Mont Saint Michel
Trip Start Jun 29, 2008
13Trip End Jul 16, 2008
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Thank God, today I had decent weather for the day trip to Mont Saint Michel. It wouldn't be much fun in the rain - it's kind of gloomy place, with a steep climb to the abbey on cobblestones and stone steps. It could be pretty treacherous in the rain. Anyway, it was a nice day, mostly sunny and 20C, so I was very glad.
Mont Saint Michel (MSM from now on) is certainly worth the trip. It's very easy; the bus leaves from Rennes at 0930, and comes back at 1430, 1600 and 1715. For me, I was ready to come back on the 1430 bus. You can stay on MSM, but I wouldn't. It's very expensive, there is nothing to do once you've been up to the abbey, and it's very crowded.
I was told that MSM is best from the outside, and I would agree. It is spectacular as you approach it, perched on the rock with nothing around it
Once at the top, I followed the printed leaflet self guided tour. MSM is austere; there is no ornamentation to explain or features to miss. It was a prison in the French revolution and a monastery at other times, so ornate it is not. I think it would be a cold, dank and damp place in a Normandy winter (which I'm told is not much different than a Normandy summer), and plenty uncomfortable or monk or prisoner. It was a really good day trip.
And so, I've managed to firm up my travel plans for my last few days in France - those SNCF (French Railway) gents are the best. (I've been here almost two weeks, and I've finally deciphered how the French refer to the railway - they call it "snnsuff". Only a Canadian would think it was necessary to pronounce all the letters.) I'm off to Chartes tomorrow for one night, then to Tours in the Loire valley for two nights (and hopefully, a day tour to a couple of chateaux) . Then, Tours to Charles de Gaulle, because I have a hotel near the airport for my last night. The SNCF agent has me connecting to the airport train at a small station outside Paris, so I don't have to cope with Montparnasse (the biggest and busiest train station in Paris). Cette un tres bon idee, non?
Many thanks for your emails, and for keeping me company on the journey