The Tide Keeps Running
Trip Start Apr 19, 2010
131Trip End Apr 18, 2011
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Where I stayed
And as stunning as the view is, it’s not even the best part. Mont Saint Michel is surrounded by waters that boast Europe’s largest tidal variation. When we arrived at night and just before sunrise the next morning, Mont Saint Michel appeared to be sitting in the middle of a wet beach. Water couldn’t be seen for quite a ways. But within 20 minutes after sunrise, the waters started flooding in
And no, we didn’t spend that whole hour watching the bathtub fill up, although it was a 40 foot swing in just under an hour. We went inside the walls of Mont Saint Michel and walked the cobbled roads, admiring the shops and eateries along the way. The quaint little town sitting below the cathedral was quiet so early in the morning, allowing the rush of the tides to be heard throughout. We climbed to the base of the cathedral, but just missed going in, as it wasn’t open yet. We enjoyed our stay nonetheless.
After leaving Mont Saint Michel in the morning and grabbing pastries on the way, the two car loads headed for Paris, with a small detour in Rouen on the way. We had a mission: see the massive clock that is supposedly in the middle of town as well as check out the church built in honor of Joan of Arc and the place where she was burned at the stake. It all sounded really interesting, but we had to make it there first. We got off on the wrong foot when the car with the GPS navigation system was the one following the car without. We only took one wrong turn, and it wasn’t really wrong. We found ourselves taking the back roads. No worries, we weren’t in a terrible hurry and the scenery and small villages we drove through were stereotypical French countryside. We successfully made it into Rouen, and that when it started getting difficult. We got so turned around! It didn’t help that we didn’t know *exactly* where the clock was, or that there was a marathon going on that day so most of the major streets were blocked off
Maybe it’s determination, or perhaps it’s just plain stubbornness, but we found that clock in the middle of the town. And it was pretty huge. We also saw the church of Joan of Arc, which was architecturally very unique and worth taking a peek at. The city itself was pretty quiet, except for the occasional marathon runner passing by and the clapping bystanders. After spending an hour in Rouen (once we actually got out of the car) we picked up some bread and cheese and continued our road trip back to Paris. In bumper to bumper traffic, we inched along once we got into Paris city center. Paul’s parents let us out near a Metro station to go meet up with Lindsey’s mom and sister who had arrived earlier that day. Welcome back to Paris!