Saturday, June 4, 2016

Exploring Saint-Malo and Bayeux

Hey Everyone,

So I've been wanted to write a post for a while, but since I have been studying for my final exam at Plymouth Uni I haven't really thought about it. But now that it's all over I managed to make it through my year of study in Plymouth. But my time here in Europe isn't over yet. It's time for my Eurotrip! So since my flight was booked to come back to the United States wasn't till July, I made a point to go to explore all the things in Europe that I had only seen in textbooks.

So first off I didn't book with a travel company, I wanted this trip to be raw and getting the locals perspective of Europe, and that is exactly what I did. Although I will be on my own for this month of travel I relish the challenge of figuring out the culture, language and directions. So over the next month you'll be getting updates about my travels around Europe.

So the first step was to figure out where to start this journey I was to embark on. After thinking it over and talking to my flatmates I made the decision to start my trip in Saint-Malo, France. Tom suggested I take a ferry over to France from Portsmouth. So on the last saturday in May I got on my train and headed to Portsmouth to get that ferry.

Portsmouth it is an amazing city from the small portion I got to see of it. However I do plan to see the city again, the next time I make my way back to Europe. The Ferry Port was a bit out of the way from the actual city, so I began to walk there after I go done with my walkabout around the city. I managed to get there and get on my ferry. The ferry took me across the Channel at night so I had to sleep on the boat. Needless to say sleeping on a ferry is no fun.

When I awoke from my three hour snooze I found myself off the coast of France, and as the boat was docking I got my first glimpses of the walled city of Saint-Malo. Seeing something that was older than my own country, and how it was still in such incredible condition amazed me. After getting off the boat, I went through customs and got my France stamp, then I proceeded to see what the old city actually looked like.

The streets were narrow, but were filled with the smells of fresh bread, and pastries. The walled wrapped right around these beautiful buildings shielding them from the weather and making sure the occupants of each building were safe. I walked around for a bit then made my way to my hotel because I just needed to sleep. But upon arrival I found out that I could not get into my room until three in the afternoon.

So with that news I managed to walk around around explore the city once more. I first walked on the beach outside of the walls of the city. The beach itself was amazing and so beautiful, and it went right up to the walls surrounding the city. I then made my way back into the city. Without wifi, and not knowing a lot of French I found myself sitting on a bench in the middle of the city just people watching. I still had my head on a swivel to make sure no pickpocket would take advantage. But after moving from that bench and wandering the streets of Saint-Malo I managed to get this amazing sweet, called Beignets Masion. I can't describe how good it was, just if you ever get a chance to get one, just ask to get Nutella in it. After managing to enjoy Saint-Malo enough, I made it back to my hotel to get some must needed rest, but not without getting some french bread for dinner.

After over sleeping my alarm the next morning I managed to get up and see what I didn't see of Saint-Malo the day before. I walked over to the other side of the of the city to explore a medieval tower that managed to make it through WW2. Mentioning WW2 I saw several bunkers that were only about a half a mile from the city. They had holes in them that I can only imagine were from American ships. It was a moment for me that made me realize that the conflict that took over this continent was so deadly. It was the first monument to the war I have seen in person and not in a text book. I then made my way back to the walled city. I managed to get some great food, and sit on the wall itself and take in the views.

After that journey I walked into a Supermarket and had a conversation (in French, which I speak very little of. VERY little.) with a lovely woman. She wished me the best on my journey and after I got my french bread I went back to the hotel to get ready for my first train ride of the journey. The day before I had gone to the train station to make sure that I had all of my tickets in the right order, and to know that I could just hop on my train. I was all set for the next morning.

I woke up early to caught my 7:48 train to get me to Bayeux. I had one change at a small station called Dol de Bretagne. It was a lovely station but I wasn't there long, as I caught my train to get me Bayeux. It was sunny in Saint-Malo, and down pouring in Bayeux when I got there. I made a point to come to this small Normandy town for one reason, the D-Day Beaches. But seeing the Tapestry of Bayeux was a total bonus.

The beaches are something that I have always wanted to see because of my fascination with World War 2 and how it was such a global conflict. I had booked a half-day tour to see La Pointe du Hoc (where the Rangers scaled cliffs to take out German guns on the coast.), Omaha Beach, and the American Cemetery. At La Pointe du Hoc I saw craters that were caused by US bombs, and stood in a German bunker, the whole point really put into perspective what the war was and how so many people lost their lives. We then made our way to Omaha beach. I stood on the beach that so many gave up their lives to secure freedom for so many. I was humbled and speechless standing there, and that continued when I made my way to the American Cemetery. It was as powerful as Arlington National Cemetery, and words can't describe the feeling that I had walking around the Cemetery.

But shortly after the cemetery I got dropped off in Bayeux. I had a train shortly after I was dropped off so I went to the bakery my tour guide recommended. I ment a few Americans there, and they were nice enough to buy my croissant. John from Western Colorado, if you're reading this thank you. But shortly after getting that croissant I then made my way to the station, where I hopped on a train that would get me to my next stop, Paris!

So that is my Eurotrip so far I hope to be updating you all as I go along my trip. I will be posting on Instagram quite a bit so if you want to follow some of the pictures of my journey check out my Instagram: tucker_moss. But other than that remember to stay safe and enjoy the day!


No comments:

Post a Comment