Day 2 – 10 Apr
You can ride a bus, take a horse drawn carriage, or walk from the parking lot to the island. We ended up riding the first bus of the morning so we could enjoy the site without the crowds of tourists.
Like a medieval, fairy-tale fantasy, sprouting from the sea, Mont-Saint-Michel is one of the most recognizable icons of France and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A cloudy and cold morning. We arrived at 0800 – well before the crowds of tourists.
The shops with their colorful signs were all still closed. There are not many people who live here – population is about 50 folks.
Looking up at the Abbey from the walled streets.
Birds fly and roost on chimneys and rooftops.
A model of the Abbey with its iconic statue of Archangel Michael at the top.
The Abbey opened at 0930. We purchased the audio guide and made our way from room to room learning about this amazing structure which began it construction in the 10th century.
There were no decorations except for some simple tables, chairs,…
…and some sculptures.
The cloister was especially impressive with great views of the central and surrounding gardens.
The dining hall was a massive room.
Intricate details of carved stone reliefs between pillars.
Simple stained glass windows.
Looking up at the chancel of the abbey church. This portion fell down in 1421 was replaced by the Gothic Flamboyant chancel.
The pillars and buttresses support the weight of the stone ceiling.
The treadwheel crane which served as a windlass during the time the Abbey was used as a prison. The crane was powered by prisoners who would walk inside the wheel to rotate it…
…bringing supplies from way down there!
This is the exposed Rock of Mont Tombe. Touching the stone is considered to confer healing properties.
We left the Abbey and continued down to the shops which were now full of tourists, except for this narrow walkway we explored earlier that morning.
We bought this small Archangel Michael as a memory of our trip to the beautiful and impressive Mont-Saint-Michel.
We took a short bus ride from Mont-Saint-Michel to a small shopping area where we could grab some breakfast as the local bakery.
Now this cow is destined for traveling the world!
This was the most delicious breakfast pastry I have tasted in a long while!! Heavenly! Délice Croustillant aux Fraises (Crispy Delicacy with Strawberries)
A final view of Mont-Saint-Michel before we continue along the route.
Back on the Road to Liberty
Along the way we would occasionally stop to take pictures: In Ranazé we noticed a modern church building with unique murals painted on the entrance wall.
Another beautiful mural painted on a large brick building.
Love the detail of the people and the birds.
A simple brick home with unique colored window shutters reached out to my camera to take its picture.
Nearby was this brightly painted car!
Today we rode through:
- Saint-Servan liberated on 17 August 1944
- Saint-Malo liberated on 16 August 1944
- Rennes liberated on 4 August 1944
- Angers liberated on 10 August 1944…
…and ended the day at Camp de Port Caroline near Angers, France.
Tomorrow we will explore Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans and the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres.
Onward to Day 3…