Thursday, June 19
From Bayeux, it was a pretty drive through
the countryside, dotted with French cows; when we exited the autoroute I saw le Mont in the distance, so exciting! I made Dan stop to take photos of le Mont with sheep.
Then we arrived at l, our B&B was literally right before the gate to the village. I'm so glad I found it, as most hotels in the village are far more spendy. After checking in, we walked about five minutes to the shuttle stop. We took the shuttle to the island, and I first asked about evening hours at the tourism office. Apparently the evening hours do not start until July, phooey. The island was very crowded, and we continued on and walked up the many steps to buy
tickets to the abbey, where the lady said the audioguide was finished.
Another lady said the audiogudes would be available the next day from 9 to 6. I pointed
out that it was only 5:30, but she was unmoved. It was rather frustrating, but she would not relent. So we made do without
the audioguide and just followed our guidebook. Thankfully it was not very crowded inside the abbey, just a handful of people. Also, there was a
private event that evening so some areas of the abbey were
closed off. Dan asked the caterer who it was for, and was told it was a
secret. Dan thought it was for an politician, but I thought for a
celebrity. Later we saw a Chinese man playing erhu and some French
singers rehearsing; I enjoyed hearing the music echoing through the
abbey. There were also bagpipe players, Dan loooves bagpipes; he used to play in the army. [Aside: Why does the US Army have a bagpipe band?] He asked a bagpipe player about the event, and was told the designer Hermès was
launching a new perfume. So that is what it was!
After touring the abbey, we walked around some of the less crowded pathways of the island and looked at the mudflats and the construction. A new bridge to the island is being constructed and the causeway will be no more, since it has silted up such that it is no longer really an island.
After touring the
abbey, we took the shuttle back and had dinner near the B&B. The area is known for lamb, so
Dan ordered the lamb tasting plate. I didn't think the lamb was all that
great, but he enjoyed it. I had the salmon, which perfectly cooked. Then we walked back toward the
island to see the abbey lit up at night. We saw a bunny rabbit hopping
through the fields. A French rabbit! We also saw people cycling on the path, that would be fun to do. And several tour buses unloaded as the sky darkened. The lights were obscured by scaffolding on the abbey, but it was still pretty.
Friday, June 20
The next morning there were more desserts for breakfast...crepes,
French toast, croissants, and yogurt that tasted like cream, which Dan thought was homemade. We checked out of the B&B and saw poppies on the walk to the
shuttle stop, so pretty.
We heard a helicopter overhead when we got off the shuttle at the island, and saw it approaching the abbey. It was picking up equipment from the previous evening's event! It flew off, then later we saw it return and carry off more cargo, many times throughout the morning. Crazy!
I wanted to walk around the island and see the view
from the other side. There was a group of school children starting a walk, and we followed
them. (The mud flats can be like quicksand, so Dan wanted to follow a
group to be safe.) The view was nice, and it was fun walking through the
mud. (One of the French kids didn't think so, she was crying as she held hands with adults on both sides.)
After the walk, we rinsed
off our feet and put our shoes back on, and explored some of the
stairways around the abbey. Then we took the shuttle to a new-looking bridge in the village, and Dan checked out the dam. We saw more cyclists, seems like a fun area to go biking. The view of the island from the bridge was nice, and we saw what looked like Breton characters on it. I wonder if the silting up of the causeway has reduced the tides, because I didn't see any big tides, kind of disappointing. Dan said we'll have to go back in a few years, after the causeway is gone, to find out.
Then we walked past the poppy fields back to the B&B to pick up the car, and we were off to Brittany!