I mentioned in an older blog that I visited Mont St Michel. Thought I should share some more pics and info with you all before I write about my recent trips to Ireland, Toulouse and Carcassonne.
My friend and classmate Renee accompanied me on an overnight train to Normandy France after our last Friday of school. Because of delays, total travelling time amounted to about 12 hours. To make the journey even more intolerable, I apparently didn’t book the reclining seats, so my night was very uncomfortable. They leave the lights on and people are noisy until about 2 am. I got about 4 hours of sleep on the way there, zero coming back. I’ve learned my lesson for future overnight trips.
Have I told you people are allowed to take their dogs everywhere in France?
He was so cute and well behaved on the train.
When I finally arrived in Normandy it was exactly as I had pictured France before my journey abroad. (I think it must be from playing so much Medal of Honor on my xbox in high school)
Renee and I stayed at a really quaint hostel that was in a 200 year old house owned by an old British couple. They were very anti-England and I didn’t want to press them with questions about what made them move to France, but if anyone has any ideas as to why they would hate England let me know! I’m really curious!
A great bonus to the hostel was a free breakfast and free transportation to Mont St Michel and the train station! We arrived in town at 12:30 and were at the abbey by 1:30!
The first chapel was built here in 702 AD, but since then it has been built and rebuilt upon, along with many additions to the site that have now nearly covered the rocky island!
I love being somewhere with a rich history – Mont St Michel was amazing to learn about. If you are interested in this monument, leave a comment and I’ll add more about the construction, what wars it went through, when it was an abbey of monks, when it became a prison, ect.
Renee and I walked around the ramparts a bit and then climbed to the very top to see the old Abbey!
The main part has turned green over the centuries, but I thought it added a mystical look to the inside. Plus, it was windy and rainy that day so hearing the elements beat against the top of this church on a mountain made for an incredible experience!
The cloisters, just outside this Abbey, were equally beautiful!
After about 5 hours exploring Mont St Michel, we returned to the hostel for the night. We went out for dinner and a drink at a local bar which happened to also be owned by English people from the same family!
They were very friendly and gave great service (unlike most French restaurants). I asked them what there was to see in the village and the bartender told me of a couple small sites. I woke up at 7 am out of habit the next morning and spent an hour and a half walking around the countryside. What a great way to start a gorgeous day!
The bartender also advised us to spend the next day exploring the nearby coastal town of St Malo. I’m so glad we took his advice, because this is the prettiest French city I’ve been too! Even more beautiful than Biarritz!
It is an old medieval walled city right on the coast of the Brittany border!
And there are a few islands you can walk to when the tide goes out. Renee and I walked to one with a fort on it! We couldn’t go inside, but just outside the gate I found a wicked rock formation you would have loved to see dad!
We walked around the old part of the city all day and stopped at a fancy creperie for lunch. I had a Galette for the first time, specifically a “Galette Bretagne”.
Bretagne = Brittany, a region known for it’s seafood, and a “Galette” is a savory crepe made with buckwheat flour. …..mmmmmmm……
What a perfect weekend away. This was my only chance to see the North of France; I’ll have to come back another time to see Lille and Strasbourg!
I’ll post a blog on Ireland soon! Happy Easter!