1st April 2015 (Spy Wednesday): Saint Malo & Nantes {France, Easter 2015}

We got up on to see sunrise (okay, not really sunrise but early morning) at the ocean before we headed off.

Our first stop was Saint-Malo, yet another fortified city by the sea. It can be traced to the 1st century, but the modern Saint-Malo is cemented on a 6th century monastery. In the 19th century, Saint-Malo was a nest of pirates, and it was destroyed during WWII, but rebuilt shortly afterwards.

We left the car in the outskirts of town and we headed towards the actual walled city, coming across the Etoile du Roy ship first. The Etoile du Roy is a sixth rate frigate with three masts, built in imitation of a warship from the Nelson era. Today it can be rented for events.

We reached the walls and headed off to the beach where the Fort National stands.

We strolled around for about an hour or so, and I really liked the old city.

After a while, we walked back towards the city and saw the Cathédrale Saint-Vincent-de-Saragosse de Saint-Malo and the remains of the cloister. The building was originally Romanesque / Gothic, but it was damaged during WWII, and rebuilt in the late 20th century.

We had lunch in a Japanese restaurant because when we went into the tourist centre we found a visiting card, then we headed back towards the city of Nantes. The drive towards the city was all right but entering the centre was nightmarish, as we got caught in rush hour. We went to the cathedral, the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul de Nantes, a Gothic building that was started early in the 15th century but was not finished until almost the 20th!

Afterwards, we moved on towards the Château des ducs de Bretagne, a reconstruction of the castle of the Dukes of Brittany, a thirteenth-century fortress.

Finally we pumped some petrol, returned the car, paid for the extra kilometres we had driven, and took a plane back to Toulouse to just have a snack and get to bed.