St. Malo - Hirel

More time behind the wheel today as we head northwest directly after breakfast. Our target is Normandy and more specifically Mont St. Michel and Coutainville. Philippe had suggested we check out St. Malo as well. We always do what Philippe says and keyed the destination into Google maps. The weather was overcast and the scenery was not as strikingly as some we have seen. More industrial areas now so we just concentrated on getting there. The Google map ladies' pronunciation of the French cities and road names is at times so confusing that I lose track of what she is actually saying. We never missed a turn though and arrive surprisingly ready to explore after a four and half hour drive. 

The first sight of St. Malo is another ooh and ahh moment. The fortified walled city looks very impressive from a distance. We luck out with a good parking spot and are on our way around the wall. At the first sight of the English channel Di burst into to tears with a sudden attack of home sickness. Her logic was that this body of water was connected to Canada, there were so many families together on the beach. The fact is, we are both home sick from time to time and it hits us when least expected and often right out of the blue. You hear a certain song or a sight triggers a few thoughts. The good thing is there are plenty of nice spots to sit down and talk in St. Malo. So we did just that. Fresh air and a good long talk about what it is we are doing helped. The gravity of the changes we have chosen have hit us a few times over the last month. Travel is good but it is also challenging at times. The planning, different foods (no complainants about the French food though), new beds to sleep in and so on. We had of course expected this and try to deal with it as best possible. 

After our talk it was as if a cloud had lifted both figuratively and literally. We had moments of sunshine as we walked around the city walls. In a spur of the moment decision we ordered fish and chips and regretted it somewhat after finding out the cost. It was however very tasty and we we could not complain about the view. We hit St. Malo on a Saturday afternoon and it was quite busy. By far the most touristy spot we have been to in France. After a quick stroll through town we decide to move along to our Airbnb for the night, located about half way between St. Malo and Mont St. Michel. The Airbnb was in Hirel, a very small coastal town with nothing more than a few houses, a church and a small restaurant. Great hosts again. By choice we cook up another bowl of oatmeal porridge for dinner and decide to walk the beach. It was low tide so we walked out in the soft wet sand… and we walked… and we walked… and we walked… I said to Di; there is no ocean out there. It’s a rip off! We never made it to the shore as our shoes were getting too muddy. The fresh air however was awesome and sleep came easy not long after.