Thursday 18th July… a free day in St Malo

We have planned to have a day mooching around St Malo….after a substantial lie-in. It turns out that there is a big Columbian sail training Barque in port (3 masts, 2 of which are square rigged!) called Gloria.

We wonder, not for the first time, how people managed not to plummet off the top yards in the southern ocean, whist trying to shorten sail with the mast arcing through 30 degrees. perhaps they did and perhaps there were lots more where they came from anyway.

There is some very loud samba, salsa and marimba music playing, together with some very smart young sailors who seem happy to salute scruffy tourists aboard…

The boat is immaculate with the smallest piece of brass polished to within an inch of its life. We have problems with rope on Heydays…

In town we notice the reaction of many young (and not so young) women to smart matelots in crisp white uniforms. Despite saluting, we don’t have the same impact …not sure why.

Lunch in a very quirky restaurant with multi-coloured loo-rolls, the inevitable celtic/breton buskers and great views from the walls…

St Malo is vibrant and there is what appears to be a kite festival going on…

There is a concert of sacred music in the cathedral and we sign up for Gounod’s St Cecile Mass and Bizet’s Te Deum. The cathedral was effectively destroyed by the allies in 1944 (along with 80% of St Malo itself). St Malo as we see it today appears just as Louis 16 had planned it, albeit re-built in the 1950s. The cathedral was fnished in 1972 and is a stunning setting for the music.

On our way back to Heydays we have what is one of the best ice-creams we have had…and another look at the Gloria…

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