Friday, May 2, 2014

Franco Fridays: Mont-Saint Michel, part one

Ah, Mont-Saint Michel, I was very excited to visit you.

As Anne Shirley would say, this place had a lot of "scope for the imagination."  It made it easy for your imagination to step back in time.  We stayed at a little hotel and restaurant just down the road from Mont-Saint Michel; it was a perfect location, and the food we ate at the restaurant that night...words fail me, but it was definitely one of the best meals we ever had.  It also ranks up there as one of the most expensive, but I think it was worth it.

I really couldn't praise this place enough; we made it there with only about 30 minutes to spare before the restaurant closed.  We were so hungry and determined to resist the temptation to go through another one of these:

KJ is a pretty extensive world traveler, and he explained to me that his love for McDonald's grew from how much he appreciated it and its familiarity when he was in a place where no food was "normal."  Now, food in France is delicious, but when you're on the road with a driving schedule to keep it really is hard to resist the "easy" thing of pulling in at those golden arches, where the food is the same, and there is always free WI-FI.  The free WI-FI is the best.  But I was determined to eat a good meal this night, so we pulled in hungry, and thankfully the head waiter was very kind, and he gave the absolute best service I've ever experienced in a restaurant.

I could still gush about that soup with cream, duckling, mashed cauliflower, and apple crumble with salted caramel ice cream, but I'll get on with it.

Still feeling a bit full from the previous night's dinner, we chose to walk as far as we could before taking the required bus to the front gates.

Rain showers can spring up quickly in Normandy, and it started raining as we were walking in the gates of Mont-Saint Michel.  I find that I'm really self-conscious when traveling in Europe, afraid to be seen as an uncouth American.  One of our favorite things about walking through Mont-Saint Michel was observing the tourists from Japan and other Asian countries, who were completely unafraid of standing out as tourists.  They were totally enjoying themselves and having a great time.  As we were making our way inside, the wind turned my flimsy travel umbrella inside-out, and a lady with a group of Asian tourists just pointed at me and laughed with great gusto.  I just laughed with her because she was enjoying my predicament so much.

The lower levels are crowded with shops and restaurants.  It reminded KJ of Diagon Alley.

Mont-Saint Michel has a very long and interesting history that I would not even try to write about here, because I'm sure I would get it all wrong.  We made our way to the top where we could look at the view from the top and visit the Abbey.

They were building a new causeway while we were there.  You can see all of the wet sand; Mont-Saint Michel is completely surrounded by water once a month.

I love traveling with him.  I couldn't be more surprised at the opportunities we've had to make memories together over the past couple of years.

I'm sure I could fill up another print of door pictures from France.

I climbed more stairs during the two weeks I spent in France than I've climbed the rest of my life put together, I feel pretty sure.

These pictures were taken at the entrance to the Abbey, which is where I'll need to stop for today.

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