Mont Saint-Michel (MSM)
Rising out of the sandy marshes a castle comes into view as we slowly cross a wide bridge in the early morning hours. Towering minarets topped with a statue of Archangel Michael at the summit seem to call the heavens declaring this island sacred ground (According to legend the Archangel Michael came down to Bishop Avranches to build a church here). We quickly realise why this is one of the top destinations in France and in our opinion the world.
Travel Tip #1: Modern amenities have arrived in MSM given its 3 million tourists every year. A shuttle bus that crosses the land bridge allows access to MSM at anytime of day (In older times you would have to wait for low tide). I would suggest you stay at the more modern hotels on the mainland and just take the shuttles back and forth to MSM. The wind is quite strong so bring a sturdy tripod or a friend to take the shot. There are land tours from Paris but as you can see the night shots are truly breathtaking and worth spending a night in the area.
Itinerary: We took a train from Paris to Rheims and spent a night there. The next day we picked up our car and drove to MSM. There is a huge parking lot available where you can park then simply walk to the visitor Center and wait for the bus to be called. Easy with kids who we will bring next trip. We stayed overnight inside the walls but do not recommend it as places are small and old unless you like that feel.
Upon entering MSM, the winding narrow lane leads you into a time long ago with around 50 shops mostly souvenirs and trendy Creperies dotting the outside walls with dazzling views of the surrounding landscapes.
My husband was fascinated in the construction and how the castle was originally built on dry land but as water levels rose it eventually became an island
Travel tip #2 We were warned not to go to the marshes without a guide as the tide can rise very quickly. This got us very worried but we saw many people out there during the day and seemed to be something we should have tried.
La Mere Poulard Cafe
The most iconic establishment in MSM and located right smack at the entrance is the La Mere Poulard Cafe where they have a small exhibit right in front of the restuarant. They create one of the most exquisite omelettes in the world. My husband had the truffle omelette which he found rich and luxurious. I had the potatoes with Jamon and Cheese.
Travel tip #3 if you have a small appetite you can easily share one as it is quite heavy despite its light airy texture. This is a definite must stop!
Mont Saint Michel is truly a magnificent place that can be visited again and again with something new each time and for any generation young and old. I am delighted to see the French tourist authority are preserving the historic walls and structures.