After a day on Jersey island, we caught the next leg of the ferry to St. Malo, in Brittany, France. St. Malo is a walled and fortified city which was notorious for piracy and independence, as home to the Corsairs - French privateers who attacked and captured merchant ships of enemy countries. In the middle ages the whole town was given the right of asylum, encouraging all sorts of theives and dodgy sorts to move in. It is quite pleasant now however, and a popular tourist destination - supposedly the population goes from 50k to almost 200k in summer! It was very interesting to walk around the old city ramparts, and also to check out the fortified islands and swimming beaches which only appear at low tide due to the massive tidal change of up to 12 metres! The whole beach and rocks around the outside of the walls in these pictures are completely under water about half of every day, meaning you best time your swimming to suit.
There were plenty of interesting spots to explore around the old city, both inside the walls and out. It was amazing how far the tide dropped, revealing lots of features that were completely covered before, including a long walkway from the bottom of the walls out to the larger island (Grand Bé). There are even signs warning you off from attempting to cross the walkway once the rising water reaches its edges, as it rises so fast you will be washed away - in which case you have to spend the night on the barren island, or else hope for a kindly boat passing near.
The Ile du Grand Bé also holds the gravesite of famous French author, diplomat and politican François-René de Chateaubriand, also now the namesake of his favourite cut of beef - and more than one restaurant and hotel in St. Malo! The inside of the walled city was very busy with tourists, a high concentration of cafes, restaurants, gelato shops and some normal high street stores, as well as a few sights such as the Cathedral of St. Vincent. Very pretty inside, but for some reason they seem to have built the end wall a bit crooked! It's not just my photo making it look wonky.
We also visited St. Servan, a former fishing village and now outer suburb of St. Malo. Another few little bays to check out and a good point to stop at a cafe and order Cafe au Lait in broken French.