Normandy, France 2017 travel blog

Mont Saint Michel

Mont Saint Michel

Mont Saint Michel

Walking up the steep street to the Cathedral

The Cathedral

The local village cemetery near the Cathedral

Way to the top

View from the top

Front door to the Cathedral

The monks dining room

The Cathedral

The basement

The supports of the Cathedral

The walls of the Cathedral

Eating oysters in Cancale


Fish market in Cancale

Fish market in Cancale

The seaside in Cancale

Shucking oysters

More cappuccino please

AHHH! Mont Saint Michel! Awesome!! Magical!!

Mont St. Michel is an island in Normandy, France. It is located about one 0.6 miles off the country's northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches and is 247 acres in size. As of 2009, the island has a population of 44.

The island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times and since the 8th century AD has been the seat of the monastery from which it draws its name. The structural composition of the town exemplifies the feudal society that constructed it: on top, God, the abbey and monastery; below, the great halls; then stores and housing; and at the bottom, outside the walls, houses for fishermen and farmers.

It is a medieval town with its eleventh-century Romanesque Abbey and its dramatic clifftop perch as well as its rich history. Breton legend has it that the archangel Michael appeared to Aubert, the local bishop, in 708 AD and demanded that a church be built on this stony promontory. Somehow unfazed by the appearance of a celestial visitor, he said no. Aubert changed his mind, so the story goes, when Michael burned a hole into the bishop's skull with one finger. The first structure was built soon after and was then expanded dramatically in the eleventh century, taking the striking form it has today. Believers have made pilgrimages to Mont Saint Michel ever since.

It looks the same as it did when we visited 30 years ago. The changes happened outside of the island. A road has been built from the land to the island so no one is stranded by the tide any longer. Also there is no parking up next to the island at low tide. Parking is on the mainland and a bus takes people back and forth over the causeway.

We had lunch at a restaurant with a view of Mont Saint Michel. We had the famous Brittany omelet. The eggs are beaten in a copper bowl and cooked quickly so they stay nice and fluffy. Dessert was the famous apple cake from the area.

We then followed the road that parallels the ocean to another little French village, Cancale, and bought raw oysters from vendors right on the beach. Cancale is known as the Oyster Capital of the World. Delicious!!

Once again, the wifi here is unable to upload our photos. We'll be back in Paris tomorrow night so I'll try then.

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