26 September 2019
We hated leaving Dinan and our little Blue House after only one night, but the countdown to Operation Car Drop Off has begun in earnest.
Today’s aim was to visit Mont- Saint-Michel. It has been on my to-do list since 1st form high school French lessons.
It was also on current Year 7-12 to-do list Here in France too, because they were all here. And few younger ones as well.
The skies were grey, the wind was up and the emergency r#*n ponchos were included in our day pack for the first time. We even dug low in our bags to find jeans, shoes and jackets. Not complaining though!!
We arrived in the car park which was situated a few kms from the site. Shuttle buses ran visitors back and forth between the island and the carpark. Sensible!!
Despite the weather, the shuttle buses were packed, mostly with school kids.
Mont-Saint-Michel really is breathtaking!!
It was low tide, so we wandered out onto the silt beds, got our shoes really muddy, to get the ideal photo.
I don’t know if we succeeded, but when a r#*n shower passed over, one of us was having more fun than the other.
We entered the gates, a little wetter and colder than desirable. A hot chocolate was called for. Two, in fact. Here is a picture of the worlds most over priced cups of hot chocolate. 12€ in total. Close to $20 AUD.
When I expressed my surprise to the waiter, he agreed wholeheartedly that it was indeed very expensive!!! So word of warning: Should you ever be in Mont St-Michel and in need of a hot chocolate, DO NOT buy one at the first cafe on your right, even if it is cold and r#*ny.
The streets at the bottom of the “Mont” were jam packed with wet soggy tourists jostling for cover, souvenirs, photo opportunities, tickets and postcards.
As the climb got steeper, the crowds thinned and by the time we reached the Abbey, it was quite bearable.
There were lots of vantage points along the trek up the hill. We could see the poor school kids out on the silt beds, getting wetter and probably colder as the day progressed. These French kids are made of tough stuff and some of them actually looked as if they were enjoying themselves.
Wow. What an engineering and architectural marvel! However did those people build something like this?
The Abbey consists of layer upon layer upon layer of amazing spaces, some as chapels, some as meeting rooms, crypts, the huge refectory and cloisters. Each room different from the last.
There was a service taking place in the main chapel and the singing sounded amazing.
I loved the cloisters, perched up high on the top level,
and we both marveled at the sheer size of it all.
Three years ago Marie and Gary recommended we visit Rocamador , a village clinging to the side of a cliff , and while there see the Black Madonna. We went but we didn’t see the statue. So we made up for it in Mont St-Michel. There is obviously more than one.
There were tiled floors, statues Stained glass and bits and pieces to see before leaving.
But, all in all, my favourite part of the whole visit was what could be seen on the outside. The tide was out, and the skies were grey. It looked amazing.
We caught our snazzy shuttle bus back to the car park. Snazzy because it didn’t need to turn around. The driver just got out at the end of the trip and got in the cabin at the other end and drove forward, back to where he’d come.
Next stop was another “finger on the map” pot luck, which we thought might have potential!
It didn’t! If you ever stick your finger on the map of France and come up with the town of Sillé-Le-Guillaume, twirl your finger around and have another go!
To be fair, it did have a church that we stuck our noses in and a castle/ chateau type thing where an artist once lived (I think). Arsène-Marie Le Feuvre painted this.
Fact check: Le Feuvre was born there.
Being thoroughly disappointed by our village selection, we decided to head to our accommodation for the night: “Le Boudoir” in Domfront- en-Champagne. It was so cute and very comfortable.
Slept like royalty.