Finding a medieval gemstone - Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint-Michel Travel Blog› entry 24 of 32 › view all entries
Way before I came to France, I was dreaming of going to Mont Saint-Michel. It is located in Brittany so it could be a bit far from Paris downtown where my aunt's house was located, but my aunt encouraged me to go there. I was also interested in seeing them not just by postcard. Indeed my aunt travelled whole Europe while she was studying in Sorbonne University for linguistics, one of the recommendable spot was this medieval gemstone. It is quite long time ago, so I am not sure whether I left Paris from Gare Montparnasse or Gare de l'Austerlitz. It took us quite while to go to Renne first by TGV. This town is very small and quiet. And then we took the bus to Pontorson, and there again took the bus to Mont Saint-Michel. The nature of Brittany is quite windy and mild.
Once you arrive in Mont-Saint Michel, it is quite easy to understand why this castle (or monastery more exactly) was built. It is to serve both military and religious purposes. At the top, you can overlook the entire sea, even a ship can be easily seen with bare eyes, so it is a good place to monitor foreign activity. Also it is well protected by its nature, the ebb and flow of the tide only allows people to come in at a certain period of time. In front of this monastery, there is a huge beach sand, still you can overlook and cover so much area. There is a narrow road which you don't have to wet your feet, and it goes into the monastery. Indeed hotels, accomodations, souvenir shops, restaurants, and even museums are all in this monastery, giving a sense that you may live in the medieval era for a couple of nights if you want to. I have to say though this would be quite humid nights if one picks up July. Perhaps another memorable experience is having lunch in the beach sand while looking at seagulls. They approach you without fear, and sometimes can snatch your food. It is advisable to avoid an area where too many seagulls are gathered. But certainly you will smell the atlantic ocean with exotic view which human-made monastery and nature-made beach sand goes along so well with clouds and sky. Adding to this interesting sight, you might even be able to do riding horses and running them in the beach, which might be the same as knights or priests did it several hundred years ago. If you can imagine they run to convey important message from the King, it would be more fun. This imagination could be further in detail by look around wax museum inside monastery.
At night, lights are turned on in the monastery, and this could be a fantastic view from outside of monastery. But unfortunately we could experience only daytime because the bus to Pontorson was supposed to leave at 5. Bus driver was very nice and kind but he could not speak English, still it was Ok with my basic French. There was no discount for students. We headed back to Renne, came back to Paris about 8 30 pm. We want to go out to Champs-Elysee or Trocaderoz, but we were very tired on that day. So we decided to have nice dinner at my aunt's house, playing piano quite a while. Where to go next day? Yes, after medieval era, we go for the glory of France- Versaille.