Blogs from Mont Saint-Michel, Lower Normandy, France, Europe


Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Mont Saint-Michel June 21st 2019

Our Grand Tour continued from Germany into France with a very early morning train. Things were going quite well until our first of three trains was delayed by about 40 minutes, causing us to miss our connecting train to Paris. A word of warning to anyone traveling by the Deutsche Bahn: delays and late trains have become more and more frequent over the last few months. Allow for disruptions to your journey! Thankfully, we were able to be rebooked onto the next train - though there were no seats - and made our connecting train in Paris which took us out to Caen in Normandy. The next morning, Dad and I went to pick up our rental car and begin our first day trip to the Abbey on Mont Saint-Michel. This island fortress is a UNESCO ... read more
Mont Saint-Michel
View upwards on the terraces
On the terrace

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Mont Saint-Michel June 4th 2019

Tuesday 4th June Having received advice from the host at my gîte last night, I decided to get an early start to visit Mont St Michel before the crowds – and what good advice it turned out to be! I headed off at about 7.30am and arrived at the parking lot at Mont St Michel about an hour later. I was just in time to catch a shuttle bus immediately, and having arrived at Mont St Michel, had time for photography and a leisurely walk up the back way (avoiding all the shops) to the abbey just before it opened. Consequently I was only in a bunch of about 30 or 40 people going through the abbey. I hired an audio guide gadget, which was great as it explained the history and architecture. Mont St Michel ... read more
View of Dinan Port from the Viaduct
Le Menhir du Champ Dolent

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Mont Saint-Michel July 22nd 2018

Sunday morning and we’re up early. We were given our marching orders last night, Jelly toast for breakfast and on the road to Mont St Michelle. Our first stop is in Rennes. Hmmm, can’t say much about this city so I won’t. Very industrial, how’s that?. The next stop is Concale, I suggested St Malo, Kirsten and I were there years ago on our first Transatlantic cruise. However, Kirsten wanted a different village and found out it was market day today. Well, it turned out it was like Daytona Beach during bike week. Yep, butt to butt. Motorcycles everywhere I was felt up and down and didn’t even get kissed. More leather and skin than I ever want to see. After not being able to even get a table for a beer, we’re back in the ... read more

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Mont Saint-Michel July 14th 2016

Brittany is not well known for sunny days....but today, we are lucky enough to get one of those in the bag! The plan was simple...we were going to enjoy the stunning Mont Saint-Michel without the crowds. To do this, we wake up early and breakfast is taken during the short ride from Saint Malo. Time for us to try the famous kouign amann, a Britanny cake full of sugar. Yammie, but not something you want to experience every day! We arrived at the huge car park of Mont Saint-Michel by 8.30am, and the place is still empty. For the last few years, cars do not get anymore to the foot of the Mont. Rather, they have built a huge car park, and are providing bus transfers to the Mont. The car park fee is not cheap, ... read more
La Baie du Mont Saint-Michel
The ladies....
Up we went....and high up!

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Mont Saint-Michel January 10th 2016

I was reluctant to have kids: they are for life! I mean, the responsibility of looking after someone for the rest of my life was a bit overwhelming, as even when they leave home to start their own lives you still worry about them. However, as I grew older this changed and we decided, after all, to have kids BUT we were sure this will not change our lifestyle and we will continue traveling and doing the things we like. Has this happened?, well, not quite. Let me explain myself: When Dax and I met we were both very outgoing and liked being with people and doing things: we met friends in the pub or for a Sunday roast, we traveled by van to different parts of the UK, we got married in the Cook Islands ... read more
The best 'bank' in the world (Loiba)
Bagpipe player statue in Ortigueira

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Mont Saint-Michel May 27th 2015

Tuesday 26 May 2015 Today dawned sunny and warm for our much anticipated visit to Mont Saint Michel, the historic abbey built high on a rock just off the coast where Normandy meets Brittany. With a history of the first Christian building here going back to early in the eighth century, this place has been built to fit the rock, giving it its distinctive silhouette when seen from a distance. Approaching the Mont by Road It looks almost surreal that such a sight could be possible in the wide and flat coastal landscape. Ample parking Is provided at a cost and free shuttle buses sweeten that pill by transporting visitors to a spot quite close to the destination. These buses can be driven from either end, saving the driver the trouble of turning. Alighting from the ... read more
Mont Saint-Michel
The church seen from the cloisters
Beauty and peace in the cloisters

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Mont Saint-Michel November 20th 2013

These were two places I had on my list-to-visit before leaving France. In a previous post I wrote about my time staying with a woman named Anik Heraux in a town called Rochefort. I contacted Anik through an organization called “HelpX” and that’s how I ended up staying with her for 5 weeks, helping around doing odd jobs in exchange for accommodation and food. But Anik belonged to several other such types of organizations, like couchsurfing, etc. This included one called “Route des Sel” (a sort of “French Couchsurfing”). Through this last one she put me in touch with a woman named Dominique Catalifaud, who turned out to be the president of the organization. She lived between St. Malo and Mont St. Michel, so the location was perfect to do day trips to both places from ... read more
St Malo
Alet Peninsula
Solidor Port

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Mont Saint-Michel August 31st 2013

I didn't see any Vikings in Normandy In the Wikipedia article on Normandy I found the following passage: "The fiefdom of Normandy was created for the Norwegian Viking leader Hrolf Ragnvaldsson". When I traveled around in various parts of Normandy for a few days I didn't see any trace of any Vikings. But I did see a lot of other interesting things and I will tell you about some of those pretty soon. In August this year I, Ake, was able to make a short trip to Normandy while Emma had to stay at home and work. Emma wasn't too upset about me going away on my own because my main purpose of this trip was to see World War II related sites and Emma is not too keen on seeing those. I will tell you ... read more
Corridor in Mont Saint-Michel
The Cloister in Mont Saint-Michel
One of the halls in Mont Saint-Michel

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Mont Saint-Michel August 30th 2013

We solved partly the hard bed last night by putting the two deck chair pads under the bottom sheet to provide some softness and also to stop the ‘roll together’ in what was just a standard size double bed.It worked pretty well and our sleep was better than the night before. Today we had planned to take a scenic road along the coast towards Mont-St-Michel(hereafter called MSM) which is essentially an island a kilometre off the coast but connected to the mainland by a causeway which in 1879 was upgraded so that access could be achieved no matter the level of the tide. We arrived on the coast at the very French named town of Meloir-des-Ondes and started the 37km run along the coast. Part way along we took a stop at a small tourist shop ... read more
A Brittany windmill minus the sails
Mont Saint-Michel from 2km away
The car park for Mont Saint-Michel

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Mont Saint-Michel May 28th 2013

Sad to say today is our last sea day. Tomorrow we begin exploring NE France. We are 127 nautical miles from St. Malo and arrive there early tomorrow morning. Today there will be the last Hold'em Tournaments, the final Trivia game the $100,000 bingo and a formal night. Yesterday, I came in second in one Hold'em game and was first out in the next. My cold is breaking up but ML is now feeling a tinge of one. She is actively refusing delivery. Last night we retired to the Crow's Nest after dinner to plot and plan our London activities. Jan and Bev will try to get tickets to A Chorus Line and we plan to go to Hampton Court on Sunday, weather permitting. If not, we'll find something else to do. There is so much ... read more

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