Le Mont St Michel
On the Monday, we really didn’t do much — lazed around and the kids really wanted to stay in the holiday house, so it was a quiet day. Tuesday however was home time, so it was up early and packing, then heading off for the day. Mont St Michel is only 40 minutes from where we were, so we really wanted to go and visit it as Paul and Lisa haven’t seen it, while Karina and I remember it very fondly from our visit there some 11 years ago now!If there is a top 10 things to visit in France, surely Le Mont St Michel is towards the top of that list. It is really an island, but because of the huge tides which can sweep in up to 15 metres, it is exposed at low tide. Some facts and figures — the low tide mark is 15 km away from the high tide mark and the tide comes in at the pace of a brisk walk. Impressive stuff. We had visions of walking on the sands, but in fact it’s really all mud, so if you’re stuck when the tide comes in, you’re really stuck!
Yet again, this is another place that no photo can truly do justice to. It’s simply an awe inspiring place.To get to the Abbey at the top, you have to first navigate the car park, passing the warning about which car parks (and there are a few of them) get covered by the high tide! Then it’s through a portcullis which is covered by water at high tide, then climbing up a steep, narrow medieval street. Of course now-a-days the most dangerous thing to navigate is the touts seeking your tourist dollar!
In the street
Looking up to the abbey
The view back down the stairs we climbedIt is quite a climb to the top and Ella in particular felt it, although Jasper seemed inexhaustible, once he starts climbing, he’s hard to stop!The Abbey itself inside is quite plain, although very impressive, it’s more of the austere, how-the-heck-did-you-build-this-here kind of impressiveness than a stained glass window frilly place. It’s functional.
Of course there are the usual gargoyles and so forthOne place that Karina and I both remember clearly from last time we were here, perhaps because we have a photo of it, is the cloisters. We took a few more to remember this visit as well! It was funny actually because thinking about being there before reminded me of so many things that we still have from that trip all those years ago — the backpack we were carrying with food is the same one we had then. The rain-coat I has in the car is the one I bought in China on the way over and wore last time I was there as well.
Ella trying hard to smile, she was really grumpy and tired after the climb!
Karina in the cloistersAfter the climb and touring the Abbey, we headed back down the hill and stopped in one of the many cafes for our last meal together — Paul and Lisa were to head off back to Paris and we were going to spend a couple of hours killing time before the plane flight home.
Kate and SarahIt was sad to say good-bye and in some ways the close of the trip made us realise how soon it is until we come home. Paul, Lisa, Kate and Sarah still have many adventures ahead of them, but practically, we are now more or less done with holidaying now.After some adventures finding each other and the cars after getting seperated in the tourist shops, we finally said goodbye and they headed off to Paris, and we to Dinard. Dinard is a resort town, developed by the Americans and the English as a holiday destination. It has a feeling that is a little reminiscent of Bondi beach in Sydney, I think the white houses on cliffs surrounding the beach.
Jasper once again sat in the sand and played by himself for about 30 minutes until we had to interrupt him.
Karina and Ella soaking up the last rays of sunshineThe trip home was relatively un-eventful, plane ride was fine, cleared customs, made the train and found our way home by about 8.30pm. Of course everyone was very tired again and getting up the next morning for work and school was a challenge! We are pleased not to have to head back to Stanstead again.