Saturday, 28 May 2011

France 2009, Day Fifteen

Day fifteen 20th June

Bruges, was our next planned stop, but at 530 miles it was a long way, or we could stop after about 270 mile at the Honfleur Aire for the night, and then set off for Bruges again first thing the next morning. The decision was to just drive until I was tired and see where we where.

We left the campsite the way we should have came, left on to the D77 / C2 left onto he D24 and right onto the N165. Back along the N165 to the N24 towards to Rennes, the ring road at Rennes is the N136 and we come off that onto the A84. We did not want problems with fuel again and turned off the A84 into the small town of La Mare Gaucher, where we got diesel from a supermarket and also popped in for some food and a few cases of Leffe that was on sale, it was a real bargain.

Back on the A84, you know how kids keep asking "are we there yet" well Dot kept asking "can we go to Mont Saint-Michel" and I would reply "no we do not have time" or "no its too far out of our way" and Dot would ask "can we go to Mont Saint-Michel", eventually after passing sign after sign saying "Mont Saint-Michel next left" I gave in and turned off towards Mont Saint-Michel. It is one of the best changes of mind or back downs, ever from me. So at exit 33 on the A84 we tuned left onto the N276 to the D49 / D75 / D275 then right on to the D976, the causeway to Mont Saint-Michel.

The Aire, Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint-MichelThe Aire, Mont Saint-Michel
D976, 50170, Le Mont-Saint-Michel

It was €8.00 to park the motorhome on the causeway but that included an overnight stop if you wanted to, we decided we would, even though that left us with a 360 mile drive tomorrow. It was our first time using a Camping car Aire, we found a spot where the motorhomes were not to close together and with a good view of the Mont. Some others were parked very, very, close to each other, one reason we haven't waned to use Aires before this.

Before we went out, I had to get the fridge working on gas, something I think we have only ever done once in all the time we have had the van.

The tide was out so we went down onto the sands and walked all the way round the outside of the island before heading inside the walls.

There were quit a few other taking the opportunity with the tide out to walk around the same as us and others were even walking from the main land to the Mont.

St Aubert's Chapel, France 2009

By this time of the day, many of the visitors were leaving but it was still very busy.  Inside the walls we had no idea where we were going so we just wandered about taking in all the views, all the time climbing higher towards the cathedral. When we did get there, there was a queue to get in and as we were not that bother about it anyway, we just continued to wander round. Eventually while looking in some gift shops, I noticed beer in a fridge, so we got a couple and had a sit down, admiring the views with a cold beer.

We moved on when a succession of nuns wanted to use the door we were sat in front of, so we followed the crowds who were looking for vantage points to watch the tide race in. And it does come in very fast, but it didn't get as high as I thought it would. This will all change though, when controversial plans to remove the causeway happen in the next couple of years (controversial plans, because I think they are not properly thought out)

The car parks, Aire and causeway to Mont Saint-Michell, it will be removed and replaced with a bridge. The new car parks will be sited inland, with shuttles to take visitors across the new bridge to the Mont, this is all supposedly for environmental reasons, I think it is for financial reasons, so that some people can make more money from the tourists. I also personally think it will backfire and visitor numbers will drop off, especially the many thousands of motorhomers, who at the moment stay there overnight, keeping the bars and restaurants alive on an evening.

When the tide was in we made our way back onto the main street and had a couple of beers in a bar, before setting off back to the van, where we had supper and watched a wonderful sunset, with Mont Saint-Michell in the background.

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