Earlier this month we took a trip to northern France. It started out as a trip to the Alps, then Marrakesh, then Prague, then finally Normandy.
The Eurostar tool us to Paris, where we picked up a sweet Citroen C3 from a heated car garage. Only once underway did we learn the C3 had a broken heater…
We drove 400km due west from Paris through a fierce snowstorm to St. Malo, on the northern coast. It didn’t look like much when we rolled in at 11:30pm, but a stroll around the town’s walls and on its beachfront the next day pretty much took our breath away. Dramatic light, a mix of old and new (check out the 1930s seafront pool picture below!), accented by moss and the most photogenic seaweed known to man. An of course going in December meant having the place to ourselves. Fun fact: this is where Jacques Cartier sailed from, in his successful quest to find Canada, Lincolns, and fine watches.
From there it was more scenic drives to Juno beach (Canada’s D-Day beach, where we were visitors #9 and #10 at the centre that day), the port town of Honfleur (where Monet got his start, and the locals will give you French lessons; also where the founder of Quebec City, Samuel Champlain sailed from). And then back to Paris, for some Rue de Cler action (as featured in Rick Steve’s Art of Parisian Living).
2 of the 3 hotels we stayed at were standouts:
– L’Ascott Hotel in St Malo, a gorgeous old Mansion with 10-12 rooms and nice staff. A steal at EUR66.
– Hotel Muguet in Paris. Just read the tripadvisor reviews – there’s nothing more we can add, this place is great.