April 25-26, 2000
Third time and a row, coming off the train I've got a feeling. This would be a great place, if not for the rain. Instead of seeking out the hostel, I find a reasonably priced hotel and head out for a late night walk around.
Down the stretch of water surrounded road, I come into the old city and there are people still walking around and keeping the restaurants warm. The grocer is still open and tasty French baguette while exploring the streets makes a better experience. Actually, if I were to build a town to be like a small mid-evil walled city, it might look like this. The walls don't look like they've aged, the stone on the street is too flat and the streets are too friendly for both cars and pedestrians.
Ah, 80% of this place was rebuilt from the damages of WW II. A good job and I'm having the most fun I've had walking around in the rain since I was a little one in a yellow rain jacket and big green boots stomping and splashing around in the puddles.
It's a great time until it starts to get a tad cold and the baguette starts getting soggy, but then, it only gets demoted from great to good.
The next day I head out early to the tourist office and with another quick pass through the city, realize I've seen all I want to of Saint Mal - a one night stand. The morning ferry (actually the only ferry to England for the day) will leave with me upon it in less than two hours and I won't have to be ashamed of only speaking English before nightfall.