Mont Saint Michel, wonder of the west

Trip Start Apr 01, 2012
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Trip End Oct 01, 2012


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Flag of France  , Basse-Normandie,
Thursday, July 5, 2012

Yesterday we left our little spot in Tours and hit the road once again. We enjoyed Tours but it was time to move on to our next destination " Mont Saint-Michel " , standing on a rocky island, connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway, the sky-scraping turrets of the abbey of Mont saint-Michel provide a iconic sight. It is surrounded by a bay well known for its notorious and fast rising tides. Twice a month when the tides are at its highest, the bay,causeway and carparks can be submerged under several feet of water. Founded according to its tradition, following three dreams St Aubert, bishop of Avranches, had in the year 708, the Mont Saint -Michel was a great pilgrimage centre. The pre Romanesque church was built before the year one thousand. It's history varies a great deal and each century has its own history, but in the year 1874,  it has been open to the public. Around 1km in circumference, this rocky islet rises to a height of 80 meters, we know because we climbed the steps to get there. Our first mission was to walk the 4.5km to get to the shuttle bus, a pleasant walk along the canal with Normandy on one side and Brittany on the other. Very flat country and a good path. Once you hop on the shuttle bus it's only 1.5km to the site. We went fairly early and did not have to battle many tourists as yet. Made up our minds to visit the Abbey first before too many people arrived, you see ,we hate standing in big queues and it would be a shame not to see inside. After climbing more steps than we ever want to remember we arrived at the entrance , had to buy a ticket and could just about ask to guy for one. We could hardly talk because we were so puffed. No queue though. Our recovery time was very short so straight away entered the abbey. It was all very nice to see and to think that it was build so high on top of a rock. There were little passages and corridors everywhere. Would have loved to go through some of them but not allowed, plus it was pitch black in those areas anyway. It would have been very easy to get lost in the abbey. As long as you follow the signs it was ok. Spend a fair amount of time there, when we came to the exit we were surprised how busy it was. A very popular place.
We had our usual cuppa, walked around a bit more although that became just about impossible, too many people, and caught the bus back to the bus area again. Walked our 4.5km back again. By now the sun had gone and it looked fairly cloudy. Not a problem, we had our brullies with us and we knew that, as long as we had them it would not rain. Never does .
An interesting day today once again. Tomorrow we will make our way to the northern beaches area and soak in a bit of WW II history and see where the allied troups landed.





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