Nate's Grand Voyage Journal — Day 27

"We found bug houses and bee hives at a rest area. We got to Saint-Malo, and after we got our luggage at hotel, we drove our car to the parking lot. We walked on the ramparts."

"Hot Air balloon flew over us!"

Bee Hives

On the ramparts


The ramparts of Saint-Malo (photo credit: Nate)



Le Grand Voyage — Day 27

Today was mainly a travel day.  There was more to see in Amboise, but the hot weather was forecasted to get 10 degrees hotter.  Brittany was supposed to be considerably cooler, so that made the decision to leave much easier.  Dorinna had found a non-tourist bakery on a solo walk, so we stopped there for breakfast as well as take-out lunch and pastries.

We ended up having those take-out pastries at a roadside rest stop.  Great little stop- a shady picnic on the grass, followed by playing on a playground and walking on a nature trail.  Not bad for a highway rest stop.

The hardest part of the day was navigating the narrow alleys of our destination, Hôtel du Louvre in the walled city of Saint-Malo (pronounced "Sa-ma-lo").  The streets were cobblestones, with slot canyon walls.  As we unloaded the luggage at the hotel, the only rude man in France threatened to smash our car.  Lovely.

With the car then safely parked outside the city walls, we relaxed a little before venturing out. We started to explore the city's ramparts- you can walk on the walls of the walled city almost entirely around the town.  We came down for a drink, and then found a creperie for dinner.  Brittany is home to crepes and cider, and I had both.  My gallette had mushroom, cheese, egg, and andouille sausage (like the cajun sausage you get in America, only less spicy).  I washed it down with calvados- an apple whiskey.  

After dinner we walked along the walls once more.  On this side of the city we looked out on the English Channel as the sun started to set.


Nate's Grand Voyage Journal — Day 26

Nate and Dorinna's graphic recap of the day

Photo credit: Nate Ruh


Le Grand Voyage — Day 26

We started the day by searching for canoe outfitters, attempting to rent a canoe to float the Loire. Regrettably, they were full for the day. But the search was an interesting walk to an island in the river, and we met an interesting character who only spoke French and whose every third word was "Voila!”, always made with an elaborate gesture.

After breakfast we walked to Château du Clos Lucé. This was a small château in town with one claim to fame- for the last years of his life, it was home to Leonardo de Vinci. Once you get past a few bedrooms and the like, the rest of the place is a Leonardo museum. 

The displays, some interactive, describe the many inventions he came up with in his lifetime. There's the famous wingsuit of course, but also a tank, bridges, weapons, and devices to move water. It was all very impressive. The gardens were even better, with life-size models scattered around the wooded grounds. Also mixed in was playground equipment, which Nate quite enjoyed. Although very hot, it was a fun low-key day.

Dinner at the Terrace restaurant was delightful. It was a shaded outdoor terrace on the roof of a building next to the castle. I started with giant prawns before moving on to steak. 

I had two courses at the end, a cheese plate of local cheeses, and my best crème brûlée in France. And of course, all of it was washed down with a local vintage. 



Nate's Grand Voyage Journal — Day 25