Dinard and last day in St. Malo
A little background: Dinard is a resort town across the bay from St. Malo that Elisabeth spent a lot of time in during the summer when she was little. Elisabeth’s French grandparents used to go there for up to a month every year, and stay at the same hotel and rent a blue and white striped cabana and eat at the hotel restaurant every night. So Dinard is a place that holds a lot of memories for Elisabeth. In fact, Elisabeth and Steve visited Dinard for a couple of days when they went to France in 2004 (yes, they stayed at the same hotel).
Since there are a couple of boat companies that offer a shuttle between St. Malo and Dinard, a visit was in order. We enjoyed the 10 minute crossing that had just enough chop to seem authentic, and then we walked along the streets that are embedded forever in Elisabeth’s mind. We saw the round salt water pool where kids were still learning how to windsurf (a novelty back in the day, not as popular as now) and paddle board, and the little merry-go-round that must have seemed incredibly attractive once upon a time.
Dinard became a resort town in the mid 1800s, and was positioned in the 1930s as an alternative to the Mediterranean. They went as far as to plant palm trees and other warm-weather plants to take advantage of the microclimate and make the town more attractive to tourists.
The beach is surrounded by giant Victorian mansions, hotels and condos, and a casino. There is also a municipal pool. All around the beach are those amazing granite rocks that are typical of this area of Brittany. Claire loved climbing on the rocks.
We walked around the town (which has gotten a bit more posh since Elisabeth was there before, she thinks), and had delicious crêpes and ice cream.
There are concrete paths around the edges of the hills overlooking the harbor and the beach, and we walked along those trying to imagine what they looked like at high tide.
There were very eloquent signs.
When we went back to the pier to get our boat back, we watched the pier get slowly covered with water as the tide came up.
We also saw a crab boat come in and unload fresh crabs into a waiting truck.
Today Louise and Elisabeth went to the market and bought cheese and jewelry, and Claire and Steve‘s visit to Petit Be was thwarted by the tide. We all went walking around town and found lots of souvenirs to bring home.
Below is a picture of St. Malo‘s salt water pool. When the tide is in, you can barely see the diving board. In this picture, the tide is not in all the way yet.