mont saint-michel


have you heard of mont saint-michel? i first learned about this place in 2007 when i traveled around europe a bit following my study abroad in the holy land. one of my best friends from wellelsey was living in the south of france and suggested that, after i visit her, we go to paris and mont saint-michel together. we actually ended up just staying in provence, but my interest in mont saint-michel was super piqued. ever since then, i’ve really wanted to go to that super unique spot on earth.

mont saint-michel is an island that sometimes isn’t an island. at high tide, the rock walls that surround the abbey-topped old village are surrounded by ocean. but at low tide, they are surrounded not by water but by sand. isn’t that fascinating?! today, there’s a causeway built that allows one to walk to the village regardless of the tide, but back in the day access was ruled by the pulling of the moon. and the little island-non-island, with its stone buildings and walls, is so beautiful and charming!

during our normandy trip, on sunday after church, my decade-old intrigue was satisfied by a quick visit to mont saint-michel. it was a particularly memorable experience because, while walking down the causeway, we got stuck in the craziest sudden wind and rain storm. we were drenched through to our skin by the time we reached the village walls! luckily the storm passed and we were able to enjoy the wonder of this place for a bit before we were just too chilled-to-the-bone and left.

after cooking and eating dinner at the close-by apartment we had rented for the night, and after putting moses to bed, ian took sarah and michael back to the mont to see it lit up … and then he came back and picked me up for the same little trip :) i’m so glad we did that! it was pure magic to be back on the causeway and the turreted walls (under clear skies this time!) at high tide and at nighttime. the same spot, but totally different – dark, surrounded in water, and devoid of tourists. it was actually tremendously romantic and a real treat for ian and i to have a little one-on-one time in an enchanting place.

^^ approaching the mont – those blue skies are deceiving. about fifteen minutes later we were being pelted by huge whipping rain drops. it was crazy! ^^
^^ the crowded main street through the village. ^^
^^ i have a weird obsession with moss and mont saint-michel really delivered on that front! ^^
^^ a view back across the causeway from the abbey. ^^
^^ inside the ancient abbey. ^^
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^^ isn’t the shadow of the buildings on the sand so cool?! ^^
^^ can you spot sarah, michael and ian walking along the walls? ^^
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mont saint-michel totally lived up to my long-anticipated expectations.



  1. Not related to this post- but I have a question for you. We are planning a trip to London in the summer and I'm thinking about doing the Harry Potter museum tour. I studied abroad in London 10 years ago, so I think it would be a fun thing to do that I haven't done yet. My question for you is, how accessible is the tour? Is this a place I can easily get to on a train? Uber? We are mostly planning to stay somewhere fairly central in london (probably an air bnb) and just using the tube. I'm wondering how easy it would be to do this tour?

    1. we did it via public transport from london! if i remember correctly, you take a train and then a bus - not a city bus but a bus provided by warner bros. totally doable and highly recommended!

    2. Yes, you can go a couple of ways. Rent a car. take a tour that leaves from Victoria Square, or you can take the train and then take a bus to the studios. Only know this because my husband just took our son in September. We did the tour bus as all the tickets were sold out for normal entrance, but were available if you took the tour. So buy tickets in advance if you want to go. They do sell out!

  2. I wanted to go (and got to in 2015!) ever since reading All the Light You Cannot See. I'd suggest reading it (if you can even suggest a Pulitzer Prize winner, perhaps its too ubiquitous to suggest), great book and a portion of it is set on the island!

    1. i have read it and LOVE it. one of my favorites ever!

  3. I did the Wellesley Aix-en-Provence program I'm guessing your classmate did and loved it - but never got up to Mont St. Michel! Adding it to the list for when (hopefully) I can take my family one day. Glad you enjoyed!


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