Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mont Saint Michel

On the last day of our 2012 BFF trip, JC and I decided to go to Mont St. Michel.  Once JC had committed to the trip, she told me that a visit to Mont St. Michel was on her bucket list.  I had only been there once before, during a student trip.  JC's son was with me on that trip.  And I was more than happy to return to this very special spot.
It's a tiny little speck on a map of France, in between Normandy and Brittany (Normandy claims it).
We booked seats on a bus tour from Paris with France Tourisme, knowing that it would be a long day but ready to leave the driving to someone else this time.  The weatherman was calling for rain.  JC kept telling me that it was not going to rain, to stop worrying.  (She was right.  I do not know why I worry about the weather anyway.  It's not as if I can control it.)
I could go on and on about the history of this pilgrimage spot, but if you are interested click here and Wikipedia will tell you all you want to know.  Saying that a visit here is a religious experience sounds a bit silly in view of the story that surrounds its beginnings.  According to legend, the Archangel Michael repeatedly ordered the bishop of Avranches to build a church there in 708.  The good bishop repeatedly ignored him until Michael burned a hole in his skull to get his point across.  A golden statue of Michael graces the top of the church.  (He is the patron saint of grocers, mariners, paratroopers, police, and sickness, by the way.)

It is a religious experience, though, even for a non-Catholic and someone who doesn't attend church on a regular basis.
Only about 40 people live on the island.  There are lots and lots of tourist shops, selling all kinds of souvenirs, including the lovely butter cookies the area is known for.  (I brought back two small tins of them. Photo courtesy of

JC and I climbed to the top, to visit the church where I sent up a prayer for my very ill brother and Mama Mildred

and to look at the people making their way across the sand to the other small island.

We wandered around in the cemetery
and discovered Sainte Jeanne d'Arc guarding a lovely little chapel.
I don't remember this spot from my first visit.  It is a jewel.
We lit candles.
We did not wash our feet in the fountain.

We did decide to have omelets for lunch after watching them cook when we first arrived on the island.
We were short on time, but found a seat at Terrasses Poulard.
Wonderful cider made from all of those Normandy apples, our fluffy omelets,  frites, and the ever-present salade.  We are so glad that we made time for this.  Délicieux!
I found a recipe at Armchair Uzès, but I haven't tried it yet.  The real recipe is a closely guarded secret, as is the recipe for the butter cookies.
Some folks make the trek this way... interesting.
Other random photos-

It was one of the best days I've ever spent.  I know that JC would say the same.
Bon appétit, Archangel Michel, JC, and pilgrims everywhere!


JC said...

Beautifully written. I think you said it all.

The Sabbatical Chef said...

There is no way to say it all. It was a wonderful day. One I will always treasure.