Ever since I changed my profile picture, I got so many questions of where it was taken. So I decided to make a blog post about it.
The building in the background of the photo is Benedictine Abbey, which is located at the peak of an island called Mont St Michel in the Normandy area of France, approximately 350kms from Paris. Ever since it’s listed as the UNESCO World Heritage, it has became a very popular tourists destination, especially for Japanese group travel market. As part of my first company-paid trip in Europe, I got the chance to visit this amazing site. The above photo is taken in the middle of the road before reaching the old coach park. One of the downside of being a solo traveler is you don’t get to have a lot of chance to take pictures of yourself. Good thing that my coach driver was very kind and even though he doesn’t speak a word in English, he offered to take the photo for me. Not to complain though, the photo was actually not very good. So I did some editing with my iPhone using Camera+ and Snapseed, and there goes my profile picture.
We departed from Paris very early in the morning so we were able to arrived at around noon, which was the perfect timing for lunch. As part of the tour package, we had the traditional omelet as our meal. Actually, the tradition of this famous omelet is started by the Poulard family, which store is located right in front of the entrance gate of the Mont Saint-Michel, and still on business until now. But mind you, a three-course meal with original omelet in La Mère Poulard will cost you at least EUR50pp. And let me tell you, it’s not worth it. The “omelet” is not your ordinary omelet. It’s whipped until frothy and very light, then cooked in a huge pan. The result? See below photo for yourself : it’s has been cut for a one-person serving. It’s definitely not for my palate, as I couldn’t even taste the “egg” in those plate.
After lunch, we continued our journey to the peak. When I was there, coaches were still allowed to parked in the car park in front of the main entrance. But as for April 2012, the only way to reach the area is on foot. Due to the plan to restoring the maritime character of the Mont Saint-Michel and make it an island again, the car park has been relocated to about 2.5kms from the main entrance gate. If you don’t feel like walking, there’s also a free shuttle bus provided.
The island of Mont Saint-Michel is actually a small town which surrounded by city walls. It is said that the structural composition of the town is similar to the feudal society which built it. From the entrance gate, you will need to take a hike for around 30minutes until you reach the peak. There’s a lot of restaurants and souvenir shops located in the right and left side of the avenue, including the famous La Mère Poulard restaurant. On the way to the peak, you’ll passed by a small but beautiful cemetery.
On top of the island, stood the Benedictine Abbey, which wasn’t only a monastery of Benedictines monks, a functioned church, but once used as a prison as well. Entrance to the abbey is EUR9 per pax.
The patron of this abbey is the Archangel Michael, which statue is placed on top of the spire of the church.
It took at least 5hours journey (one-way!) and due to bad traffic, it was already 2200 when we reached our hotel in Paris again. It was a very long journey, and we’re very tired when we reached the hotel. Dinner was prepared, but nobody really had the appetite to enjoy a very nice 3-course French cuisine at 2200 hours. But the trip was definitely worth it. I really can’t wait for the “new face” of Mont Saint-Michel to emerge, it will absolutely be stunning.
Have you even been there? What’s your impression of the island?
Do you want to come back again?