Our transatlantic crossing from Bermuda ended eight days after it began, in Saint-Malo, France. We met up with our Cruise Critic travel group for a day trip that took is first to Mont Saint-Michel and then later that day to . . . well, that’s the subject of Wednesday’s blog. As for Mont Saint-Michel, the name might not be familiar but the images of this small tidal island are iconic. If you ever make it to the Brittany, you owe yourself a visit to this incredible place of enchantment. Unfortunately, that may be difficult for a while. Starting at the end of this month, the one road to this commune will be closed as the final stage in a reconstruction aimed at removing centuries of accumulated silt to make Mont Saint-Michel a true tidal island once again.
Just how popular is this place? Here’s an interesting pair of statistics: Population in 2006—41 Total visitors in 2006—3,000,000+.
A few words of caution for your visit: It’s a long, high trek to get to the top of the monastery that towers over the residents below. Wear comfortable shoes. Be prepared to take breaks along the way. The least crowded way to make most of the ascent is along the fortress walls rather than through the shops lining the meandering streets. You’ll also be greeted to some spectacular photographic subjects if you take this route. Save the cobblestone streets and the associated shopping for the leisurely gait back toward sea level.
Rather than even attempt to give you some fifteen hundred years’ worth of history on Mont Saint-Michel, here are some links you may find of interest:
Picture? Did you ask if I had pictures? What do you think?