Year Abroad Diaries: 3 February 2013

There were seven of us as we got on the bus to the Mont – myself, K, a Canadian, a Minnesota-ian, an Irish girl, a Mexican, and a New Yorker. We snoozed during the journey there and back; luckily all waking in time to see the glorious site of the Mont in the early morning light (yes! It was actually sunny for us!)

I don’t think the sight of the Mont St Michel is less impressive the second time round. It still radiated old age, a timeless history, an amazing construction in sandy stone: it’s just beautiful. The girls who hadn’t seen it before were very excited and we were lucky, as it was very quiet for a Saturday on the island.

After a nice mid-morning coffee stop, we mounted the stairs to the abbey in the freezing wind, and got our tickets for the tour. It was just as amazing as the first time, but God knows (literally) how the monks managed in the cold of winter – it was baltic. By the time we’d visited all the chapels and crypts we were dying for lunch, and tempers were beginning to boil. Ending up at a cute hotel, waited on by tiny birds flitting from table to table, I got a warming bowl of ratatouille. It was good to be inside, still able to take in the history of the Mont from a cosy perspective.

By then it was almost three, so we casually wandered around the souvenir shops, some of the girls making touristy purchases. This (inevitably) led to La Mère Poulard gift shop, where myself and the Irish girl battled a hoard of tourists for the free tasters. The sun blessed the skies and the wind remained bitter, so after a few more photos on the causeway, we remained in the light for the bus. It departed at 1700 on the dot, for our house on the tiny hill in the distance.

That evening, there was talk of going to Big Ben (yup, the name of our local pub) but (thankfully, for tired old me) it didn’t happen. Instead we sat in the living room on mattresses and pillows, sipping cider / tea (delete as appropriate) and chatting away.

This morning I woke early at nine, and at eleven, when there was shy stirring from the front of the flat, I wished them good morning. Offering breakfast, we left the flat at one to the Jardin, seeing the Mont in the distance, then waved goodbye to the girls as they descended towards the Gare. The girls were a lovely, chilled out bunch. Quick conclusion? Good weekend and nice to chat with some new faces!

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