Posted by dan on November 28, 2010
Louis de Funès is one of the greatest French comedians, along with actors such as Bourvil and Fernandel. Although he only became known in the USA with the 1974 international hit ‘The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob’, he has performed in several other films, including the hilarious ‘Gendarme‘ series, where he plays Chief Marshal Cruchot of Saint-Tropez.
Source and further info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_de_Funes
Like the port authorities of St. Malo. (Image: wikipedia.org)
Although wearing Police and not Gendarme uniforms, when I was boarding my ferry in Saint-Malo, the port authorities reminded me of the characters played by Funès and Michel Galabru. I am sure you can find the same comic couple everywhere in the world. Anyway, I’ve learned an important lesson from it; if you are a dual citizen, keep your two passports separately.
Attempting to board the ferry, the sharp-eyed inspector noticed right away I had two passports in my valet. “I am just a dual citizen, it is pretty normal” I explained “and the only reason I came is to visit St. Malo and Mont Saint-Michel.” But the inspector and his side-kick are not easily fooled. After searching my bag and me very thoroughly – the ferry was already announcing the last call and I thought I would miss it, even though I was one of the first to arrive – the inspector finally found a ticket to the Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel in my pocket. “Ah, so you really came to visit Mont-Saint-Michel – merci beaucoup, au revoir!”
Posted in France | Tagged: France, Saint-Malo | Leave a Comment »
Posted by dan on November 26, 2010
Mont Saint-Michel is the highlight of the region, but there is much more to see. The best way to visit the sights is definitely by car – this gives the flexibility and freedom to explore the area and stay wherever one decides to stay.
Organized tours are also a convenient way for getting to the main sights as you don’t have to worry about logistics in advance and worry if the trip will work out well.
You can rent a car and there are many tour operators in the regional cities, such as Cherbourg, Caen, Roscoff, St Malo, Bayeux or Rennes. You can get to these places by train within France and/or by ferry from the UK.
Although very infrequent, public transport is also an option, at least to some of the main sights such as Mont-Saint-Michel (MSM). You can arrange the tickets in advance for longer trips and you can take local services without advance booking.
MSM can be connected to Paris using the combination of the TGV fast train and local buses. The whole trip can be booked online in advance on the http://www.tgv-europe.com/en/ or http://www.voyages-sncf.com websites. For further info see blog post: SNCF – booking trains in France .
Visiting MSM from the coastal town of Saint-Malo, itself a worthy destination, is even simpler. Saint-Malo can be reached by TGV directly (SNCF – booking trains in France) or by ferry from the UK on the http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk website. For further info see blog post: Brittany Ferries – crossing the Channel .
From Saint-Malo there are two buses a day to MSM, departing from the railway station (Gare TGV) at 9:40 and 16:30 – the bus also stops a few minutes later at the tourist information office (Saint-Vincent), which is 5 minutes walk from the ferry terminal. You have to change bus at Pontorson railway station but there are connecting buses. If you take the morning bus from Saint-Malo, you can get back the same day at 15:45 from MSM or 16:25 from Pontorson. If you take the afternoon bus, you can get back the following day at 9:20 from MSM or 9:55 from Pontorson. If time permitting, the overnight visit is better – you can see the mont at sunset, illuminated at night and early morning – the best colours and least crowds – and at different tides. There is a wide selection of accommodation in the area including MSM itself. The fare for the whole bus trip from/to Saint-Malo is 5.50 euro one way.
The Brittany Ferries connecting Saint-Malo to the UK
The fast TGV train in Saint-Malo
The bus stopping at the tourist information office (St. Vincent)
Changing bus at Pontorson railway station
The bus stop is right at the gate
Booking trains in France
Ferry from/to UK: http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk
See also blog posts: Saint-Malo , Mont Saint-Michel , SNCF – booking trains in France , Brittany Ferries – crossing the Channel
Posted in France, Travel tips | Tagged: booking, bus, D-Day, ferry, France, Mont Saint-Michel, MSM, Saint-Malo, sea, SNCF, special offer, TGV, train | 1 Comment »