Mont Saint Michel

We’re well into April and Covid-19 just won’t quit. Andrew and I were going to visit some dear friends in France during my April break but that has obviously been put on hold. That’s ok though because we will see them when this is over. They are healthy, we are healthy and that’s all that matters.

I do miss traveling though, my goodness. I love looking back through old photos of trips that Andrew and I have taken. (and I’ve been doing that a lot!) I was looking at our pictures from Mont Saint Michel the other day and what a special place it is. Have you ever seen the movie Boxtrolls? I swear they modeled that town after Mont Saint Michel!

Mont Saint Michel is a little commune on a tidal island in Normandy…or is it Brittany. I honestly don’t know, it may be in a little bit of both? It’s a beautiful area and it probably comes as no surprise that Mont Saint Michel is a UNESCO World Heritage site. We’d seen photographs of it before, but this is one of those places where photographs just can’t compare to actually being there. It is hands down one of the places in France that you need to go out of your way to go visit.

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First spotting of Mont Saint Michel, from Cancale.

Mont Saint Michel is located approximately 600 meters offshore, it’s accessible to the mainland during low tide but completely cut off at high tide. In fact, the bay lays claim to having the highest tides in Europe. Make note of the tides when you visit. You don’t want to get stuck!

Its origins can be traced back to 708 when the Bishop of Avranches built a sanctuary there in honor of the Archangel, St Michael. Over the next few hundred years, Benedictine monks settled in the Abbey and a village started to take shape below its walls. By the 14th Century the monastery, abbey and church were pretty much completed and look as they appear today.

A road spirals from the bottom of the island to the top, where the abbey itself is situated. In between, you’ll find a variety of buildings that fit into the tight space like jigsaw pieces. We ducked into one of those buildings for lunch, galettes.

We spent a couple of hours exploring the island. We weren’t able to see the abbey because the line was WAY too long and we needed to get back on the road.  That’s ok though, we still enjoyed our visit.

We don’t buy too many trinkets while traveling but we do buy Christmas ornaments. We bought a lovely bulb with Mont Saint Michel painted on it to help decorate our tree and it’s a nice reminder every year of our visit to this magical place.

Have you ever been somewhere that just felt magical? I need travel destinations to look forward too 🙂

 

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