Thursday, October 5, 2017

Mont Saint Michel

We made one final stop at a D-Day site before our destination for the day.
This one was very cool.
The Arromanches les Bains has examples of the artificial harbor (Mulberry Harbor) created by the allied forces under the direction of Churchill.

They created the harbor so that they didn't have to wait to conquer one of the larger French ports.

Artificial road ways were used to bring the supplies in from the ships.
This is a military wonder.

We left Arromanches les Bains and headed to Mont Saint Michel.
 I first read about Mont Saint Michel when something came across my Facebook feed.

I decided then that I wanted to see it should we ever make it to France.

It did not disappoint.
Mont Saint Michel is an abbey that is completely surrounded by water when the tide comes in.
It has been a fortress since 8AD. Auburt, the archbishop of Avranches said he was told by the angel Michael to build the Abbey on the Mont.
The abbey has been added onto over the years but you can still see sections of medieval walls.
God is at the top and man is below with the rest of the construction of the village.
This is a great example of a Feudal building system.

The tide was on its way out when we visited.
The bridge, finished in 2014, is the only way into the Abbey when the tide is in.
In 2015 there was a super tide and the bridge was completely underwater.
I'm sure that was the Facebook post that I saw.

It is a climb up the narrow streets to get to the abbey.

We toured the abbey once we climbed to the top of the island.

The abbey housed silent Benedictine monks.
Monks were given bread and water for their meals. Beer made up the remainder of their caloric intake. Most of them died by the time they were 40.

Their tables lined the walls of a great hall. If they spoke, the sound echoed off of the barreled ceiling.

A few monks live at the abbey to this day.

After the tour, we made our way back down the narrow streets.

We ate a restaurant and did some souvenir shopping.
The island is privately owned by a group of investors.
The income is derived from hotels, shops and restaurants.
This is the third most visited site in France.
It was an amazing site to see.

We drove back to Rouen.

Our dinner that night was at an international restaurant.

I had the onion soup. It was delicious.

We made it to bed a little earlier than usual.
It was a great third day. Our days were passing much too quickly.


  1. Lucky you for getting to fulfill your slot on the bucket list! That is a beautiful building and appears to be a wonderful town. Truly wish I was there too.

  2. Katie,
    Were your legs SCREAMING by the time you reached the entrance door to the abbey? I'm not sure I could make that climb anymore. Did you see the Abbey Cloister Garden or the huge wheel in the lower level that was used to power a lift to get supplies up to the abbey? Those are two images I can see in my mind whenever I think of Mont St Michel... and the other image is being at the top looking out over the water and gray muddy swirls as they faded into the ocean.

    Now, I'm wanting to go to Mont St Michel again.


  3. Oh Katie! I remember that climb up to the abbey -- it was pouring rain and parts of it were outside, the steps were steep... but oh, it was SO worth it. Seeing your wonderful photos brings it all back in such a wonderful way. And Arromanches is fascinating, isn't it? Shooting those vessels/ships was almost like doing abstract photography. I can't wait to see where you go next!

  4. Katie, I've been to France four times but I have not been to Mont Saint and I really want to go there.Your pictures are fabulous.
    Have you read, All the Light We Can Not See? It takes place near there. You will love the book if you haven't read it. I couldn't put it down.

  5. Your pictures of Mont Saint Michel are beautiful. I saw slides of it when I was studying French in school and have wanted to visit there ever since. I was fascinated by the fact that you could only access it during low tide, but that was back in the dark ages when I was in school. Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip.