Thursday, September 9, 2010


A pond near the house, with Mont-Saint-Michel on the horizon

We all arrived safely at the house rental. We had burgers and chicken for dinner on the very French charcoal barbeque and spent the night playing Shanghai Bridge. The next morning we went to see Mont-Saint-Michel.

Mont-Saint-Michel is a tidal island connected to the mainland by a causeway built in 1879.When the tide goes out there are walking tours from various points on the mainland walking across to the island at varying distances. We opted to drive and park in the lots along the causeway.

People have made the pilgrimage to the large Abbey located at the top peak of Mont-Saint-Michel for hundreds of years. The legend (and audio guide) goes that the archangel Saint Michel appeared before the bishop of Avranches, St. Aubert, instructing him to build the Abbey at the location. The Abbey was to hold a piece of the archangel’s gold cape and some of the rock that he had touched over in Eurasia.

We made our tourist pilgrimage up the winding street to the Abbey along with the hundreds of other visitors. Although there are plenty of little shops, small museums, and restaurants on the route to the top, the Abbey is something spectacular to see. Four of our group got the audio guides and passed them around as we walked through the various quarters of the Abbey. There aren’t any descriptive posters or display boards to detract from the aesthetic integrity of the abbey so the audio guides were very helpful. Unlike the pilgrimages of the past, today one is able to explore quite a lot of the Abbey as well as the Church at the peak.

After exiting the abbey the path back around is on the other side of the mount with views of the ocean and somewhat of a garden. It also poured rain as we walked back so we stopped for a nice lunch in one of the restaurants. A few of us had the Croque-Monsieur, a grilled sandwich of cheese, egg and ham. It is something that you can’t really go wrong with in France, or so I am told, it has a lot of cheese so I haven’t tried it.

Back at our house rental we went for a swim, played charades and had a nice spaghetti dinner al-la-Grace.

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