It was my first weekend in Rennes, and I had already a trip to go. The association Move & Share had prepared this trip to Saint-Malo at 12 euros. Although I was exhausted with all the moving and starting my life in Rennes with some much going on; French test, writing and oral, then studying almost every day from 9:30 till 5pm, an outside activity to plus events of integration during the evenings, I made my best to go and there I went.
It took us only 1 and a half hours till St. Malo by TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse). Unfortunately, when we arrived there the weather was not that good; it was not raining or cold, but so cloudy that made the beauty of the city become unfairly hidden.
Anyway, we were almost 50 international students there which were the perfect opportunity to connect one another. For me it was great to learn that more Brazilians were studying at IGR, that is how I met Thaís, also a Brazilian girl who had just landed her feet abroad to study the same course as me.
Discovering the city
Saint-Malo is a small town located in north-western France, in Brittany. Many historical events make St. Malo a very interesting spot, but what it crabbed my attention the most was that in the II World War, the city was completed destroyed.
St. Malo is an ancient town, named after a Welsh monk who fled to Brittany, making his headquarters on the island, in the 6th century, only from the 8th century it begins to be inhabited. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Saint-Malo derived prosperity from its navigators, traders, and privateers.
When we approached the entrance to the old town, we could see the port where various activities are linked to. Freight and passenger ferries connect Saint-Malo to England, Ireland, and the Channel Islands. Today, the main industries in Saint-Malo’s include food processing, shipbuilding, and the manufacture of machinery and chemicals.
We also visited the 12th–the 17th-century cathedral of Saint-Vincent. Nevertheless, visiting cathedrals in Europe does not seem to differ one from another, this particular one is quite peculiar as there are not many saints and the altar is empty with no Jesus image and no cross in the center as we are used to seeing in other cathedrals.
The Cathedral of Saint-Vincent was also damaged in World War II but has been restored. Maybe when the restored it, they forgot to redecorate it. Jokings aside, its simplicity pleased me much more than several other churches in Europe.
Having visited the cathedral and walked around the old town, observing the fortress and cafés and shops, we stopped for a picnic. As I and others had not brought food, we opted for eating at a restaurant. Then I finally tasted the galette with cheese and later, I got a sweet one with honey and lemon for dessert, whereas my Indian friends opted for pizza.
After having lunch, we all had some few hours to go around the city and do some shopping. I got myself a gorgeous scarf for 5 euros while Thais got her a pretty yellow jacket for 25 euros. Yes, St. Malo offers plenty of options when it comes to shopping.
Thankfully the weather improved and we went back to the beach, but now everything looked completely restored from the war.
Shopping is done and sun tun got, we all gathered together at the old town entry as it was our meeting point. There were some French musicians playing Trombone, Saxophone, Tuba, the French Horn (obviously) and Clarinet. It sounded to me as close as to Samba as could be.
It was the perfect ending of our day trip. The organizers came along and handled us some snacks for the return. We were very exhausted but satisfied as we had all enjoyed a lovely afternoon on the beach. So, what else could we long for?
Only a safe return of what had been our first trip together!