Mont Saint-Michel

While the travel logistics to the famed UNESCO site were as needlessly complicated as French bureaucracy, the trip was totally worth it. Wisps of sunrise and a crisp wind accompanied me on my way to my BlaBlaCar, and an hour and twenty minutes later, I arrived in tiny Pontorson. As I was waiting for the Navette to the famed island commune, I worked up the introvert courage to strike up a conversation with a group of Americans who, it turns out, were on a college history class trip. (Jealous. I want to go to France with my professors.)

We all piled onto the bus, passing tiny homes; lush, rolling hills; and bright yellow canola flowers until we reached the bay. In person, Mont Saint-Michel was even more breathtaking and impressionnant–it’s essentially everything excessive af about France compressed onto an island.

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Despite the ridiculous amounts of steps you have to climb to get to the abbey, I told my grumbling legs that the workout was worth it–the abbey is probably one of the most incredible structures I’ve seen in Europe. Plus, I got in for free! (Perks of being under 25, even if I’ll eternally be mistaken for a high schooler.)

And the views of the surrounding saltwater marshes…incroyable.

Reluctantly leaving the abbey, which could house a small village, I wound my way through narrow streets and along the ramparts, finally sitting to eat and admire the view.

While I was checking in online for my Ireland flight tomorrow, one of the Americans approached me, and we started talking…and kept going for another three hours. Turns out she’s a Korean international student, and we even exchanged phone numbers and email addresses since she won’t be too far from me when I’m in DC. Then the wind picked up full force, to the point that I shoved my glasses on to protect my sad eyes…though there was nothing I could do to shield the rest of my poor body.

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While we were waiting for the Navette back to Pontorson, the chill Americans from Howard Community College in Maryland adopted me as an honorary member. C, the lead professor, provided some highly amusing entertainment: “I’m a history professor, I lie for a living” and “I already know which crime each of you would commit.”

Sitting on my train back to Caen, all in all, I’d say today was a successful day trip: I saw one of the most impressive sites in France and picked up a new friend. Onward to Ireland!

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