Posts filed under ‘St-Pierre’

A Day Without Cheese

We woke up on Monday morning, ready to spend a more successful day in St-Pierre. It was already a better day because our hotel had breakfast! I love a good French breakfast to start my French days. After a croissant and a café au lait, my mom headed out to take a minivan tour of the island and Jules, Christina, and I headed out to set a plan of attack. We had a few hours before the ferry, and we had specific goals: we wanted souvenirs, motion sickness meds, and snacks. Specifically, Christina did not want to leave France without chocolate (Jules and I were also down with this) and I did not want to leave France without cheese.

We walked around the waterfront area a bit and found a shop with some souvenirs, but nothing that sparked our interest, as well a boulangerie, but we’d just had bread at breakfast, so I didn’t want anything. Also, they didn’t appear to have any cheese. Or chocolates. We found a couple of cute cafés, but neither opened before Monday afternoon. We started worrying that the day was going to be a bust, so we went into the tourism office to ask if anywhere on the island would sell us cheese and chocolate before our boat left.

Yes! A supermarket was scheduled to open at noon. We’d have to shop fast, but we would be able to make it. We just had to kill time until then. Not a problem.

Vive La France
The island was full of things to photograph, like super-French houses.

We did find some stores to go in, including one that sold really questionable fashions and a little convenience store where, in hindsight, we should have bought lots of things. But we were kind of disappointed that they stocked a lot of Canadian brands and not as many European brands, though it does make sense that it’s much easier to ship stuff from Canada than Europe. The pharmacy was open, though, so we stocked up on motion sickness meds, even though we’d heard that they were expecting a much smoother ferry crossing that afternoon. But we didn’t want to take any chances.

Lovely View
We found a really lovely hill that looked out on more houses, the war memorial (always a staple), a park, and a crazy old cemetery with all kinds of pretty headstones.

JulesChristina
Since we were en France, we did a little photo shoot with a white foulard.

Jump!
My trademark jump facilitated some sweet scarf movement!

Memorial Flowers
Flowers at the war memorial

Track + Houses
We kept walking, down the hill and around to where the supermarket was. We also found a track, a lake, a Twingo (my favourite French car) more colourful houses, the ice rink (of course we did), a miniature donkey, and the fattest horse I have ever seen. Photos of all of these things on the Facebook page; this is just the track and the houses.

Reflection
And here’s the lake, with more houses and a nice reflection.

I started getting worried that my mom was going to be waiting for us (our cell phones work in Canada, but not France, despite the location), so I left some Euros with Christina and Jules, along with instructions to bring me back cheese and whatever chocolate it could buy. I went back into the main part of town, where I met my mom and started gathering up our bags to take to the ferry dock. About 15 minutes before they opened the gates to send us through passport control, Christina and Jules showed up—empty-handed. The supermarket hadn’t opened when we’d been promised that it would. No cheese. No chocolates. Giant fail for the France trip.

I tried so hard not to be disappointed. My mom raised me to get the most out of any travel experience that I was lucky enough to have. And it wasn’t just about the cheese and the chocolates. But I was disappointed because I was trying to absorb everything on this trip so quickly, to instantly get a feel for the places that I visited. I felt like I hadn’t had a chance to experience St-Pierre, because everything was closed. I wasn’t upset with anyone and I didn’t want to complain about it, but it was hard not to be disappointed, because I felt like I’d missed out on really getting to know St-Pierre. And, let’s face it…it’s kind of an obscure place, and the rink didn’t look large enough to host any major skating competitions, so I’m not sure I’ll ever be back. Maybe I will, though…I’ll just be sure not to go on a Sunday-Monday trip.

In conclusion, here’s what I learned from this excursion:
If someone says to you, kind of off-hand, that part of your trip might be a bit ill-timed, listen to them and find out why, otherwise you might drag your friends to a blustery island where you can’t buy anything to eat for long periods of time.

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March 16, 2011 at 10:19 am Leave a comment


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A serial road tripper chronicles her adventures.

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