Le Mont Saint Michel….

No other words are needed when we speak of this marvel of our world, the Mont Saint Michel in lower Normandy, basse Normandie. We were there today for a relook. My kids have gone in school trips and me on passing, once with them as parent, but this time we all went together to the mount. The tourist office is at http://www.ot-montsaintmichel.com/index.htm?lang=en And for the passers and guides site there is one excellent source here http://www.bienvenueaumontsaintmichel.com/change/en The Normandy tourist office also has plenty on it here, http://en.normandie-tourisme.fr/articles/mont-saint-michel-298-2.html

We of course came by car from the Morbihan in Brittany. Each way a different route for the heck of it and seeing more on the road, as we are road warriors ::) going we took the D768 to the N24 direction Rennes, all the way to the beltway  coming around the nord rocade as if going to Paris but once on the A84 get off on the exit 33 for the Durcey Mont Saint Michel exit on the D175 or N175. Coming back we took off by Pontorson on the D43 and went to the D766 , N176, N164, and by Josselin back on the N24 home. We came into the parking area P10 , which is very expensive unless you spend the whole day and night there, 12,50€ for 6 hours it is expensive even for France ::)  The compensation is that you have a long bus navette that makes the run to the foot of the front entrance to the mount for free. they go instantly almost like every 4 -5 minutes intervals. The second link above has great info on this. There is another service that you pay almost like a bus type but drawn by horses, the Maringote. We took the bus navette faster and easier and free. You can ,also, walk about 40-50 mins.

Once inside there is a laberinth of narrow street, step stairs, and hilly terrain which you must be in shape to do. It is semicircular and if you go to the ramparts you have great views over the sea. By the way, the area had the big waves or grand marée recently but today it was all sandy and plenty of walkers even a tour group in the sand on foot coming over. The walking on the sand to the mount is handle by expert guides as they can be very dangerous. Waves came back at 15 meters within minutes to surround the mound like an island.

We have purchase trinkets and gifts here before especially in the La Porte du Roy, La Siréne, le Grand Bazaar, and the boutiques of the Mére Poulard. This time we just went for the walk and to spend more time in the museum and abbey and church The mount has four small museums; first we hit the musée de la mer et de l’écologie or maritime and ecology museum; it shows you the waves tides incidents how they form etc with 250 old model boats. We then, went on to the ArcheOscope a sound and light show, short original nice with history and legend combination stories with the Archangel Saint Michael as your guide. We continue to the Musée historique, son et lumiére, cachots or historical museum of sound and light and dungeons. A collection of old weapons ,medieval instruments of torture ,body suckdown into the quicksands, Louis XI iron cage, and 35 was figures. It shows that Raspail was imprisoned here and eventually a senator in Paris (you know the blvd raspail ::)

Last , we went to the Logis Tiphaine ,the historic home of Bertrand Du Guesclin knight and constable of France and his wife tiphaine de Raguenel famous astrologist with period furniture, bridal chamber medieval chastity belt, armour worn by Bertrand du Gueslin and tiphanie de Raguenel astrologer’s study. Neat and nice, on site you can have better prices from the published 18€ we had it for 9€ per person adult and all four museums! see tourist links above.

We stopped for lunch of the many choices all touristy priced and not the greatest culinary exhibition of France we chose the La Vieille Auberge a hotel restaurant on the Grande Rue; This is a very nicely decorated resto with terrace and first floor overlooking the bay of mont saint Michel. The service was nice and prompt , the prices we control with a main dish, bottle of rose wine, extra dishes of fries, and coffee expresso, I had the menu at 18€ with salad entrée, steak =entrecote, fries and a tarte normande or apple pie that was the best of it all. All came out to 23.40€ per person. webpage , http://www.lavieilleauberge-montsaintmichel.com/fr/index.php

As we got out, we notice the parrish church of Saint Peter. saw first time. Small but as usual very nice church. Masses are celebrated Sundays to Fridays at 11H Saturdays 18h and n July and August an additional mass at 17H on Sundays. The church has construction from the 11C but was renovated in the 15C and 16C. It has a roof covered with tiles and a small bell on the nave. In the interior the retable columns are from 1660, Virgen of the Child, and education of the Virgin (Sainte Anne teaching Mary) dating from the 15-16C and a copy statue of Saint Michael in silver. see tourist link above.

We then were ready to climb the abbey church and this only the boys did ::) It is huge , inmense ,with a great feeling of peace. All stone, not much decoration but the simplicity of the place in such a marvel of Human monument over imposed any doubts on its beauty, a must to see here by all on Earth.  There are several masses done here all week and on special religious dates. It has about 20 rooms open for visitors to see with one of the most remarkable examples of religious and military architecture of medieval times.  See the wonderful cloister, the refectory, the monk’s promenade, the gardens of la Merveille,and western terrace overlooking the bay. A wonderful big wheel or grande roué; the guest’s hall or salledes hôtes, chapel Sainte Madeleine (with its black Madonna), the Crypt of Saint Martin,chapel of Sainte Etienne (St Stephen), the north south stair or escalier nord-sud, Gentlemen room or salledes chevaliers.

All magical. And this wonder is only about 1h50 from my house by car !!! Enjoy it when you can.

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4 Comments to “Le Mont Saint Michel….”

  1. Mont Saint Michel is a such wonderful place, although it became a bit too crowded.

    Like

  2. Great pictures – I think it’s a beautiful place!

    Liked by 1 person

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