One day I will make a pilgramage barefoot...

Mont Saint Michel Travel Blog

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on my first TGV ride!
I was incredibly exited today to visit Mont Saint Michel. The photos of this place are spectacular - a cone shaped island that before the land bridge was built would be isolated during high tide. Miles out, the ground is mud with spots of quicksand that made pilgramages to the monastary up top a death-defying trip for worshippers. What an amazing mix of history, beautiful sights and adventure! Now that's what a pilgramage should be!

I woke up at 3:30am for the long trek. We had to leave at 4:45 to catch the 5:30 RER to Gare Montparnesse to take the 7:05 train to Rennes and catch the 9:30 bus to Mont St. Michel. That totals over 5 hours of traveling to see this island. And did I mention that Tracy and I are planning on coming back the same day? So that would total over 11 hours of transportation - a pilgramage in itself these days, if I do say so myself! =)

Somehow, by some miracle, we pulled it off without a hitch.
Voila!
We made every connection we were supposed to and had the funniest bus driver. He played some fun music on the bus and when Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" came on, he flickered the overhead lights pretending it was a disco. I swear to God the French are amazing coquettes. When we stopped on the road to take pictures from a distance, he offered his lap for me to sit on and I could only respond with "you wish!" And when I got off the bus he made kissy noises at me. Ah, horny people the French are!

Mont Saint Michel was spectacular. You enter through a drawbridge and come upon a village where they sell Cider, galletes, and caramels. There are a few restaurants and souvenir stores as well as a few religious offices/services, but nothing to hint at a real population living here despite the handful of homes and old, old apartments located here.


The abbey was really beautiful. But all sorts of creepy secret passages, staircases that ended nowhere and a maze of one way halls and cellars and prison holdings. It did not help that Tracy and I had to pee and we kept getting lost in the maze inside the abbey. We almost freaked out as one room only led to another so we were basically going deeper and deeper into the abbey and didn't know if we would have to backtrack or where (or if!) it would end up spitting us out.

It was so cold and windy on the Normandie coast, but it was great to be on the coast again and see the muddy areas and salt flats. Passing through the villages and the French countryside gave such an appreciation for all of France. What a beautiful country this was - every single bit of it is really lovely to look at and there is a special energy that is hard to describe.
graceful nun
It's not super-exciting like New York. It's not too-quiet and introspective like Geneva can be. It's not loud and aggressive like Rome is.  All you can ask for is right here - super friendly people, lovely food, sights that make your eyes relax and breathe. While whizzing by the countryside, I felt like churning butter or something with the villagers as it was that cozy and good.

On our way out of the village in Mont St. Michel I saw the most beautiful photograph (that of course would not be sold). It was a photo of the island from the salt flats and a contigent of modern-looking people were walking towards it, some with their arms held up in celebration. Old and young, every ethnicity, and just in simple clothing and on luggage. What an incredibly moving, however staged photo! It gave me the desire to one day make this pilgramage myself - barefoot in the thick mud - with no burdens, dancing towards the beautiful sight of the island. What an experience that would be!
TRE69 says:
let's do the pilgrimage together...watch out for that patch of quicksand!
Posted on: Jan 28, 2009
cmgervais says:
I loved MSM, and the people of Normandie are so friendly. Wonderful! Now I want to go again!
Posted on: Jan 27, 2009
bernard69 says:
thanks for sharing,I'd never been there!What a shame?? for a French!
Posted on: Jan 27, 2009
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on my first TGV ride!
on my first TGV ride!
Voila!
Voila!
graceful nun
graceful nun
At the bottom of the Abesse
At the bottom of the Abesse
Roofer
Roofer
Tracys thirsty!
Tracy's thirsty!
Nun @ the Abbey
Nun @ the Abbey
Tracy and I at entrance to Abbey
Tracy and I at entrance to Abbey
Gargolyes!
Gargolyes!
on TGV ride through French country…
on TGV ride through French countr…
Mont Saint Michel
photo by: wanderlass