Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mont St Michel

When we started planning the trip, I was looking for ways to get out of Paris and see more of the country. I mean, what if it ends up being my only trip to France? We ended up deciding on renting an apartment and doing a day trip instead.






Mont St Michel is a little far to truly be a day trip but there are a bunch of people who do it and I knew as soon as I saw that I could, it's where I wanted to go.






It was a long day. We left the apartment around 6:15 am and I got turned around on the street we were supposed to be on so we ended up at the metro station trying to make the connections and be at the tour company meeting spot by 7:00. We made it with only a few minutes to spare, and only because the company was a little late. I am truly terrible at directions.




Anyway, there were 8 of us plus the driver/guide and we traveled in a mini-van. It's about a 4 hour journey. We had about 4 hours to tour the abbey and the village and then we met the driver and rest of the group about 4:00 pm and started the trip back to Paris. A long day, although it was nice to rest our feet during the drive. I wish I had thought to get some pictures of the fields of flowers we passed. Big fields of yellow flowers all along the way. It was a great sight.




I am absolutely happy that I got to go but there were a few things I couldn't control that made the day less than great.




First, we didn't know it was basically spring break for the kids of France. They were out of school and the place was packed with tourists and locals. It's not that big of an island and it was crowded. I just don't like being in crowds like that for a long time. The abbey was really beautiful and I'm glad I got to see it but it wears on me after a time.  Also, we didn't know the guide would take us straight to the abbey (we paid for an unguided tour so we could just wander, but he had all the tickets reserved at the main entrance) and I was hungry. I had planned on being able to eat lunch first. My sister and I always call it "low blood sugar". I really don't enjoy sightseeing when I haven't eaten enough and my energy is lagging.




The other problem was the café we picked for lunch after seeing the abbey. La Mere Poulard. We didn't eat at the main one right as you enter the village, but the café that was up a level near the ramparts. It was a little cold when the wind blew and I was pretty cold the whole time we were eating. The other problem was the service was really, really slow. They didn't seem that busy, but what do I know? It was the one time where the lack of knowing the language and culture was really felt. If I had been in a US café, I would have left and not cared. We waited probably more than an hour. They were actually closing the café for the afternoon when our food came. And it wasn't very good. At least I didn't like it. I tried the traditional omelet. I have to say it was probably the only thing I ate in France I didn't like but it was really bland and tasteless. The chocolate mousse for dessert was very tasty so lunch wasn't a total waste but overall, I would not recommend it.
  
 



When we finally got done with lunch we didn't really have time to see the rest of the village so I only got to see what we walked through to get to the abbey.




All in all, not the day trip I was hoping for although the views walking to the island were really fantastic in spite of everything. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to go. Just maybe plan a little better than we did... or have enough snacks with you.



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