Although my blog is meant to be about my current travels, after seeing pictures of Mont Saint Michel, I started reminiscing of my visit in December 2015 to this most impressive island, which was a highlight of my European adventure. Yet, the morning we departed I became ill for several days, so blogging was the last thing on my mind, however this destination is definitely not to be missed!
My cousins, who live in Cintré, France, in the Brittany region said the only way to truly experience this island is when most tourists depart on the last bus, and before they arrive on the first bus the next morning. I highly recommend staying over-night in order to truly grasp the beauty of what lays inside these walls, the narrow cobblestone streets and stairways, the Gothic and Romanesque architecture of the Abbey and buildings, and the view at sunrise, which sadly gets lost with the thousands of tourists walking through the streets morning till night.
My cousin and I were waiting for his wife to arrive so we could depart. He was sharing with me that he hopes we would arrive before the last bus departed from the car park, as that is when the tide starts to roll in, and we would be walking through murky, soft sand to get to the island. He said their yellow lab would be the most put-off, as she shockingly does not like water. Granted, although I enjoy experiencing new things, I would be sharing the dog’s sentiments in this case.
However, the last time my cousin visited the island was before 2014, and his wife made us aware that there is now a new pedestrian and vehicle bridge and we could walk up to the island, as this replaced the old roadway that would get covered during high tide. Before the bridge was built, visitors and employees would have to check the tide times, as the only parking area was just outside the walls, which would present quite the challenge. Of course, during the daytime, you can walk across the entire bay, and my cousin’s three kids have all done this as school field trips.
We wound up making the last bus, around 8:30p instead of walking the 1.2-mile roadway. We stayed in a great hotel, Les Terrasses Poulard, just off the main street. Their restaurant, which is not located at the hotel, but just down the street offered a great breakfast with views overlooking the bay.
After checking in we found a quaint restaurant with great decor, and like all other buildings and the Abbey, they were built somewhere around 966 and the next 25 years that followed. After dinner we walked around the entire island while listening to the tide as it came in and crashed against the outer walls, only passing a handful of people along the way, allowing us to enjoy every moment.
The next morning, we decided to make the most of our time and get up to see the sunrise. There were only a dozen or so other tourists that had the same idea, and we were once again able to casually stroll the entire island taking in the beautiful views. We stopped for breakfast around 8:00 am, and by the time we stepped back out, the first few tourist busses had arrived. And, as promised the streets quickly filled up and we could no longer walk freely, which is the time we decided to depart, as the island then lost it’s allure.
If you have not yet visited, add it to your bucket list, with staying the night A MUST, as you will not be disappointed!