Monday, April 01, 2013

Normandy: Mont Saint Michele and St Malo

With one more day to go in the Normandy region, and having spent an intense few days paying tribute to the D-Day Battle, we were ready for something a little less emotional.  So, we took the car to Mont Saint Michele, the famous abbey on an island.  Having heard rave reviews from those who had been, especially regarding the tides that turn it into a real island, I was very excited to go.

Upon driving up, I was stunned at how much the Mont looked like something out of a fairy tale.  It was in person too, and I commented upon arriving that it looked like Disneyland, except that it is real of course.  There isn't too much to do on the island other than go to the abbey, so to the abbey we went. We spent about an hour exploring it, and both Joe and I agreed we had never seen anything quite like it before.  Here are some pictures

Once we finished our self-guided tour, we agreed that we didn't want to eat on the island, so we headed back. With a good half-day left, we decided to visit St Malo, a town of which we knew nothing about but our hotel had recommended visiting.  So off we went!  Upon arriving, we immediately saw why it was recommended. The old section is surrounded by a walled fortress, and there is a lot of history within the walls.  There was also a cathedral mid-town that had been nearly destroyed in WWII.  As always, it is immensely inspiring to see the rebuilt buildings and monuments and recognize how humanity is able to overcome.  Unfortunately, Joe was getting really sick here so we decided to make our visit to St. Malo a quick one and head back to Bayeux.  It was good timing because we escaped rain within just a few minutes

Overall, I thought this town was great and would have been happy to spend a day here. There was definitely more to do, but since it involved physical activity and being outside in the rain and cold, we decided that admiring from afar was just fine.  Added bonus - I can now say I have visited the Brittany region of France!

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