From the mount to the sea

Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Hotel Port Haliguen

Flag of France  , Brittany,
Saturday, September 3, 2011

Despite an night of relative unrest, we were still bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning. Even Master X woke up in a good mood, initially complaining it was "bright" referring to the light in the bathroom, then going on to mumble for a few minutes about pizza and bacon. Each to their own!

Breakfast was nothing extraordinary but sufficient all the same. I think that after several weeks in Scotland we had become spoilt by the fare that usually awaited us first thing in the morning, however this current spread will be kinder to our waistlines.

We headed off towards the Mont! My many attempts at videoing it yesterday had been unsuccessful and this morning I was camera at the ready and I wasn't taking no for an answer. We drove through the small towns leading up to the Mont and they were bustling with activity. There were people everywhere and this was to be continued at our visit to the Mont.

Suddenly before us was an amazing sight through the haze, nothing in the distance except this extraordinary building on what looked like an island, pointing to the sky. It was absolutely beautiful and I was in awe for a few minutes before I rushed to get that long awaited video footage. No words, pictures or video could do it justice I am sure.

Parking was interesting, although there were many spots at the Mont end of the carpark, we were still required to park down the other end of the carpark. This instruction was met with competition by the car in front of us, needless to say he also had to end up parking down our end of the carpark. However they always say that things happen for a reason and although we had to walk a fair distance to the Mont, it was an amazing view as it towered above us.

We expected to find the entrance to the Abbey as soon as we reached Mont St Michel however instead you entered a medieval gate which took you through spiraling paths of shops, hotels, restaurants and displays all celebrating the Mont. Although touristy it was tasteful and we climbed our way gradually to the top of the stairs. It was only after we had done much carrying of the child and the stroller that on our way down we saw that the smart parents had left their strollers down the bottom.

Scott wanted me to blog my stupid today. When purchasing the tickets the man was asking me what nationality I was however at first I didn't hear him. He repeated the question but with the accent I didn't catch what he said and politely said "I'm sorry, I don't speak french" so he repeated it a third time and Scott jumped in and told him we were Australian. He found it absolutely hilarious that I had made the poor guy repeat in engligh exactly what he had been saying all along.

The Mont was beautiful but I quickly lost my audio guide to Master X who spoke to someone like a phone the entire way around. The architecture is amazing, hard to believe that such solid engineering and craftmanship occurred at a time that they had no more than their hands and basic tools to work with. The views from the top of the Mont were incredible and there were no shortage of gasps as people looked out to sea.

Inside the building were intricate designs that captured your attention. The stories of how the monks lived in the Mont made the history of the place even more captivating. With the beauty of the place, it was not hard to see how people could use this as a place of prayer and retreat.

A young lady in front of us got quite a shock when young Master X took a liking to her stockings and decided to feel them. The poor thing jumped and turned around quickly to see our grinning toddler attached to her leg.

Our trip down the hill saw us stop for a bite to eat. We sat on an outdoor deck and it was a vibrant atmosphere. Our Master X showed only little patience while waiting for his meal and nearby at another table I could see the look of dismay from another mother trying to encourage her screaming son into his high chair. Our eyes met and although no words were spoken, we shared that momentary understanding glance.

With full bellies, we headed back to the car believing that our next journey would only be for 1.5 hours however it seemed that this was yesterday's drive and today's trip would be more in the vicinity of 2.5-3 hours. Perhaps fatigue was the excuse that Scott will use for forgetting about the right hand side of the car and running into the gutter!

We pulled into Quiberon after passing the beach with the crystal blue water. A little down the road we came to Port Haliguen which is our home for the night. It is a beautiful little port, with a few little cafe/restaurants and a nice looking white lighthouse. Naturally such a place instils the desire to explore and after unpacking we headed down to the marina.

You don't even realise the length that you have walked when you are so engrossed in the scenery. We walked past boat sheds and men sitting on the jetty fishing before turning back in hunt of a beach. Luckily just around the corner from our hotel lies a beautiful stretch of beach, perfect for the humble little family. As we were just going for an exploratory stroll, we were somewhat unprepared. Although we thought Master X would like a play on the sand, we did not realise that he would head straight into the water and refuse to come out. He didn't seem fussed with the fact that he was wearing clothes and had no swimmers on. He was fascinated by the waves and the seaweed which kept entangling his feet.

A beautiful kite that we bought in Scotland was itching to be used so we managed to get that airborne also, inbetween chasing Master X out of the water yet again after he had used stealth to get back in. Then another family started playing soccer on the beach and we had a difficult time dragging Master X away from their soccer ball. It is like those big birds who steal your golf balls, it is the toddler who takes your soccer ball!

Beautiful views over the water in a brasserie by the marina. We find it hard to believe that we are over the other side of the world. The weather is perfect and the experience is of a lifetime. Our room is small but comfortable. If only our little toddler was more receptive to the idea of sleep......
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