Sunday, April 5, 2009

Mont St Michel & St Malo : Saturday 3rd April 2009

We drove the one and bit hours to Mont St Michel to be there relatively early to avoid the crowds. This is France’s 2nd biggest tourist attraction after Paris itself. The day was misty again so we didn’t get the best views, but had a lovely time none the less.

Mont St Michel is known for the medieval Benedictine Abbey and steepled church that occupies most of the 1km-diameter island.

It was started simply in the 8th century and has evolved over time. There are apparently 900 steps from the town up to the roof of the abbey. There were numerous rooms and chapels -large and small - and a lovely courtyard of arcaded cloisters.

There were only a few bus loads of Japanese and German tourists, so it was a relatively smooth visit. One could imagine the noise and pandemonium in mid-summer.

If there is a chimney you can guarantee where Andrew will be!

From here we went to the port town of St Malo. The town is walled in the same granite stone as Mont St Michel. Walking around the ramparts we had good views of the harbour and the boats. Inside the walls the town was prosperous.

St Malo walls - and nice beaches

On the way to St Malo we saw some mussel and oyster boats which were on retractable wheels for launching and had variable propeller heights. There were also boats berthed on mud banks - waiting for a high tide to launch.

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