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Weekender: Mont St Michel

F and I were up at an ungodly hour – or what felt like it, since I got home near 1am after a week of work trip away – yesterday morning to kick start our long weekend trip in Brittany. The train from Gare Montparnasse took us to Dol-de-Bretagne in just under 3 hours, and a time-coordinated bus was waiting outside the train station (slightly to the right) to take us to Mont St Michel in 30 minutes.

Mont St Michel

Mont St Michel

On arrival, we headed to the visitors’ information centre, where free lockers are available for safe-guarding our main luggage for the trip and relieved us from having to drag it everywhere with us. A 1-euro coin will do the trick in locking up the door, which you can retrieve when you return the key later on. Time to make our way to the famous abbey-and-fortress-on-a-large-rock, and we opted for a walk instead of queuing up for the free shuttle; anyone feeling fancy could take a horse-powered carriage!

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“Short and easy” day-trip (to Mont St Michel)

I am bemused each time I read an article exclaiming that Mont St Michel is a short day trip away from Paris, and this includes Rick Steves’ claim of it being an easy day trip. Maybe, if you are a staunch believer of around-every-country-in-Europe-in-30-days kind of tourism…?

Mont St Michel

Let’s established a couple of basic things here. Given 24 hours in a day, and assuming one gets a good 8-hours sleep, we’re left with 16 hours for all activities in a day. If you need an hour or so to get ready in the morning – shower, personal grooming, breakfast (and coffee!) – now we’re down to 15 hours available for the day to play tourist etc.

The Mont St Michel is a beautiful site and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s pondering whether to go or not. Situated at the boundary between Normandy and Brittany, it was assigned Unesco World Heritage Site all the way back in 1979 (before I was even born!) and attracts reasonable number of visitors each year. It is also, however, some 360km away from Paris. Not exactly the next town over.

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