Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mont Saint Michel

We picked up a car in Bayeux, and drove to Mont St. Michel, the abbey built in A.D. 708 on a tiny crag of land that is an island when the tide is in.
We had lunch in the village before our tour of the abbey; crepes/gallettes featured prominently in the meal (again) and E introduced us to panache - yum. We decided that St. Michel is the patron saint of stairs after the steep climb to the top to reach the abbey. The narrow lane up to the abbey is lined on both sides with shops full of tacky, touristy junk - just like it was back in the middle ages, when enterprising business owners were looking to make a buck off the religious pilgrims. Nice to know not much has changed. The church is beautiful (and B finally figured out once and for all the difference between a Romanesque and a Gothic arch by seeing them side by side in the church), but the cloisters, with their fabulous view of the bay, are what literally took our breath away. Being a monk might not be such a bad gig if you got to live with that view! K said that MSM was the coolest place she’d ever been. D was impressed with the giant human hamster wheel, used to pulley construction materials to the top of the island when the abbey was used briefly as a prison. And E was intrigued that the farmers around Mount St. Michel had planted plants that were salt water tolerant and could withstand the salty waters coming in off the sea. The meat from lamb that graze on this land are a local favorite characterized a very salty flavor... he called it Lamb Jerky! Editor's Note: The pictures get a bit dicey from this point on. Dave dropped and broke his camera, Katie does not have a cord to her's so we cannot download them, Eric took a variety of pictures on his iPad and traditional camera, but left the traditional camera in France (coming back on Saturday with Dave and Barb). Unfortunately, pictures might have to be edited in at a later date.

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