11 Jour – Mont Saint-Michel at Night

3 Jul

Today is the day we visit Mont Saint-Michel. We picked up a rental car from Avis (more on that later) and headed out to Normandy. The French countryside is even more beautiful than I expected. We enjoyed sweeping views of cows grazing in pastures, rivers, forested hills and charming homes. There are even those round hay bales you’ve seen in photos and movies.

Jeff had fun while waiting for our dinner.

We stopped for lunch in Caen — about halfway between Paris and Mont Saint-Michel. Jeff ordered the steak tartare with the local favorite — cider. As is the norm in France, meals are an unhurried affair. Lunch took about two hours, but we enjoyed sitting and soaking up the atmosphere. To cap the meal, our host poured us a complimentary apertif — another local favorite: Calvados.

After two more hours of driving through the idyllic French countryside, we arrived at Le Relais du Roy — our hotel for the night. We ate in the hotel restaurant which proved to be a gourmet experience. My meal started with asparagus creme brulee. Sounds “different” but it was exquisite. My plat (what we call an entree) was salt-lamb — a regional specialty — with country vegetables. These included ratatouille, a triangle of polenta with tomato paste, and sauteed vegetables. Delicious! Jeff ordered another regional specialty — the omelet. Light and fluffy and washed down perfectly with cider.

After dinner, we walked down the causeway to view Mont Saint-Michel as the evening sun set over the English Channel. Jeff took an amazing photo:

Le Mont Saint Michel

What continues to amaze us is how late the sun stays up. The sun did not disappear until a little after 10 pm! The long days are great for seeing all the sights, but we also end up staying up quite late.

After the sun set, we entered the medieval village of Mont Saint-Michel. Walking through the winding, narrow cobblestone streets and passageways, we felt we were transported back to the 12th century, visiting the abbey after a long pilgrimage. If you ever go to Mont Saint-Michel, plan to spend some time visiting  in the evening.

Grand Rue

Grand Rue at Night

Mont St. Michel

Mont St. Michel at Night

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