Awaken to Saint Suliac, France

Bonjour mes amis,

Before you get back on your treadmill for another hurly burly crack at life with all its expectations and drama of business (or is that the business of drama?) this year, I’m going to show you where you could be, wish to be or dream about being, once you finally realise that you might do things differently (dare I suggest better?) when you may find yourself as the year progresses, yearning for some authenticity for life in general.

You know, seeking authenticity is a GOOD thing. According to Existentialist Philosophy, it is really us coming to terms with the pressures of our material world and becoming true to ones self and ones spirit in the face of all our pressures. My french awakening grew from seeking authenticity quite a long time ago.

So, it IS possible to take yourself off to France, in particular Brittany and head for the quiet, the rustic, the authentic. For this reason, Saint Suliac instantly springs to my mind. It is here in this quaint little village which gently slopes onto the banks of the pristeen Rance river, that you’ll discover a different way of life and of seeing things in general.

Saint Suliac is classed as one of France’s most beautiful villages…

and it is unmistakingly that, but it is not for its beauty that I entice you to go. It’s for its authenticity!

With plenty of holiday rentals in this area- hotels, self catering cottages, campsites and even Moroccan tents (yes, I did say Moroccan tents!), you will be conjuring your favourite food from the local produce (perhaps some mussels or paella) or painting the solitude in no time. Christophe and Eleonore have fabulously furnished tents all fully equipped with Moroccan tableware and all. What an alternative way of experiencing things and great fun along the way! Do check out:

Saint Suliac is located north of the Ille et Viliane department of Brittany and very close (about a 10km drive) from St Malo. It’s within very easy reach from four airports (Dinard, Rennes, Nantes or St Brieuc) west of Paris.

Looking around the town, its locals look content. Who wouldn’t be with magnificent panoramic views in an amazing location? The local sign in the centre of town paints a picture of tranquil living…

and any chance to walk its sandy beaches with the water lapping your toes has got to be therapeutic! No wonder there are so many hiking trails around Saint Suliac which transform the local surrounds into a real life ‘Snakes and Ladders’ board game!

The Mayor (Mairie) of Saint Suliac, Pascal Bianco and his team, look after their 190 or so inhabitants (per square kilometre) with great pride and attention to the smaller things. Bianco’s duties with the help of local volunteers, even include organising the preschool canteen meal tickets and bus transportation of children to and from school. Such is life in a very small community.

For the most part, Saint Suliac  is only intermittently awoken by the odd tourist..

searching for Notre Dame de Grainfollet, the tide mills of Beauchet or just a great local pub and then there’s the sound of flapping fish hurled onto the wharves along the water’s edge. A harbour regatta colours the bay once a year but generally things are very simple in Saint Suliac.

Saint Suliac is old. Paleolithic objects were discovered by archeologists in 1951 here. Granite cottages were built by hand from local rock and some have incorporated stone remnants of an old monastery. Many homes line the streets and bay foreshores as they have done since the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Today,the only difference is that some homes and lamp posts sport a new lick of enamel paint from recent activity…

while others are decorated in flowers and bring a nautical theme to their facades with old fishing nets strewn haphazardly across. Even though it was once a huge fishing village the Vikings who once inhabited the place may have had something to say about this!

Saint Suliac is real and unspoilt. The pace won’t sweep you off your feet!  Its anchored in tradition amd fastened with purity and serenity.

“Arhh the serenity”, I can hear Darryl Kerrigan whisper from the Australian Classic 1997 film, ‘The Castle’.

We could all do with a bit of that!

Saint Suliac. Lord knows you’ll need it.

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

copyright@2011 Therese Waddell


9 Responses to “Awaken to Saint Suliac, France”

  1. Stuart Bishop Says:

    My wife and I very much wish to visit Saint-Suliac, the first time for just a few hours in the middle of the day on April 28, to make certain we wish to return for a much longer stay. Is there a convenient and not too expensive way to get there from Saint-Malo? We were unable to arrange a taxi on the internet. Thank you.

    • Hello Stuart, thanks for the email. Glad to hear you’re visiting this truly magical area of France. As for transportation, I usually hire a car to visit all the other interesting villages in the area as well. For just one day though, I believe you can get a very cheap bus ride from St Malo to St Suliac from the bus depot next to the Gare SNCF (next door). Check out St Malo Information Office. Buses usually coincide with the train arrivals. (check A ferry is also possible but more expensive and then there’s the possibility of hiring a couple of bikes for the day! You’re right about taxis- too expensive for the short time you’re in St Suliac. If you change your mind (and I think you might), check out La Goelette- a nice little bed and breakfast my friend recommended. Let me know how you get on and have a great time. Best Wishes, Therese

    • Hello again Stuart, I managed to contact the lovely Elodie at St Malo Tourism Office for you and she informed me that the bus out to St Suliac is with the Keolis Bus Company and the number 14 should do the trick. Do doublecheck on arrival and once again, have a great time! Therese

  2. What a great place! It feels like home. I love the lamp posts. They are so romantic. We should promote, red lamp posts like these for some suburbs around us. Things like these make people calmer and lovelier. Where are the architects thinking of love?

  3. Catherine Dein Says:

    I read and was very excited about the patchwork shops In Paris and now I am so disappointed to find the Le Rouvray is closed. Got any other suggestions of where to find a lovely quilt shop. I am just so sad. Going at the end of the month and that was going to be my first stop. Pity, Thanks for getting back to me. Cathie

    • Hi Cathie, Thanks for subscribinv to My French Awakening. Another Francophile in our midst is always lovely. There are many out of the way and hidden treasures of fabric shops in Paris. I’ve visited more than my fair share so here are a few off the top of my head for you to browse. There’s Tissus Reine, Sophie Hallette’s shop, Janssens and Janssens, Tissus Edre and Legeron. There’s a whole lot more but that should keep you going for a while. Tell the ladies what you’re after eg toile for example and they should point you in the right direction! Have fun and let us all know how you go! Therese x

  4. Catherine Dein Says:

    Thank you for your assistance – it is lovely to now where to go when you aren’t all that good with the language. Thank you again I will love checking them out.

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