The first thing you do is check the tidal calendar. In the morning and whenever you go out. And rightly so, it’s not something to mess with. Word of advice: Don’t go sitting in a bay without being extremely aware of the tides. Or you’ll end up climbing over the rocks to get out again, like me…
Or you’ll land in the local newspaper like those tourists who left their cars on the boat ramp slope and then they (the cars) swam away… 😀
The life in the Saint-Malo is dictated by the tides. It’s one of the places with the most severe tides, which is why they also had the first tidal power plant in Europe. You’ll hear locals referring to the Grande Marée, heated discussions over whether the waves were 20 or 30 metres high.
The old town, Intra-Muros, is like a little village in itself. Though there are lots of modern shops due to summer tourism, the locals are pretty relaxed. Shop keepers will be sitting in the café vis-à-vis, chatting away with their neighbours until a customer needs them.
In the tiny market in the hall you’ll find about everything to survive in Bretagne, seafood and cheese. What else could you want?
Staying with a host family who’s lived in Saint-Malo all their life, I got a pretty authentic experience of Breton life. And yes, there was a lot of seafood. And cheese. And dessert.
Having eaten mostly vegetarian all my life, all kinds of seafood are new to me. Out of curiosity I give most of it a try (except mussels and oysters, I am not there yet…) but often I just don’t really enjoy it. So I have to listen to the shock of the guy who proudly keeps his own crab cage, “What?! She didn’t like the lobster?!!