So this weekend I joined a coach party up to the Norman/Breton coast to check out two absolutely stunning seaside towns: Mont Saint-Michel, and Sant-Malo.
I’ll be honest, I almost didn’t go. I woke up at 5:30am and thought nah, nahhhhh. But, just as the clock struck six I changed my mind. I forced myself into some jeans and ran out the door, arriving at Opera at 6:29 – yas! a minute early!
I hadn’t wanted to go because I’m not particularly good at doing things alone. Or, at least, being alone while everyone else isn’t alone. People tend to sign up for these things in groups and I had signed up on my todd. There’s nothing worse than making small talk with people you don’t have anything in common with, for a whole weekend, except perhaps if you throw in a language barrier too. Luckily I found some Americans almost immediately and they adopted me. All that stress and worrying for nothing. All in all, a great weekend!
… Except for the horrendous food poisoning that I’m pretty sure I picked up from either the mussels, whelks or oysters that I ate over the weekend. Like, I’ve never been so ill in my life. Ever. And when you live alone it like doubles. Anyway, tmi?
Day 1: Mont Saint-Michel
I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves when it comes to these two places but I will give you a little bit of info, just to keep you happy.
So Mont Saint-Michel is on the Normandy coast, about a 4 hour drive from Paris (you can also get a train, then a bus). We left Paris at about 7am, and arrived, after a small stop at a service station two hours in, at about 11:30. Just in time for a little tour of the mount and abbey, and then lunch. Founded in the 10th century, the town and abbey are absolutely stunning examples of medieval architecture (and may have even overtaken my beloved Durham on my list of medieval places that I completely adore… maybe). A UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the mount sees over 2.5 million visitors a year.
Fun fact, it was also the inspiration for the kingdom in Tangled. I mean, literally why not?
Day 2: Saint-Malo
Day two, Sunday, was spent at the walled town of Saint-Malo and it’s safe to say that it is by far one of my favourite places. There was something about the town that made me feel quite at home, which is weird because I have never lived, nor spent any sentimental amount of time, in a walled town by the sea. Maybe it was the sea air itself that helped, or the way the wind absolutely blew my hair clean off (almost…), but something about it just made me really happy.
Saint-Malo is on the Breton coast and is about an hour’s drive from Mont Saint-Michel. It was a strong hold for privateers (basically state endorsed pirates) and has spent its life being constantly bombarded by the English when we fancied taking bits of France/got annoyed when their privateers robbed us blind. On our tour around the town, taken by the best your guide ever, I was constantly reminded of how much of a joke we are to the French – fab times.
There’ll be another little video up on the old YT channel in a few days (when I’ve got round to sorting it) so watch out for that!
Do you love medieval architecture as much as I do?
How cool would it be to be a state approved pirate, though?!