Ever since moving to Germany, and researching castles and places to visit, Mont St-Michel has been almost atop that list. Any time I have researched “fairy tale castles” that is almost the most frequently that you see. So to say it is one place I have really really wanted to go to, is an understatement.
Since we went to Vimy Ridge and Juno Beach the day before, we decided to stay in a hotel in the city of Avranches, since it was only a 30 minute drive to Mont St-Michel, and we start our morning early with breakfast, relaxation, and exploring.
You literally see the island from miles away – it is something spectacular to see! The closer you get, the more amazing it looks. There are tons of parking lots to park in, and you can either walk about 45 minutes, take a free shuttle bus, or take a paying horse drawn carriage right to the front. We opted for the free shuttle.
The closer you get, the more amazing the whole island looks. Walking in is beautiful. You are literally walking through the walls of the city. Now is the part where I can honestly say, I was a tad disappointed. Literally all you see around are shops. There are so many. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting, but a pure tourist trap was not it.
We were pretty hungry, so we were trying to find breakfast type food. I knew europe doesn’t have breakfast restaurants like back in Canada, but something small. All of a sudden you start seeing tons of creperies – perfect! But then we get turned down because every single one opens at 11:00/12:00. Very upsetting!
We keep walking to the top where the abby is. Now don’t get me wrong, the entire place was beautiful. I probably could have stayed much longer just exploring. I regret not paying to go to the abby itself; I really wish we had. I guess it just gives me an excuse to go back if we are in the area! 😉
We got off at the second stop off the shuttle and ate sandwiches at the small little restaurant – actually not half bad food, and not too expensive. There is also a gift shop – which I am glad we didn’t buy many souvenirs before now. They had “Mont St-Michel wine”, at half the price from on the island itself – the exact same one! John also found “Mont St-Michel beer” at a very cheap price. Worth the stop!
St-Malo. This town was beautiful! A friend told me about it, and I am so glad I took her advice and went. Almost better than Mont St-Michel was, at least in my mind. The town is inside the castle walls. You can walk along the entire top of the walls. It was amazing to see. You look out onto a harbour, towards the water, a huge pirate ship, a carrousel – kids loved it! We walked through the town and found a pirate themed candy shop – which of course my “big kid” had to go into. Candy was a little on the expensive side, but oh so good! I very much enjoyed just walking through St-Malo. Don’t know what it is, but the atmosphere was nice to see. Mostly stores, but it didn’t matter. An hour was not enough – but heading to Paris right after was still another 4hr drive – so we couldn’t stay long, just enough to say we were there.
As we were leaving, we decided to do something for the kids as exploring was more for the adults. Carrousel it was. Price was 2.50€ per ticket, or 10€ for 5 tickets, so we decided to all go on instead. Worth the 10€. The look on my kids face said it all. Seeing them as happy as they were because of a simple carrousel, was something I will not soon forget!!!!