The second day in Normandy we had the opportunity to go to the hideout made famous in that wonderful work of fiction turned into a delightful movie. Remember, the line?
We seek him here, we seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven? — Is he in hell?
That damned, elusive Pimpernel
That’s right, we went to Mont Saint Michel. The hotel that we stayed at in Bayeaux runs a shuttle service and so we took advantage of that (having booked weeks ago) and were on our way. The shuttle driver had been told that Scotty and I spoke French by the hotel staff (I don’t know why they did that!) and so he thought it would be good practice for us to serve as translators. He would tell us little tidbits about the countryside and the history of the area and we would translate for everyone on the shuttle. Thankfully our party took up most of the seats but I felt sorry for the couple from Washington, DC who had to listen to our clumsy translations. Despite being a bit embarrassing, it was kinda fun. The drive from Bayeaux to MSM took us through some gorgeous countryside.
The island is currently undergoing quite a bit of construction and that was a bit distracting, but it is a very interesting and beautiful place. The big construction project is the construction of a bridge that will link the island with the main land and allow them to take down the road that currently connects the two. This will allow sands to flow and move as right now the road is preventing that from happening. In a few years so much sand will have accumulated that the famous island will no longer be an island. Thus the huge construction project.
Anyway, here’s pictures from our time visiting the abbey. It’s quite a climb to the top of the island. There are steep inclines and tons of stairs but it is worth it when you get up to the top.
I was fascinated by the little village that exists on Mont St. Michel. People actually live here! I would love to go back with more time to explore these little streets.
There’s even a little cemetery!
Still an active and working monastery, this place has a fascinating history. Its been a monastery, a prison, a garrison.
It’s amazing to think of the effort that went into constructing this church. The quarrying of the stone, transporting it to this island (presumably during low tide), getting it up to the top of the hill. These people were serious about their buildings.
The cloisters were so lovely. This idyllic little bit of space. I wonder what the nuns and monks think of their contemplative quarters being invaded by photo snapping tourists.
It was amazing. The monastery is expansive and we could have spent a lot more time exploring it and listening to the audio guide that is available. And I would have loved to have more time to check out the town–but we’ll just have to come back some day. Normandy has wiggled its way into my heart so I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll see of it.
On the way back, he drive pulled off to this spot where we could check out the lambs feasting in the marshes. When the tide is low the sheep are allowed into the marshlands to eat the seagrass and lush vegetation that grows there. Apparently these plants are pretty salty as they live in brackish water and so the lamb’s meat is absolutely delicious. It’s a specialty of Normandy but we were there a bit early in the season to be able to try it. Too bad, it sounds delicious!
Thank you Tim and Beth for such a fun trip! It was so memorable and such a special time together. And thanks to Marty for all her organization work!