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Saint Michel Chef Chef

Saint Michel Chef Chef—no, the second “Chef” is not a typo, this is the actual name of the small village where I spent my summers as a kid, yes, we do shorten the name!—is on the Atlantic Coast, stuck between the posh La Baule beach and other no-name stretches of sand.

Saint Michel is tiny: there is a small bar, a Unico supermarket (erratic opening hours), a Maison de la presse selling newspapers and tacky souvenir and a church. A bi-weekly market livens things up and you may pick up a Kouign-amann (the most buttery cake you will ever eat: it is just that, layers and layers of dough, sugar and butter), some fresh fish and some not-so-fresh fruits.

The town is mostly famous for its 1905 cookie factory: Les galettes de Saint Michel, sold just about anywhere in France and yes, I can even find them in Ottawa should I feel nostalgic enough to buy them at a premium. Locals can tell the weather by sniffing the air: if you can smell cookies, it should be nice for the next few days. Or the other way around—I can never remember. Whatever, cookies smell great rain or shine.

The house, built in 1968 by my grand-parents who had just bought the land a year earlier, is a ten-minute walk from the beach. The beach is small and rocky but nice, and if you stay long enough to see it at low tide you will quickly figure out where you can swim without killing your legs on mussels-covered rocks.

The funny thing is, Saint Michel looks very exotic to me now. I hated it when I was a teen: I couldn’t go far without a car, didn’t have any close friends there and there wasn’t much to do but going to the beach and eating the galettes. It wasn’t exactly what I’d call a “trendy” vacation spot. But now I look at these little houses and the old folks going shopping and I feel like I am traveling in some foreign land.

A few days in a traditional French village. Maybe that was what I needed.

You can see the complete set of pictures of France here.

Fishery
Fishery
Seashells
Seashells
Saint Michel
Saint Michel
Supermarket Carts
Supermarket Carts
Wild Flowers
Wild Flowers
Market Day
Market Day
The Church
The Church
Eating St Michel Cookies
Eating St Michel Cookies
Cookies Factory
Cookies Factory
Saint Michel Cookies
Saint Michel Cookies
Saint Michel House
Saint Michel House
Market Day
Market Day
Saint Michel House
Saint Michel House
Seashells
Seashells
Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean
Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean
Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean
Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean
Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean
Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean
Eating Ice Cream with my Mom and Brother
Eating Ice Cream with my Mom and Brother
Long Exposure of the Beach at Night
Long Exposure of the Beach at Night

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