Monday, 23 February 2015

Travel | Saint Malo

Hello, I apologise for the delay in putting up this post it has just been an exceptionally busy week. As you know if you follow me on any social media (all the links are to the right, if you don't) you know I spent Valentine's weekend in Saint Malo. I travelled there with my sister via Brittany Ferries and this post is going to quickly skim over my time there, so if you're interested please keep reading. If you would like any further posts on what I packed and what makeup I took with me, please let me know in the comments. 


So, on Friday (last Friday) after my seminar I went straight to the train station and got on a train to Euston where I met my sister, we then took the tube to Waterloo. We were both famished and had half an hour to kill so we grabbed some bagels before boarding the train. It was quite a long journey to Portsmouth, my iPhone battery was dwindling fast so I switched it off and all my books and laptop were stuffed securely in my suitcase in the overhead compartment. The train was very busy and very long, but we spent most of it talking and catching up.




 We almost missed our stop, by the time we realised we were in Porstmouth and Southsea we both scrambled for our suitcases, almost hitting ourselves in the process and then we struggled to get them past the seats to the doors because we were so panicked. Frantically, I pressed the button to open the doors but nothing happened so I pulled the emergency lever (something I have never done before, I was certain it would release hounds or something equally dramatic). The train driver spoke through the speakers and after we had explained we needed to get off here he opened the doors again.. Turned out, it was the opposite set of doors. I know, it was dark, okay?


There was a Co-op near the train station so I grabbed some snacks and then we walked to the ferry station. We got on the ferry fairly fast, there were no queues and we found our cabin pretty easily. It was very nice, there was a bed, a sofa, a television, and a decent sized bathroom, plus facilities for making tea and coffee. There was also a radio, but we didn't use it. We went exploring around the ship, we stood on the deck and found the bar to have some cocktails. I had the strongest Long Island Iced Tea I have ever tasted. We watched Eastenders and The Graham Norton Show in our cabin, after we had looked around the ship. There was a circular window in our room so we could see the foaming waves, as we drew away from Portsmouth we saw the Spinnaker Tower too. We were scheduled to arrive at six the next morning so we had quite an early night.


Finally, we arrived in Saint Malo we asked a lady in the office where we should go and she told us to go to The Old City and Cite D'Alet. Saint Malo is in Brittany and is located in the northwest of France, it's on the coast so there were was a beach too, but in addition to that it has a lot of history, IT used to be notorious for piracy and now boasts a large amount of ancient beautiful buildings. We went to the Old City, also called the walled city, first because it was so close to the ferry station, It is quite literally surrounded by walls, so as you go inside it feels quite claustrophobic but also really cool. A lot of the buildings were made of stone or were at least stone in colour, so it felt like we were in a black and white movie, because we arrived so early nowhere was open and hardly any people around so we just walked to see what it was like. 




We did find that almost everywhere was obscenely overpriced but we did find a cafe and had omelettes with a hot chocolate to fuel us for our sightseeing. I had a ham, cheese and egg omelette. The weather was slightly wet, it drizzled on and off before pelting down with rain at one point during the day but we had ducked into another restaurant at that point and getting lost in a bowl of steaming cheesy pasta. I had two hot chocolates in this restaurant because they were both delicious. 

In the walled city, we found the Saint Malo Cathedral (Cathedral of St Vincent) where we admired the brilliant stained glass windows. I love cathedrals because they are so vast and quiet, they just feel spiritual and old, like a relic from another time. We overheard a choir practicing which was really lovely, we walked on the wall, there were stairs to do that and we got a beautiful view of the coast and the beach, the surrounding islands, Fort Nationale and even some passing ships. It was gorgeous, it also started to drizzle, but we survived. 



After we had our fill of the Old City we went in search of the City of Alet, which took us a while to find, but when we did find it there were ruins and this beautiful old tower that inside is a museum full of ancient artefacts and shipping equipment. It had a spiral staircase and that echoing feel of a castle which was very exciting.


My sister wanted some food so we searched for a restaurant and we found all kinds of shops including a huge chocolate shop with slabs of all varieties of chocolate in strategically stacked piles. She even let us sample whatever we wanted, the salted caramel hot chocolate was pure heaven. There were shops similar to Boots, clothes shops, lingerie shops and a numerous amount of antique shops that were really lovely. There was one that sold everything from furniture to wonderfully old rusty gold bells to a surfboard. We had to get back on board at five, so we decided to head back to the Old City to get some food.



As we got to the bridge to get back, the lights on either side of the bridge flashed amber and a discordant wailing noise emitted from it. The bridge was moving so a humongous ship could leave. I never expected to see that, plus when we returned to the Old City a funfair was in full swing. We went on a ride that felt horribly unsafe, we were both in a compartment and the ride for the most part just goes round and round really fast, which I am used to and find quite exhilarating, but then the compartment you are in swings from side to side at the same time so  you feel like you're going to be tipped out. It was pretty awesome. We got some churros and nutella chocolate sauce to have while we wait to board and then we headed back onto the ferry.



We were in a different cabin on the way back, it didn't have a television, but a bed opens up from the ceiling. we put our stuff down and went to all the higher decks on the ships, we found the pool, the shops, and a salon. My sister booked a massage and we grabbed some food from the self service, I had lamb and chips and it was delicious. I tried to get some work done while my sister had a massage and then we listened to the radio when she returned as they played some really good songs. We returned to Portsmouth the next morning and then I stayed with my sister in London until Monday.


Thank you for reading, I hope that wasn't too boring. I would love to know what you were up to last weekend, so please leave me a comment and don't forget to follow me either by email or bloglovin', it is greatly appreciated. Have a lovely weekend. 

Love ♥
Kiran

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