Brittany's Checklist

Trip Start Feb 28, 2011
Trip End Sep 02, 2011

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Flag of France  , Brittany,
Wednesday, March 23, 2011

When you are in this part of the Brittany region there are four towns and one main attraction on a traveler's to do list. This week I completed the list with a trip to Dinan (not to be confused with Dinard which I already wrote about) and the infamous Mont Saint Michel.

Dinan is a mid evil village which dates back to 1224. This town is old, with narrow uneven cobblestone walkways which take you by several artisan shops and enough creperies to compete with the number of Starbucks in NYC. Walking these roads takes you back in time, until it opens up into the more modern new part of town where everyone sits outside with their favorite local beer. This area proves tricky for pictures since the walkways are so dark. I posted a few but of course Google images paints a better picture.

I traveled a couple hours by bus to the Mont Saint Michel. The site is awe inspiring when you first come upon it --- it gets a little less inspiring with the number of tourists inside. None the less it is an amazing location with a long history. Here is a very brief synopsis. According to legend, the Archangel Micheal appeared to St. Aubert in 708 and instructed him to build a church on the tiny island.  "Build here and build high." Michael reassured the bishop, "If you build it...they will come." --which proves this line came before Kevin Costner made Field of Dreams. Later monks built higher on the rock in order to be as close as possible to heaven. For many years monks came here on pilgrimage. In 1793 revolutionaries took it over and made it into a Alcatraz type prison. The first 300 inmates were priests who refused to renounce their vows. In 1874 it was handed back over to Historical Monuments Dept to preserve its heritage.  It stood through the Hundred Years War and WW2. Monks now live here again and they have mass 3.5 million tourists a year.
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