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(Map of France)

MONDAY, JULY 18, 2011:

It was a 225 mile drive to Mont-Saint-Michel from Paris.


All of the images below are thumbnails and can be clicked on for a larger image.


We made a rest stop in the picturesque village of Beuvron-en-Auge on the way to Normandy.
The village has been declared one of the most beautiful in France by an independent association
aimied at promoting small and picturesque French communes of quality heritage.
The village of Beuvron-en-Auge, France The village of Beuvron-en-Auge, France The village of Beuvron-en-Auge, France

The video below is two minutes long and covers my comfort stop in Beuvron-en-Auge.

It rained during most of the over four hour drive to Normandy but cleared up upon arrival.
Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky tidal island and a commune in Normandy, France.
It is located approximately one half mile off the country's north-western coast,
at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. The population of the island is 41.
The island has been a strategic point holding fortifications since ancient times,
and since the 8th century AD it became the seat of the Saint-Michel monastery.
Mont Saint-Michel Mont Saint-Michel Mont Saint-Michel

The narrow street lined with shops was very crowed on the way up to the abbey.
Entrance to Mont Saint-Michel The shops at Mont Saint-Michel The shops at Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel was previously connected to the mainland via a thin natural land bridge.
A causeway now connects the island to the mainland. A project to build a hydraulic dam using tides
and the waters of the Couesnon River to help remove the accumulated silt deposited by the rising tides,
and to make Mont-Saint-Michel an island again. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2012.
Looking up at the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel The causeway at Mont Saint-Michel The graveyard under the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel

I had about four hours to explore the island before having to return to Paris.
The cloister at Mont Saint-Michel Businesses at Mont Saint-Michel Looking out to the sea from Mont Saint-Michel

I walked out into the sea to get a nice view of Mont Saint-Michel before leaving Normandy.
Mont Saint-Michel Mont Saint-Michel Mont Saint-Michel



The video below is seventeen minutes long and covers my visit to Mont Saint-Michel.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON JULY 18, 2011
Today I took a road trip over to Normandy. It wasn't a short trip. It took close to five hours each way. I got up early and took the subway to the tour office. At least the subway line I needed to use wasn't closed today like it was yesterday. We hit the road at 7:00am. Weather was gloomy as usual with a little light rain. We made a rest stop about half way there in this picturesque little French village, Beuvron-en-Auge, pictured below.

The village of Beuvron-en-Auge, France

After leaving the village the skies really opened up and it poured for quite a while. I was really having my doubts that this long road trip was going to be worth the effort. Normandy is a wind-swept, rainy region where it rains over 200 days per year. But luckily just before our arrival the rain stopped for the rest of the day and we even got a couple of peaks of sun.

Now if you thought I was going to see the Battlefields, you would be wrong. What I came to see was Mont-Saint-Michel, described as one of the wonders of the western world.

Mont Saint-Michel

Most of the people on the bus were doing the guided tour. They were dropped at a restaurant for lunch while me and a few others went directly to the Abbey. We only had four hours to spend here and they wasted half their time in a restaurant. There were plenty of places to get food here anyway. The narrow walkways up to the abbey are lined with shops.

The shops at Mont Saint-Michel

There were more than a few steps to climb to get to the abbey on top.

Looking up at the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel

The interior of the abbey itself, built in the year 1000, wasn't all that spectacular. Kind of plain and barren. Most of the rooms were empty void of any furnishings.

The walk back down was a little easier than the walk up. Below you can see the grave yard under the abbey.

The graveyard under the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel

A lot more shops and things to see on the way down. I really enjoyed my visit here.

Businesses at Mont Saint-Michel

After I got back down I took a walk into the sea.

Mont Saint-Michel

At high tides Mont-Saint-Michel appears to be an island. Below is a picture of me while I was standing in the sea under the abbey.

Me @ Mont Saint-Michel

The long drive back to Paris was made even longer due to an accident on the motorway. When we finally passed the accident there was one car in the right lane completely upside down. But except for the fact that all four wheel were sticking straight up in the air, the car looked in remarkably good shape. And there wasn't another thing anywhere near it. I can't figure how it got in that position. I finally got back to my hotel just after 10:00 this evening. I can sleep in tomorrow, I don't have any tours booked, I can come and go when I please. I couldn't even eat my free breakfast at the hotel this morning, the restaurant doesn't open until 6:30 and that's when I had to leave. Until tomorrow I will close with one more picture of beautiful Mont-Saint-Michel.

Mont Saint-Michel

Tim



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