Monday, June 6, 2011

Brittany - Day 6

The last day at St Malo was a complete relaxation day. We were taking things in a more unorganized manner. My friend, A had seen a nice omelette last time at a restaurant and had been drooling over it ever since. So, he asked me to accompany him. We went together and it was an open restaurant on the street. We took a table right next to the street facing all the people passing by. He ordered his omelette and I had a chocolate croissant with coffee. There was a huge antique building across the road with a board saying “Hotel de Ville”. During our casual chit chat, A jokingly told me that maybe one day we make enough money to stay in such a hotel. I replied tauntingly to him that he can dream on. It was only later that we got to know that “Hotel de Ville” is not actually a hotel but a French term for a municipal town hall! After feeling embarrassed for a few seconds, we burst out laughing on our ignorance. Then it started making sense that why each French town we visited had a big antique beautiful building called “Hotel de Ville”!

After breakfast, D joined us and we further explored other parts of town which we skipped last time. We went to some painting shops, post office to send some postcards, even to a vegetable and fruit market inside a building. A peculiar thing about this market was that it was also selling sea food and therefore had a stink to it. Being a north Indian and never experienced such a vast variety of sea food being sold before, it was particularly fascinating for me. They were even selling something which looked like squids/octopuses. I saw a customer buying it and then came the one of highlight of the trip for me; the cleaning of the octopus. The shopkeeper handled the process meticulously. First the loose skin was removed, then the eyes were popped out and finally something which looking closely like the digestive system was removed. It was an unbelievable sight, at least for me.

While walking through the narrow streets of the walled city, a small bakery at the corner of a street caught our attention. There was a counter for selling stuff on one side of the shop and a big glass window to peep inside on the other side. One could clearly see how the cooks were making some of the desserts. An apple biscuit/pie called “Ker Y Pom” was the speciality of that bakery. I later learned that it is a special dessert of the region. We also saw the complete making process through the window. The already made dough was flattened with a rolling pin and then circles about the size of bangles were cut out from it. Then, green apples were peeled off and sliced. The slices were places on those already cut circles of dough, on top of each other. Some secret ingredient was put in the middle and then another circle of dough was put on top of it. After that it was baked and served. And since I have a sweet tooth, it was customary to taste that dessert. It had a new taste and a kick to it. I would recommend trying it if one gets a chance.

From late afternoon till evening we were lying outside our hotel on the sand beach. A was reading a book and I updated my travel journal. I would confess that I was also feeling a little guilty of not doing anything and just lying there. There are people who have to work their butts off to make ends meet and here I was doing nothing and spending/wasting time looking at those blue and white waves. To get over that guilt feeling, I started talking to A. There were some guys doing kite surfing a few metres away. We starting arguing about the mechanics of handling it and using it although both of us are as alien to kite surfing as Berlusconi is with modesty. It was pure garbage we were talking but it was good enough to get me off that guilt ride.

After ending the day with dinner, we recollected the memories of the trip. I liked this place quite a lot and maybe one day, I would like to visit it again. Unfortunately, I have no photos of this day since I wanted to enjoy and absorb the beauty around with my own eyes rather through the lens on the last day.

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