Mont St Michel

Ever seen the DreamWorks movie Tangled? Well did you know that the royal palace which is sitting on a rocky island not far from the mainland in the movie is modeled after thee one and only Mont St Michel. 

For a must see, finding cheap accommodation was very hard. But we did find something that was about 15km away. I have been to the mount before but that didn’t matter as we saw different parts of the country side as we hired bikes and biked along the Couesnon River to the Mount. This turned out to be a great idea because, a. parking tickets are expensive and b. we could bike right up to the start of the bridge. There are buses that take you back and forth for free but at this time of year the lines are massive.

Once a upon a time the mount would have been miles out to see but due to the French reclaiming a lot of new land it is now only about 2km from the mainland, connected by a bridge.

Although it is unclear how far the history of Mont-Saint-Michel goes back, it is thought that in in 708 Aubert Bishop of Avranches built the original sanctuary on Mont-Tombe in honour of the Archangel Michel. The mount soon became a major focus of pilgrimage. In the 10th century, the Benedictines settled in the Abbey, while a village grew up below its walls. By the 14th century it extended as far as the foot of the rock. After the dissolution of the religious community during the revolution and until 1863 the abbey was used as a prison.

If you are known to be afraid of crowds do not visit the mount during peck season. The village below has one main alley and it is very compacted and tight. I visited in early October a couple of years ago and it was so quite compared to this time round. Just think of Auckland traffic jams where everything grinds to a halt. Took us like 3 times as long to get from one side to the other.

The birds around the island are really, really friendly, going as far as stealing Erin’s bread right out of her hands!

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