Travelling mercies in St Malo.

It started off so well! I arrived in Saint Malo at 9:45 pm, after a super quick TGV ride from Paris. ( Farewelled at Paris Montparnasse by the ladies!)

A taxi took me to my next Airbnb, in the home of Anne, and her 2 sons, Paul & Kevin. Sound English, don’t they? But they weren’t! But they were very welcoming and had a tea tray waiting for me!! Paul, especially, was eager to practise his school boy English!

A comfortable bed meant a great night’s sleep, but, alas! I woke up to a bad CFS day. Oh well! C’est la vie! No visiting Mont St Michel this trip! I spent the day sleeping, reading ( finished my book club book) and dozing, with intermittent water and tea! I was very thankful for the comfortable bed, and the lovely outlook from my third floor window.

The next day dawned and I awoke, much restored! Leaving my luggage to collect later at 1 pm, I set off in the direction of the old, fortified town. The Boulangerie that I soon passed smelt heavenly, so of course I popped in to buy breakfast! It was heavenly! Next stop was for a coffee, taken like the locals….A noisette! ( See first photo)

The Old town was wonderful to explore, and I had time to walk around the ancient walls. The sun was shining, the views superb and I had a taxi ordered to take me ‘home’ , collect my luggage, and then return me to the ferry Port, by 1.30-1.45. the ferry left at 2.30pm. Thus organised, I found a little van selling fish’n’chips, and had a wonderful lunch overlooking the sea.

And then the wheels fell off my well thought out plan!!!! The taxi didn’t come!! I rang and rang but kept getting a recorded message in rapid French that I couldn’t interpret!! So I popped into the tourist centre next to where I was waiting (thankfully) and shared my problem with the lovely lady there. She rang the taxi company and told me the message was that they were overbooked and over capacity because of public holiday the next day, that they couldn’t return calls. So I’d got lost in the rush!! The tourist guide showed me which 2 buses to get back to my accommodation, and sold me a ticket. Once again, thankfully the bus stop was right there! I caught the buses, ran up 3 flights of stairs, collected my luggage and proceeded to walk/run with my suitcase on the cobbled streets to the ferry Port!! Thankfully, once again, I knew where to go, but knew it was about 30 mins walk. Did I dare look at the time? It was 1.50 pm!! Oh no! The ferry people rang me twice to see how far away I was , and said that they could only wait for so long , so I kept running/walking, praying very hard all the way!! ………

I ran, red-faced and panting loudly into the ferry terminal at 2.24 pm, but the ladies at the barriers had to tell me I was too late!!! (Having boarded the next day, I see why!) Because of adrenaline rushing in my body, the physical efforts I’d been through, or maybe because I’m a sook, I immediately burst into rather noisy tears!!!!

The staff kindly pointed me to some seats, brought me a glass of cold water and assured me they could reschedule me on tomorrow’s ferry! It took some time to calm myself, and then they did indeed book me onto the next day’s ferries.

The next job was to find new accommodation….But I needed fortifying first…. Over to the drink machine, put in appropriate € for 1 can, and out came 2!!! Thank you, Lord! Then I got a message from a friend in Orroroo , wondering where I was, and how I was going. What wonderful timing! Thank you Lord, again!! Having had a ‘conversation’ with someone I knew helped me get everything back into proportion! All was not lost, it was all part of the adventures of travel!!

I decided on a hotel in the Old Town, and slowly wandered there. The man on reception was aghast at my tale of woe, so he assured me he would organise my taxi for the next morning, and that it WOULD turn up, which it did!

So it turned out that I had a lot more time to explore the Old Town itself, and to have a nice early dinner, before sleeping very soundly between crisp, white sheets!! That very helpful receptionist recommended a place to eat my last French meal for this holiday, so I took his advice, and did!!

A whole baby chook, on delicious mash, yummy rolls( could only eat 1) with very yummy French butter and a very creamy crème brulée! Bon appetit indeed!

The next day dawned, the taxi turned up on time, and I arrived at the ferry terminal early!!  The staff all welcomed me warmly and wished me a good journey, relieved to see me smiling!! The hour crossing went well, and I found myself on Jersey, at St Helier Port, with 8 hours before I needed to board the ferry to Guernsey. On my previous booking, I was only going to be on Jersey for an hour, now I had the best part of a day to explore the island. A great outcome from a missed ferry!!! I’ve always wanted to go to Gerald Durrell’s conservation Park( the Jersey zoo) , so here was my chance! Yay!! All I had to do was find somewhere to leave my luggage…..No madam, we can’t store your luggage as it’s a security risk! ( Condor ferries)….No madam, we can’t store your luggage, security reasons….( At every other counter I asked !) Not sure why luggage that had gone through 2 security checks to get on the Ferry was suddenly a security risk, but such is today’s world!

I stopped to talk to a young, pierced, tatto-ed young lady running the cafe at the ferry terminal, to ask  if she knew of somewhere in town I could leave my luggage and she said no, but after hearing my tale, she offered to lock it up with her stuff in their storeroom. She was about to finish her shift, but would be back about when I needed to book in for my next ferry. She said only she had a key so it was secure! But not to tell the boss coz she wasn’t supposed to! So thanks to this kind young lady, I could see the island of Jersey, and in particular, the Jersey zoo, but that’s another story!!

8 thoughts on “Travelling mercies in St Malo.

  1. O oh, I knew there was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad part to the story from the first line… , but thank goodness for the nice people of the world! I want to know if the girl turned up too…. Don’t leave us in suspense too long. ☺

  2. Oh Aunty Moira! What a story! So glad so many kind people helped you and everything worked out ok!! Thank God! You’re a great story teller by the way! I could picture each and every moment! xx

  3. that is an adventure , a challenge creates a memory,tears and joy, and kindness for a traveller.well done Moira

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