Mont St. Michel
7 Jul 2018
|Friday was all driving. I checked out of the hotel at 8 a.m. in Andorra. Then, I took the next 30 minutes to try. To get my car out of the parking garage. The ramp getting out of the garage was only about 6 inches wider than my little Lemon. It was at a huge uphill incline and, of course, the Lemon is a manual transmission. All of that is do-able, but to get onto the ramp, you have to make a sharp 90 degree turn, also going uphill, with almost no more space to turn. The guy at the desk kept opening the door for me. It would lower about 30 second later. I guess he could see I wasn’t leaving by a camera. Move up a little. Wait, not so fast. Dang, killed the car. Start it and try again. Am I going to make that turn. Watch the front fender. Get out to see how much room I have. Try again. Finally, I decided this may have been the reason I paid for insurance. I got the best angle I could and just went. Unbelievably, I got the car out without scraping the front right fender or the back left one. I kept thinking, I’ll probably get hit by a truck coming out of the garage. Fortunately, it didnt’ happen.
I had forgotten to set Google Maps before leaving the hotel. Oddly enough, if I set Google Maps with wifi, it works as long as I keep it open. But, no wifi, no GPS. So, I just kept guessing which way to go. One thing for sure, I was NOT going back in that garage to get back in the hotel. When I saw signs for France, I followed them. Then, decided Toulouse was probably more or less the way I needed to go. I stopped at three different of the French “Aire”—traffic stop with gas, food, toilets, and sometimes wifi—before I actually found one with wifi that worked. On GPS again, I headed as quickly as possible to CDG airport in Paris. My friend and student was set to arrive there at 6 p.m. and GPS said I could get there by 6:30.
Nothing more to tell. Just kept driving. For hours.
At CDG I managed to connect with David. Loaded him in the car and...kept driving.
I had made arrangements for us to stay in Normandy near the Mont St. Michel that night. I was thinking driving another 4 hours was a really bad idea, but I couldn’t see another choice.
We arrived to the area at about midnight. GPS simply stopped. So, we kept wandering around looking for a house that looked like the one in the pictures. Believe it or not, we actually found it about 45 minutes later. The hostess met us at the door, ushered us to the room, and shushed us, telling us people were sleeping. That’s ok, that was what I had in mind too.
The next morning—Saturday—we got up to a light fog. I walked to the street to see if I could see the Mont St. Michel. It was not visible at all. The Mont St. Michel is a little Island just into the Atlantic Ocean (fairly near the English Channel, I think) with a midevel town and a stone road winding all the way to the top of the island on which sits the Church of Saint Michael. An effigy of the angel himself sits in gold atop the chapel. It is hard to describe the beauty or curiosity of the place, but perhaps the pictures will help you to see.
We walked on a little country road from the B&B to the parking and bridge to the Mont. Of course, I couldn’t stop taking pictures—accords the wheat field, near the dam, over the bridge, on the sand around the island. Island didn’t feel quite like the right word, as the tide had not been high enough for a week to have water around it. While a non-island Mont St. Michel had slightly less intrigue, it was nice to be able to walk around the city and look up from the sand.
The church itself dates back to the 7th Century, though the current structure is only about 300 years old. It has a variety of rooms and chapels,,, some for the clergy,,, some. For the. Sisters, some for the knights. We wandered as much of it as we could. They had all these metal statues of Michael for sale everywhere. I kept trying to convince David he needed one of those on his desk at Sunrise Church. The only souvenir that seems to interest him is a French Football Jersey.
We walked down hot and tired, found some food and went to bed early. We drive back to Paris tomorrow.