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Sarah’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 05 Jul 2005

Location: Mont St Micchel, France

MapDay Two of our trip and we were headed from the Normandy coast to Mont St Michel. It rained overnight, not much, just enough to make it annoying to pack up our tents in the morning. Thankfully the rain held of in the morning until we were actually on the bus again, but then it just wouldn't stop, sometimes it was raining lightly and sometimes it was raining more heavily but very rarely did it stop raining. We stopped at Aramanche, an important site of the D-Day landings, the remains of Port Winston can still be seen off the beach. It was a very pretty town but not really much to see unless you were in the mood to visit the war museum there. Janie and I found our way to the top of a hill with great views and acted like idiots until we had to head back to the bus. After another quick stop at the American War Cemetery we were finally on our way to Mont St Michel, which we were all looking forward to. The skys remained an ominous dark grey all afternoon, but the rain held off until we were almost at our destination. It wasn't actually raining when we were dropped off at Mont St Michel, an abbey built on a granite island surrounded by tidal mudflats. It was absolutely gorgeous. An old cobbled road wound up the hill, taking you past a plethora of tourist shops and cafes in the beautiful old buildings. When we where still only halfway up the hill it began to rain once more, and not just to rain, but to absolutely pour. We almost got washed right back down the mountain with all the other tourists (thats not actually all that much of an exageration). After sheltering in the doors of various cafes for awhile, something that earned us numerous filthy looks from a range of french waiters, we decided to brave the rain and try to make it to the top of the hill. The Abbey which was waiting up there would at least afford us the opportunity to finally get out of the rain. Despite terrible hardship, we finally made it, and after a brief queue for tickets we finally made it inside and out of the rain. The Abbey was a beautiful old building, stunning views, stunning architecture. It is still a working (if thats the right word) church and they have a nun praying in a chapel 24hrs a day, which was weird to see because everyone seemed to treat her as a tourist attraction which I'm sure wasn't the point. We wandered around in there until we ran out of time and had to go back down to the carpark to meet the bus, which was only going to make the one trip to pick us up. When we got outside we discovered to our great joy that it was still raining. Yay"!" We got down the bottom of the hill and had to huddle with rest of our tourgroup in the only available bit of shelter, an arch which might have comfortably sheltered two but had trouble with twenty. When the bus finally came we were all greatfully to get back on, I think it was the only time on the trip when everyone was glad to be getting back on the bus. Back at the campsite a quick and unanimous decision was made to upgrade our tents to cabins and bugger the cost, no one was willing to sleep in the mud lake that seemed to have grown outside. Ah the cabins, I'll always look back on them fondly, what a nice change from soggy, cramped tents. After dinner and cabin claiming we all made use of the cover to throw a number of impromptue parties there were about three different cabins in use as venues and when the rain finally cleared up we were able to wander around outside as well, lots of fun, learnt a new drinking game and tried several new beers. Got to sleep very easily that night.