Night Location: St Malo, France
Song of the Day: Feels like home - Josh Groban
Mumisode of the Day: "That's at least a litre! That man is eating at least a litre of ice-cream. I can't believe this. What a cafe is this. I have never seen anything like this! I can't believe I'm only eating Tarte de Pomme!"
This morning, Gemma was awoken by Amber bursting into her room and shouting, "Gemma, get up, there's sun. It's sunny!" Indeed we woke up this morning, in sharp contrast from yesterday, to find ourselves looking at a cloudless blue sky. For the first time since we have been in St Malo we could see a really definite horizon, where the deep blue of the sea met the light blue of the sky. For anyone that knows Amber, they would know how out of character it is for her to be up and excited. Not only did she leap out of bed with joy at the thought of being in St Malo on yet another sunny day,but she also woke up David and then Gemma.
We have spent the whole day exploring various parts of the town. Amber and David went to 10am Mass in the St Vincent Cathedral and tried to follow the various prayers and songs in French. The light coming through the stained glass window, the organ and the choir made the experience utterly worthwhile.
Gemma, after two strong cups of coffee, was ready to face the day. After catching up on some emails in a small cafe, Gemma, Amber and David tried one of the local delicacies, a small apple pastry that was extremely crumbly and just delicious. David described it as a "heart attack."
It was now mid-morning by this time and so the tide was well on its way out. The sea pool was beginning to emerge from the water and so the children decided to do a lap around the edge and to feel the water. The temperature of the sea is actually quite pleasant and Gemma and Amber contemplated going in. This would have been more likely if they were not going to be observed by the hundreds of people wandering the ramparts. The edge of the pool was extremely slimy and slippery and Gemma almost fell off the edge quite a few times. Amber to the rescue once again.
Amber and David both got great pictures from the top of the diving board. Gemma was not going to brave this climb. The walk ended with a climb over some tricky rocks. Mum watched on and applauded our progress.
With the changing of the tide, the causeway that connects the mainland with the two island forts was emerging from the water and so we made the crossing to the first island. Although there is no real obvious fort on this island, everywhere you look you see the remains of concrete bunkers used by the Germans in WWII. It was such an impressive sight to look back at the walled city, with the people walking on the walls and across the sandy beach. Mum sat for some time on the rocks here and sketched the walls of the city as well as the people making the journey across to the island.
The weather really was magnificent: so much sun and warmth. Gemma and David both wandered around in just T-Shirts for much of the day. We all sat and watched as out of the water there appeared at first some rocks, and then ever so slowly the second causeway to the next island. We were among the first to make the crossing over to this fort and enjoyed finding a path up and over the barnacle covered rocks to the entrance. Merrells (our group shoes) really are all-terrain shoes. They deserve a special wrap after today. Gemma, Amber and David all went in to explore the fort, commissioned by Louis XIV and still standing.
We headed back to the mainland after this for some refreshments. Frites and baguettes were consumed fairly rapidly and then into the awesome ice-creamery. As Mum has a bit of a cough she decided not to have any ice-cream and so settled for some Tarte de Pommes (apple pie) but was amazed by the ice-cream creations she saw across the room. She kept wishing that she could be here on a different day. Even the milk shakes were enormous, a real Mum sort of drink. She settled for drinking a large portion of Dad's smoothie.
The girls did a bit more wandering through the shops in the late afternoon. Some beautiful ink and water-colour art-pieces have been purchased by Mum along with another scarf. Amber and David are going out tonight for a romantic night on the town.
Tomorrow we leave St Malo and head for the Loire Valley, setting up camp in Saumur where our house sits right next to the Saumur Chateau.