• Travelogue Normandy by motorhome stage 5
  • Travelogue Normandy by motorhome stage 5
  • Travelogue Normandy by motorhome stage 5

Stage 5

The "sacred mountain" and the "somewhat different visit"

The next morning already shows its sunny side at breakfast. Well fortified it does not hold us long, the feeling of freedom has now packed us fully. We point our camper south and drive into the bay of Mont Saint Michel, one of the most visited corners of France. Here, in the past decades, the tourists have overrun the place to such an extent that something had to be thought of.

Today, there are gigantic parking lots well before the crossing to the monastery island, where all visitors must park their cars before heading to the "holy mountain". Exceptions to this are campers who can show an access code for the campsite behind the barrier. Since we are traveling in the off-season, there is still something free on the site and we find ourselves abruptly in a kind of Disneyland.

The 4 million tourists from all over the world get here what they expect: For the kitsch lovers a lot of souvenirs, for the hikers and nature lovers wonderful picturesque routes around the bay and for the lovers of ecclesiastical architecture one of the most beautiful sacral monuments at all. The "Mont" is enthroned in the middle of the bay and can be seen from afar.

The church built by Benedictines and the houses arranged around it apparently exert a great attraction on Asian visitors in particular. They will pour over the monument like the ebb and flow of the tide. There are even marriage arrangements here for visitors from the Far East, who are all too happy to be photographed in front of the historic backdrop after the civil wedding ceremony.

During the day, Mont-Saint-Michel is enormously busy and we agree to take advantage of our special "living situation" to experience the monument in a very special way. Shuttle buses take tourists there and back via the wooden footbridge that connects the small island with the mainland, but the footbridge is also easy to walk on and so we take an extended walk on the island after dinner.

By this time, the daytime visitors are long gone and so we have this special place almost to ourselves. So if you want to visit Mont-Saint-Michel, you should really think about doing it between ten in the evening and midnight. The last shuttle bus brings us back to our campsite at half past eleven, where we sink happily into our beds after an eventful day.