From Le Mont Saint-Michel to the Loire

The tide receded some time in the night, transporting Le Mont Saint-Michel from an island and into a mountain in the sea of sand once again, but by the time we awoke and walked out into the rainy day, the sea reclaimed the land with the next tide. This tide was lower than the last night’s, as today was closer to the new moon, and once the new moon comes, the sea will take a rest and lend Le MSM to the dry land until the next full moon.
Twice a year, during the equinoxes, the tide is so high that it swallows even the elevated road. So a new even higher road is being constructed now to permanently connect the island to the dry land.
We were on the main street at 9:30 AM and groups of French school kids and Asian tourists had already started arriving in earnest. The tiny narrow main street was quickly turning into a mob scene – how fortunate it is that we saw it almost deserted last night! While the mobs were lingering in the village, we rushed up to the Abbey, up many flights of stone stairs, up the mountain to the very top. Luckily, we beat most of the crowds and toured the Abbey before it became overrun with tourists.
Leaving the island around 12:30, we saw the water receding as fast as it came forward the night before.
Le Mont Saint-Michel is truly one of the most magical places on earth, just make sure you try and see it off hours, with a minimal number of tourists!
Our next destination was the Loire Valley and the Chateaux it is famous for. The Loire valley is a distance from MSM, it took us almost 4 hrs., although I was happy to discover that the speed limit on the highways here is a whooping 130 km/hr, converted into the more familiar to us numbers, it is more than 80 mph. Hallelujah! And the highway was practically deserted! I don’t get it why? Perhaps, the tolls are high and the local people prefer free, slower roads. Also, I’ve not seen one cop, just some electronic speed traps, and the few drivers on the road were flying past me at a speed greatly exceeding the glorious 80+ mph.
To explore the chateaux, I randomly picked Amboise as a base. We are staying at a b&b right across Chateau d”Amboise. These accommodations are much nicer than the once we had on the two previous nights, although Villa la Gloriette still wins. This b&b, Les FLuorons, is housed in a villa originally built in 1630 and, and until 3 years prior, housing the municipal library. It has many interesting decorative touches, large windows, and high ceilings. Our room overlooks the Chateau, but some of the rooms look out on the Loire. The Loire is really a feral river. The water is rushing by, sweeping along branches and entire trees. We took a little walk along the water but it is still too cold outside for me to hang out in the elements for too long.


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