Shearwin's in Europe 2015 travel blog

Michael Wittmann KIA in the middle distance to the right of the...

Imagine- tanks and other vehicles in line on this road and Whittmann...

Vauban's fortress in Saint Malo

The old central area of Saint Malo

Looks good, great taste, enjoyable dining experience


We were up earlier this morning as I did not have my camera with me when walking the streets of Rouen last evening. While Kaye finished dressing, I photographed the area of the Hotel De Ville and the Cathedrals before joining Kaye for the usual morning coffee and pastries in the centre of town. We then completed our exploration of this impressive city, capturing the earlier impressive images and more. Unfortunately, we were too early to enter the Cathedrals. One more day in Rouen would have been good!

We returned to our hotel, which has a charm that has grown on us, rescued the car from the difficult car park and were away by 1000hrs for the 3+ hour, 300+km trip to Saint Malo; on the northern coast bordering Brittany/Bretagne and Normandy.

Our first stop was Michael Whittman's Tank grave site south of Caen. It was sprinkling light rain at the time but I managed photo's of the site where his tank was destroyed and he and his crew were initially buried (discovered in 1983 and reinterred in La Cambe); even though there is nothing to see. We then continued on to Villers Bocage and drove the main street which he had driven with his tank, so boldly destroying British vehicles and equipment, contributing to the first withdrawal of the allied forces after the D Day landings (MW was Germany's 2nd highest tank ace and most highly decorated tankman of WW2).

The three (+) hour drive was quite wearying by the time we reached Saint Malo; not having eaten since breakfast. We refuelled the car and checked into the Hotel Villefromoy.

The hotel is in an old chateau that has been significantly upgraded and is lovely; our reception was was very good, helped by our receptionist who had lived in Adelaide for 12 months.

Our first task was to stretch our legs and set off for the 30 min walk along the promenade overlooking the English Channel to the fortified old town of St Malo - another of the many fortifications design by Vauban in Napoleons time. We walked the walls and many of the streets along with several drink breaks as we waited for our 1900hrs booking at the L'Absinthe Coup de restaurant; recommended by the hotel staff.

We had the three course menu which Kaye regretted; the food was lovely and came with matched wines but the servings were too large ( I thought everything was just great). We spoke very briefly with a Japanese surgeon who was presenting at a Paris conference; he was spending several days in St Malo resting from Jet lag and probably first class flight - not a bad life for a medico).

After the deliciously rich sweets, we waddled back the 30+ mins to our hotel and were in bed asleep within minutes. A tiring but good day; cloudy throughout; a little rain while travelling; jackets required late afternoon.

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