Day 14: Castle on the Hill

Today we took a bit of a break from the Battlefields and travelled back much earlier in time while visiting Mont Sainte Michel and Saint-Malo. I will let the photographs speak for themselves because it’s difficult to describe the landscapes. Mont Sainte Michel is a medieval monastery that continues to be a place of pilgrimage today. It was built in a location that could be accessed by foot during low tide. The population of the village is only 44, so most of the people we saw there were tourists. We walked around to take in the medieval architecture and the view through the windows. When we were there the tide was low so we walked the beach in front of the stone walls and picked up a few seashells. We even had a picnic while we were walking the old streets, seated in a little alcove making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! As people walked by they smiled and said “Bon appetite!”

We continued further west to Saint-Malo, a walled port city that was once famous for privateering (pirates approved by the king). This is also the location where Jacques Cartier began his travels to “discover” Canada. It was a neat connection to Canadian history to see his grave inside the cathedral in the main city square. There was also a castle to walk out to since the tide was low at that point. From there you could see for miles along the beach in both directions.

I also remembered that a book I recently read called All the Light we Cannot See was about a young girl from Paris who flees with her father following the Nazi occupation of Paris to live in Saint-Malo with her extended family. I always like having the opportunity to see the places I’ve read about in books!

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