Tag Archives: Brittany

Day Trip from Saint-Malo—Mont-Saint-Michel


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:

Mont-Saint-Michel—Wikipedia Article
Mont-Saint-Michel travel guide—Wikitravel Article
Mont-Saint-Michel—Official Web Site

Picture?  Did you ask if I had pictures?  What do you think?

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On the Go in Saint-Malo


Having survived our perilous trans-Atlantic crossing from the wilds of Bermuda, we landed some seven days later in Saint-Malo, France.  During the approach to Saint-Malo, the MS Ryndam passed several ancient fortifications, light beacons, and yachting communities, many of which you will see in the photographs below.

But we didn’t actually step inside this walled city of Brittany until much later that day.  Instead, we first went . . . but wait—that’s the subject of the next two blogs and I simply don’t want to spoil the surprise just quite yet.

Inside the walls of Saint-Malo we discovered many delights, not least of which were the myriad pastry and chocolate shops.  Alas, we didn’t have much time to fully explore this charming, formerly independent republic dating back to the Middle Ages.

As we awaited the tender back to the MS Ryndam, we were treated to a rare and quite spectacular sun dog display.  The picture doesn’t really do the colored spectrum justice, but it comes close in showing the startling effect it presented to the audience below.

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