the conflict that was inflicted on much of nearby France . My two evening meals were taken at Le Britannic which also does rooms which I may try out on a future visit, I had eaten here a couple of times last year and had really enjoyed the basic French fare at a reasonable price with a pleasant barmaid and waitress unfortunately they were not here, but the new staff were friendly enough, I had moules frites which I had last year,  they are good quality and size with a very decent portion that I even struggled with, this with a beer to start with, half bottle of house wine, sweet and coffee came to £26, the following night I had some beef, if you want fancy fine dining this is not the place, if you want good wholesome food in a working class environmnet with the local workforce and families coming and going for and drinks and food this is it.  I began chatting with a couple from England who were next to me and they must have liked the place as they returned the following night, they told me they were on a package break and they had looked at going to Jersey but thought the £800 price was not value for money and they could have gone somewhere with guaranteed sunshine for that price, they were staying at the Ibis on the beach and were happy although they wished they could have had a seaview but the windows had been damaged in a recent storm.

Saint Malo

Saint Malo

I left on Thursday morning checking in at 7:00 am for a 8:00 am departure which was fine until we were called and I was one of the rear that entered the waiting hall for the bus that transports you to the ferry, this hall was very fresh with no heating which is fine but why keep us waiting there for 10 minutes for the bus to arrive why not call us through when the bus is there and let people board the bus, or the bus makes two trips to take the stragglers not that we had any. I would not have minded walking to the boat to keep myself warm. Not sure why departure halls in St Malo and Jersey have been placed so far from where you actually board the boat, these facilities have evolved over many years so one wonders how these buildings are designed, built, and used in this day and age with very little thought as to the experience of the paying passenger. Interesting to note that for £10 more I could have gone on Brittany Ferries to Portsmouth. The passengers on the boat would appear to have been mostly French, Portuguese, and Polish going to Jersey to work or claim welfare and me returning to fruitlessly look for work, am I missing something?

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