Almost the End of Europe
Trip Start Apr 08, 2007
67Trip End Dec 22, 2007
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We drove right through to St Malo from Lacanua which took most of the day. We checked into a budget hotel chain and went next door for dinner....at Macca's. The first time we'd resorted to the golden arches through the whole trip, but after driving so far we just didn't want to get in the car again to look for something else.
The next day we visited Mont St Michel, a tidal island just off the coast of Normandy. At low tide the mud flats stretch in all directions for km's. But when the 14 metre tides come in the island is cut off from the mainland except for a man made causeway where hordes of tourists descend daily. Parts of the car park are submerged daily on the high tide and signs are posted when this will be
Once inside the main gates and through the drawbridge the narrow alleys are full of tourist shops, bars, and restaurants. Stairs wind upward towards the gothic church and out to the lookouts over the endless mudflats. (It was low tide when we visited). We stopped at a coffee shop for a break. Coffee for mum and a crepe for all. Once the owner realised she wouldn't make much money from us her demeanour changed completely. The crepes where crap as well. What a bitch!
From there we returned to St Malo to visit the walled city. We've seen some great walled cities on our tramp through Europe but the views from the walls of St Malo are pretty hard to beat. Facing directly into the English Channel and fully exposed to the elements the walls cop a pounding from the wind and waves. In front of the walls they have sunk stumps of wood as thick as power poles to break the wave action. I searched the internet and found there is occasionally some pretty good waves around this area but no luck when we were there. As it was only 12 degrees I may have baulked at going out even if it was good. Instead we walked right around the walls dodging heavy downpours, only for the sun to reappear five minutes later. We had dinner in a deserted restaurant and it turned out to be one of the best meals we've had the entire trip
We took off the next morning for the American War Museum, the resting place for over 9000 American soldiers who lost their lives mainly during the beach invasion of Normandy, the turning point of WWII. The cemetery is located on the cliff overlooking Omaha Beach, one of five beaches where the allies came ashore. The museum gives the whole story. Not just the facts but personal stories of some of the soldiers and multi media displays. Mum had been here before and knew a lot about it already but Mandy and I both learnt a lot.
We headed off further west, our destination, Steve and Karin's back near Amsterdam where it all began four months ago. We drove all afternoon and arrived at ten o'clock that night. A bloody big day. It was a good feeling knowing that the driving was all but over.
Coming Up Next:
More Fun with Steve and Karin....