Friday, May 16, 2014

Mont Saint-Michel

After spending the night in Tours, we set off for Mont Saint-Michel. It was Eva's birthday. Let's just say it was a good thing we celebrated it before leaving for Paris!

Our bus driver knew of a lookout point, where he let us out for a brief photo opp.
I'm not sure why, but I enjoy taking pictures of people taking pictures. My dad is quite the photography buff!
My cute parents.
I love the way chamomile (or some other adorable, tiny, daisy-like flower) grows with the grass everywhere I look.
I love sheep.
I was so thrilled when I saw the sheep in front of Mont Saint-Michel! Can you believe I took this through the moving bus window??

When we got to the base of the city, we found ourselves amidst the most tightly-packed crowd I can ever remember being in. Ever. We had to push our way forward, going up the winding ramp that takes you to the beginning of the monastery. Eva was miserable before we even got to the beginning of our tour, and I couldn't blame her. (I don't do well with crowds.)

(side note: I looked up Mont Saint-Michel on Wikipedia and found out that the island city has a population of 44!)

Also, I had forgotten about the sheer number of stairs we would have to climb. 350 just to get to the abbey, and many many more within. It was tiring for me, I can only imagine how hard it was for her tiny legs!

On the plus side, we had a great tour guide who was highly entertaining and took us into locked doors that are not accessible to all groups. On the other hand, I couldn't hear all that he said (or translate for my parents) because I was trying to calm Eva, who kept saying that it was her worst birthday ever.

One of the students asked our guide if the stories about the deadly quicksand around Mont Saint-Michel were true. He responded that yes, they are true, and that one of his colleagues perished in the quicksand a couple of years ago! What the?! 

My mom and I saw groups of people coming out of the quicksand with mud halfway up their legs. Why would anyone venture into quicksand on purpose?? I read online that people like to walk across the sand from the mainland instead of driving across the causeway. Okay, then... we all have our idiosyncrasies. Laughing in the face of danger has never been one of mine.

After our tour was completed, we all made our way back to the parking lot where our bus awaited. All but one student, who didn't return for another hour (!). Marc's pet peeve, too.

We went to Dinan to stay the night, and found our family suite to be charming and spacious.

There was even a plush hedgehog on Eva's bed for all her snuggling needs.
The front desk recommended a restaurant that was good for kids and served pasta, so we headed there post-haste. The problem was that they had changed their menu and no longer served pasta! Eva had fries for her birthday dinner and declined a post-dinner crêpe. Sigh. The only thing to do was to open gifts and go to bed.

There it is! The smile we had been waiting for all day.


Jill said...

It gives me anxiety to think of you trying to console Eva through all of these amazing adventures. I hope it gets easier as the trip goes on.

Rebekah said...

I have heard of this place, but I don't know why. It rolls off the tongue in a pleasing way...Mont Saint-Michel...

jenn said...

I am sure there will be a worse birthday than this!

The moving photo is amazing! One of my favorite in this post.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

"Okay, then... we all have our idiosyncrasies. Laughing in the face of danger has never been one of mine." I LOVED this line.

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