Tuesday, 2 July 2013

France: Mont-St-Michel, Day 3

Life is ever so exciting. I have a new job interview tomorrow and am finally coming 'round the end of a "bend in the road," as Anne of Green Gables would put it.

Mont-St-Michel from afar...
But I digress. Travelling to Mont-St-Michel was a four hour bus ride in which our tour guide interrupted many people's attempts to sleep. I just listened to her (partly because I was too tired to do anything else and partly because I wanted to force myself into France time as much as possible).

From the Bridge
...and the wind was rather blustery. I was very thankful for my short, light grey over coat which was worn for the entire day. Because I had fatigue hanging over me slightly, everything around me seemed surreal. 

Commissioned by St. Aubert, who built the oratory on Mont-Tombe in 708 A.D, Mont-St.Michel was not finished until around 1895.

From a lowly oratory to a Benedictine Monastery, Mont-St-Michel was positioned defensively. Over the centuries, it was besieged, assaulted, made into a political prison, and declared a national monument. If anything other than a mysterious and wonderful landmark, Mon-St-Michel is a picture of France and her development into what it is today. 
The Drawbridge

Doors! I shot a theme of doors for my trip, but here are two from the Mont. The teal is my favourite.

The Mont's Small Cemetery
It is almost impossible to get lost on the Mont. The stairs go up to the abbey, and once you have gone through the cloisters, you will find yourself going back down. That was only one wonderful part. Think about it; being able to enjoy your surroundings without worrying where you will end up and how you will get back to your starting point.  

This little cemetery was very quaint. Orange is one of my favorite colors and I thought that the orange was a perfect front against a cemetery background, as most flowers in France had not decided to grace the world with their presence...

The Abbey walls both up and down. A fellow photographer and I stuck together and adored the delicate ferns reaching out from the craggy rocks. I had wanted to update my camera before the trip, but instead, I made due with my present equipment and decided to just have fun. Design is an amazing aspect, and architecture is such a fun subject to take, even though I am a little bit obsessed with symmetry and contrast.

With the funny tree in the top left-hand corner, this shot (overlooking the English Channel) made me think it belonged somewhere in South America, not France.

The End! An Iron Railing End
The Abbey's Gorgeous Chapel
One of the best parts of Europe is its grand edifices. Everywhere we went we would see a church, and each one holds stories and characters we (sadly) did not have time to spend getting to know.  Thankfully we had a leisurely time, and I was able to simply sit and admire the tranquility as well as do my photo business.

Another door and the posing cat: This cat seemed to think (or know) for that matter, that he was in a perfect location for being photographed. Yes, it clogged up the traffic on the stairway, but it was humorous looking.

We reached the top (right) after ambling through the cloisters (left). The view was wonderful, but pictures would never do it justice. The entire floor was composed of massive stones engraved with the "signatures" or symbols of each carpenter who had worked on them. It made the entire lookout much more personable, as there was an engraving I could see; I didn't know who had written it, but someone from centuries ago had, someone who was proud of his work.


Dark Purple Irises in the Cloister

Pre-Salted Sheep
"Pre-Salted sheep!?" Yep. The water from the English Channel rushes up with the dangerous tides and waters the grass on the pastures on the border. Consuming pre-salted grass gives the sheep a delicious and tender texture. There is no other way to describe it. It is a delicacy in France and something one can buy on the Mont, but I found some in the Latin quarter of Paris and had a lovely meal of it. (Apologies to my vegetarian friends...)

All that is left to say is "See? Isn't it interesting?" There is no other place like it. After stopping to take these, it was time for the ride to Paris. I had created a play-list of new songs that would remind me of certain events in Paris, and I listened to that while I wrote about the day. My friends and I were getting ready to see Paris after riding around in enclosed entities in order to travel places, and we were quite interested when we saw the tip of the Eiffel Tower peek over the edge of random trees after passing Charles de Gaulle.

When we arrived in Paris, when brought our bags up to the respective floors at the Ideal Hotel and refreshed ourselves before going out to dinner.

Smoked Salmon
...was amazing. I ordered in French and also had a glass of excellent Alsace (though almost all wine in France is delectable) and was delighted when the waiter brought my meal on a cutting board platter. I had not had much all day on account of the "strange new time schedule."  We had a wonderful time making conversation about the day, and then we discovered that it was time for rest.

Paris Orleans (photo from site)

The Google/"I'm Feeling Lucky" Room (as it was dubbed)
Hotel Design completely. We also had a little deck/porch overlooking the street. We were next to a metro station, which was convenient though a mite noisy at times, but peaceful for the most part. The pillows were a bit hysterical, however. My friend had the Blogger pillow originally and I the Facebook, but we switched since I write and do not have a book of Face. 

(Oh my, now I am missing this room...Well!)

Thanks for reading, and make sure to check back for another France post. 
The next one's Versailles!

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