Tuesday, September 06, 2005

St. Malo - Sailing, Mont St Michel and Langoustines

From Hardelot we drove to Caen in Normandy. Basically Normandy's tourist attractions can be summed up as one huge graveyard. We didn't stay too long there, but drove from Caen towards St Malo, Brittany.

Our first stop was Honfleur- a historical seaside port town, very pretty and touristy with cobblestone streets and lots of restaurants with English menus (i.e. catering to British tourists). Whenever we saw the Breton coast or any of its portside towns, there would be LOTS of boats in every shape and description. The one that excited us lots (which we actually have a shot of and I will add it here once I find it) was an old sailboat with long wooden masts and looks like the Cutty Sark or something. It seemed like everyone here had a boat, ranging from the little tug that you take fishing in the afternoons, to whales which seem to belong more in St Tropez than St Malo.

Mont St Michel
We had some lovely mussels and steak frites there and then drove to an even tinier town (population of 50) called La Poultiere. It is so tiny that I cannot find a weblink for it. We stayed at this place called La Gedouinais, where the earliest parts of the house date from 1320! It overlooks the Abbey Mont St Michel, which we climbed once in the day and once in the night. I totally recommend visiting the Abbey at night because it gets lit up and you can feel like you have stepped into the set of The Name of the Rose and Sean Connery will pop out at you dressed in Bendectine robes.

From La Gedouinais we went to drove around Brittany pigging out on crepes and seafood. Hence Langoustines being the last keyword, because I had a truly marvellous seafood platter one night in Dinard. It involved different kinds of crutusceans served up on a bed of kelp and accompanied by various delicious dipping sauces. I found that there is some technique to eating Langoustines - this animal which seems a cross between a prawn and a lobster. (it has a head like a prawn but long pincers like a lobster). You need to be really careful not to cut your hands on the hard shell because it really doesn't want to be eaten!

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