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Magical tour to Mont St Michel

This was like a holiday within a holiday, in some ways. Not that I'm tired of Paris, not at all! But it felt like an escape, an extra little fling inside this amazing vacation of mine.

It was a chapter of happy accidents. I had checked the train timetable, and the buses between Rennes and MsM and thought they both ran frequently, thus had thought I would just go when I felt like it and get there when I got there. As it happened, I awoke early, so I decided to catch the 9:15 train from Paris to Rennes. The first happy accident was that, in fact, there are only three "real" buses between MsM and Rennes, one in the morning, and two in the afternoon, and if I had caught a later train I would have missed the bus I caught, which connected with that train. Then I would have been stuck in Rennes until the mid afternoon.



As we got to where I thought we might be able to see the Mont in the distance, I was playing a little game with the French women sitting in front of me, who were craning their necks, obviously searching for their first glimpse. I won (they didn't know I was playing!) and spotted it before they did. A memory surfaced of playing this game, or something like it, or spotting the Mont after each turn of the road, with my parents on our trip to Brittany when I was four. (That trip is a great deal of the reason for my wanting to go to the Mont - and I'll write another post about that later)

The bus dropped us off at the feet of the Mont, and I had to walk the considerable distance back over the causeway to my hotel. I decided to rent a bicycle, to save my steps on the return trip(s) and after dropping my stuff in the hotel, I did, and rode slowly back across the causeway.

I then spent the rest of the day climbing all over, taking the time to go to the Abbey, eat some lovely strawberry icecream and buy a couple of modest souvenirs.

Mont St Michel, View of Rooftops

Mont St Michel, view through ramparts window


Then I went and had The Most Marvellous dinner in one of the many restaurants. A memorable meal in several weeks of memorable meals: starting with a Normandy salad (something like sauerkraut) wrapped in smoked salmon, with a little dab of creme fraiche and herbs, then a "marmite deux poisson" - the two fishes being salmon and some other white fish, then creme brule to finish, and a little cup of espresso. With it all, a half bottle of some gorgeous white wine I don't remember the name of but wouldn't be able to get in Canada anyway.

Mont St Michel with setting sun

As I was rolling home (literally and figuratively), I saw two young women approaching me on the causeway. Who should one of them be, but Liz, one of my delightful students from last Fall's 280 class! (lidocafe, you remember Liz, I'm sure). She and her friend Alice were obviously doing the grand tour, having just come from London. I guess that wins major points in the small world category (those students, you just can't escape them!) but it was a happy meeting, and lovely to see her.

The next morning I got up early, to take dawn pics of the Mont, and decided to walk back across the causeway again, although I had learned that I could have caught the bus near my hotel. I was glad I made the effort, though, I managed to get my best "postcard" shot of the Mont:

Mont St Michel, Postcard Shot

I also heard the carillon bells ringing as I approached, I think I heard a skylark over the marsh, and at the bus stop met yet another person from Victoria - noone I knew, but amazing nonetheless.

Thence, back to Paris, with an afternoon still ahead of me, about which I shall post later.

PS: I got sunburned, but not badly - just "caught the sun" as my mum used to say.

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