Le Mont Saint-Michel
We drove from Rouen to Le Mont Saint-Michel. It is a very pleasant drive that takes approximately three hours. As soon as we were approaching Le Mont Saint-Michel, the road gets narrow and crosses farmland. All roads are in excellent condition and are asphalted. The scenery is very interesting and peaceful at the same time.
We had already made reservations to stay at Hotel Mercure Mont Saint Michel. I read on Tripadvisor that this is the best hotel to stay while visiting Le Mont Saint-Michel. I agree with all reviewers, as it is really a great place to stay.
Hotel Mercure’s location can’t be better. There is one single access road to the island of Mont Saint-Michel and this hotel is located as close as you can get without staying in a hotel located in the island.
I read (and now that I have been there I totally agree) that staying in a hotel located in the island is not a good option due to hundreds of stairs someone must climb to walk around the island. The island of Mont Saint-Michel certainly is not a place to carry luggage, specially tourists that were “fully loaded” as we were!
So… Hotel Mercure is super convenient: Walking distance to Mont Saint-Michel (less than 1.5 mile): with a huge free parking lot and a supermarket just across the street!
If you are planning an overnight staying at Mont Saint Michel, I would recommend staying at Hotel Mercure or any other hotel nearby. Do not stay in the Island!
One more reason to stay outside? It is BEAUTIFUL to walk along the road that gets to the isle and see Mont Saint Michel getting bigger (= closer) to you! If you stay in the island you will not be able to have this pleasant view!
As soon as we dropped our luggage we went to… Mont Saint Michel, of course!!!
We went by foot and it is a pleasant walking! Traffic is so bad to the parking lot located near the main entrance that many times we noticed we were progressing quicker than the cars! 🙂
It is remarkable ow they were able to construct such big Monastery in this remote place!
We took this picture to show to our son: The motorcycle parked there is exactly equal the one he just bought in the USA (red Ducati). Can be cool to ride a motorbike all way to Le Mont Saint Michel! Maybe we will do this in the future?
We entered in the Mont and we were starving! Don’t forget we had just ate a baguette in Rouen, many hours ago!!
As soon as we entered there was a restaurant with dozens of people looking from the door to inside. Inside there were two persons beating eggs to make omelets. Huge copper bowls and a huge utensil to beat the eggs. The name of the place is “La Mère Poulard” . The decor has dozens of autographed pictures of famous guests. We felt confident to get in….
For start… we were shocked by the prices showed on the Menu… How can ONE omelet cost €75.00 ?
We thought about leaving, but we were too hungry and I had already placed the napping over my legs, so I felt uncomfortable to go away.
The beer took at least 15 minutes to arrive. The waitress were all chatting with a waiter near the cash register.
The beer could have been colder…..
Not a good start…….
“We must keep our faith! We are at Mont Saint Michael, lets keep faith that the food will be good and the service will improve!”
My husband ate an omelet and I ate a dish containing different kinds of fish.
Not good. Not good AT ALL.
Some American guests who were seated at that table behind me were complaining about the food, the service and the prices.
The dessert was a sample of three “specialities” . None of them good.
We had to almost implore to the waitress bring our check. It took TOO LONG.
Price? Almost € 200.00 to eat an omelette, a “casserole” with fishes and a tiny dessert. No wine. We had beer _ only one small glass for each of us.
This is an ASSAULT.
Tourist Trap: When we returned to the hotel I was so “piss of” with this restaurant that I went to check it on Tripadvisor. If you read the reviews for “Mere Poulard” you will see this is a tourist trap! People say that this was an excellent restaurant many years ago, but in the past years it was getting worse by the day and now it is simply… a crap!
After this bad experience we started officially our visit to Le Mont Saint Michel.
Many steps all the way to enter in the Abbey.
Light rain but we had our raincoats from Niagara Falls with us.
The views of the sea and sand around Le Mont Saint Michel, with dozens of pilgrims walking around.
If you look to this picture, it looks like ants, but in fact are pilgrims that walk in groups singing and praying.
The abbey was construct having this huge columns to support its weight.
Mont Saint-Michel from outside
After we left Le Mont the skies became pretty dark and in fact it rained during some minutes. We stayed at the hotel while it was raining.
As soon as the weather got better (approximately half hour later) we went outside to see the place where there are mechanisms that control the tides.
Low tide and Le Mont Saint-Michel
We have read that around 7pm there would be high tide and the mechanisms that control the tides would be operating but… the tide stayed almost on the same level and nothing happened with the mechanisms.
The weather improved and I was able to take this lovely image of Le Mont Saint Michel.
Le Mont Saint-Michel with blue sky trying to come through
As soon as it was getting dark we were attacked by hundreds (thousands??) mosquitoes!!! They were BIG and they were HUNGRY! I don’t know if the rain that fell before increased his hungry or activity or if it is always like that….. Fact is they were flying around our face, head, ears and they were attacking even when we were moving our hands to avoid them. The only solution that helped us was to use a spare coat and rotate it around our head (as if we were a chopper and the “helices” were rotating full speed over our head.
We gave up of our idea of going to the Mont again, to walk there during the night. We stayed near the hotel (in fact we stayed at the platform that was constructed to serve as a view point to the Mont). This platform is located at the same place of the mechanisms that control the tides.
When it got dark the mosquitoes became calmer but they were still a concern.
We had a nice night of sleep. Tip of advice: when staying at Hotel Mercure ask for a room facing the backyard. You will not listen one single sound there. I guess the rooms facing the road / entrance of the hotel can be a little noisy as all traffic that goes / returns from Le Mont Saint Michel passes in front of the Hotel.
On September 18th we had breakfast at the bakery located in front of Hotel Mercure. Very good, good prices and many guests of the hotel were having breakfast there. The place gets crowded but there are enough seats to accommodate all guests.
When we were on the road, going to our next destination (Bayeux) we received this gift (from Saint Michel?): a wonderful rainbow that appeared during less than 3 minutes. Only enough time for stop the car by the road, get the camera and… shot shot shot!
We drove from Mont Saint-Michel to Bayeux. If you want to go to Bayeux with us and see the famous Bayeux Tapestry, please read the next post!
If you want to see more images of Le Mont Saint-Michel, please visit our galley on Flickr clicking here.