The Amazing Le Mont St Michel

There it was, rising up above the corn, Le Mont St Michel, such an amazing edifice, seemingling timeless. And given that it has been there since the 12th century that’s pretty true.

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In days gone by it was cut off from the mainland by the tide but nowadays it is joined by a lengthy bridge. However we had to leave our car in one of the many quite expensive car parks and take the navette (shuttle bus) along with many other tourists. The navettes have a driver section at each end as there is no room for them to turn around on the causeway bridge. So off we clambered with the others. There was an obvious difference however. We were the only ones wheeling a suitcase so clearly the rest were day visitors and we were staying! How exciting. I had booked a room for two nights at the Mouton Blanc (white sheep) Hotel. Those who know Karen will know the reason why! Our first stop was for a photo.

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As the others from the bus had already walked towards the Mount I set the camera up on the wall with the timer and voila! We quickly made our way through the entry to the actual citadel. The Tourist Info was just inside the gate so we asked for directions to our hotel. It was slow going up the cobblestones as the crowd was really shoulder to shoulder along the narrow Grand Rue. After about four hundred metres we were there and the friendly receptionist checked us in. Our room was on the first floor and overlooking the main street. The hotel looked like it had been there hundreds of years but inside the room it had an old world air mixed with enough mod-cons.

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After settling in we headed out for a walk to familiarise ourselves with the area. It was misty rain but it was fun walking up and around the ramparts.

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After a while we returned to the Mouton Blanc for a brief rest then we ate downstairs in the restaurant. I ate a ‘Menu’ which included vegetable soup, a chicken casserole and the best course was the dessert, a Normandie apple tart. Karen’s meal wasn’t quite as good sadly. Enough said.

Sleeping in our charming medieval room was great. We were so tired. But our beautiful slumber was destroyed about 5:00 am the next morning. A succession of forklifts and hand trolleys taking supplies up and down the narrow cobbled street saw to that! The buffet breakfast renewed our energy levels and off we went up to the Abbey before the inevitable crowds.

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Again the audio guide was great. Lots of detail if you wanted. The crowd wasn’t too bad so we were able to move around easily.

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Everywhere we went was a photo opportunity.

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As the tide was well out we could see people walking across the sand flats, presumably avoiding the quicksand.

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On exiting the Abbey we walked around the ramparts a bit, chatting with people and taking photos for each other. We stopped at a crreperie for lunch. The venue upstairs away from the crowds was good but the galettes we ate were pretty dry and unimpressive apart from the yummy fillings. We walked around the shops a bit after lunch then took a rest from the crowd in our room.

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It was noisy below but still good to put the feet up. Late in the afternoon we walked out of the town to take a few photos. However the crowd queued up to take a navette bus was incredibly long. So there was a reminder that staying overnight was probably worth it.

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We ate dinner at La Mére Poulard care with a view out to the water, what there was after the tide had turned . We sat next to a German couple and chatted while we ate. Karen ate a salad which was far more acceptable than the previous night. I again took a  3 course menu. The best being the lamb. The claim is it is salted lamb due to the salty land the sheep graze on in this area. It was pretty good too.

After dinner we again left the town so we could admire the night view and take few photos of the floodlit town and abbey.

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We retired to bed again and slept quickly because sure enough the same noisy movement of supplies happened again the following morning. Fortunately it started about 6:30 this time and we ignored it until breakfast time. After our delicious buffet breakfast we packed and made our way down the cobbled street with our suitcases to take a navette shuttle back to our car. Paying the fee of €25 for two nights was another sting in the tail. Was it worth it? Yes; it is an amazing place but be warned – you need to be ready for the hordes of other tourists and have deep pockets on Le Mont St Michel whether you stay overnight or not.

 

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