Mont St. Michel

March 28, 2011

mont st michel

I’m slow at posting today because I’m hanging out with my Mom seeing the sites. She leaves tomorrow so we’re trying to pack in as much as we can.

On Saturday we went to Mont St. Michel. Wow! It made me feel like I was visiting that city in Lord of the Rings (Ugh. I can’t remember the name. Help me out, please.) It’s a city built on a mountain, with a picturesque little village of shops and restaurants to wander through as you climb higher and higher and finally reach the abbey/cathedral at the top. But it’s not just a mountain. It’s an island too! During our visit, the weather happened to be just right and the views went on forever.

Best discovery: I found out there are several hotels right on the island. This information is totally public knowledge, but I had no idea.

Wouldn’t that be a romantic getaway?

mont st michel

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{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sherri March 28, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Gorgeous and fun, eh? You guys are having a blast. Love your photos!

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2 Chelsea March 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm

There is also a place in England called St. Michael’s Mount, and it is the “cousin” to the place you visited in France. I actually stayed there for a week on the island with an LDS family while I did my study abroad in England. If you are over in the UK, it is a quaint area that you might also enjoy. Looks like the place in France is equally beautiful. Here is some information on it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Michael's_Mount

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3 Design Mom March 29, 2011 at 3:53 am

So glad to know about St Micheal’s Mount. Thanks, Chelsea!

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4 Ren Lady Of The Arts March 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm

great photos- I love the “Spanish Steps” like shot of the kids going up- don’t remember the name but know what you are talking about.

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5 Design Mom March 29, 2011 at 3:54 am

I was pleased with how that shot turned out. : )

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6 Heather March 28, 2011 at 3:55 pm

oh wow, memories of going here when i was in high school….making me pine away for those days :/ Glad you guys are having so much fun and immersing yourselves!

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7 sherri March 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm

wow!

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8 robyn March 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm

oh my! So incredible! I took 2 years of French and NEVER knew it was an island. You think they would have taught us that! It really looks like something out of a delightful fairy tale.

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9 amy March 28, 2011 at 4:28 pm

It’s an island during high tide

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10 Design Mom March 29, 2011 at 3:55 am

Yes. Right out of a fairytale. When Oscar was getting tired of the steps, we turned it into a hunt for a Knight and he was suddenly reenergized.

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11 juliagblair March 28, 2011 at 4:27 pm

The B and G Blair family add class and beauty to anything—even something as naturally beautiful as Mt. Saint Michel! Wish I could climb those stairs—imagine running up them like R, M, O,O, B!!

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12 Katherine March 28, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Love, love, love Mont St. Michel. We spent the night there, on a whim, and it was fabulous. We didn’t want to leave!

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13 Design Mom March 29, 2011 at 3:55 am

On a whim adventures are my favorite kind!

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14 Eliza Hall March 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Gondor? My husband would be so proud of me for remembering that.

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15 Design Mom March 29, 2011 at 3:56 am

Yes! That’s it. Thank you.

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16 natalie* March 28, 2011 at 4:47 pm

My Mom was an AF brat in the 60s and her mom took the four kids around Europe seeing sites – there’s a photo forever ingrained in my memory of them all picnicking in fab 60s sundresses and shades with MSM in the background.
In LOTR, the city is Minas Tirith and it’s the capitol of Gondor. My husband is gonna take me to lunch, he’ll be so proud I know that.
I highly recommend St. Michael’s Mound – I saw it when studying at BYU’s Study Abroad program 10.5 years ago – Penzance and Lands End are close by and very worth it as well. Nothing in the world like sea-side UK towns.

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17 Design Mom March 29, 2011 at 3:57 am

Yes! Minis Tirith. Exactly.

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18 Genevieve March 28, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Love the picture of the kids running up the stairs! I visited Mont St. Michel when I was 14 with my french class and it felt so magical! Would love to go back.

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19 Nicole March 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm

It is such a magical place! I think as child it would have made my brain explode. Did you try the omelettes?? I got to stay overnight with my little sister and had her completely convinced that dragons came out at night. The visit is one of her best memories of France.

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20 Maribel March 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm

I came across the world of blogs a few months back…I love yours, it’s one of many on my bookmarks. This post brings back memories for me from my jr year trip to Paris. One weekend we drove out to the countryside and this was one of our stops. I can totally remember peeking thru those stone windows. One day I will go back….one day.

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21 Jen Lewis March 28, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Just added that to my bucket list. Amazing!

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22 Rae Grant March 28, 2011 at 5:48 pm

very nice!

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23 mrs boo radley March 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Oh my goodness–looks like SO much fun! Cute pics of the kids in their colorful clothes. Everyone looks great.
xo from back home,
mrs boo

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24 Jennifer March 28, 2011 at 6:41 pm

This was my the most memorable place for me when I visited France with my college choir. Such a storybook village. Little scary though….we were out on the ramparts watching the sun set when the tide came in and we had to cross the stone bridge back into town when it was under about three feet of water. It was dark by that time and there is nothing scarier to me than dark ocean water. We made it across safely. I only fell in once. =) I think we stayed at the Best Western there and I was so impressed at how styled a chain hotel could be when in France!

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25 Design Mom March 29, 2011 at 4:02 am

Oh my goodness! If I’d been with my kids that would have especially terrified me.

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26 Robyn March 28, 2011 at 6:55 pm

I need shopping details on the rainbow striped shirt! Wow. Love it.

Pretty please?

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27 Design Mom March 29, 2011 at 4:01 am

Such a great shirt, Robyn. We ordered it from Polarn O Pyret. http://www.polarnopyretusa.com/

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28 Sara March 28, 2011 at 6:56 pm

WOW!! Incredibly gorgeous!! We are going to be in Paris for about a week this summer, and I’m really hoping to squeeze in some close-by smaller village type places (if I can convince my husband) while we’re there. I definitely have to put this on the list!!

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29 Krystle March 28, 2011 at 7:22 pm

My pregnant self just thought “Whoa those are alot of stairs” LOL! It’s a gorgeous little place.

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30 Design Mom March 29, 2011 at 3:58 am

I sure know that feeling, Kyrstle. Hah!

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31 Alyssa March 28, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Yay! I’m so glad you went – it truly it a magical place. It was favorite spot in France. :)

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32 Wendy McSwain March 28, 2011 at 7:54 pm

It is the coolest place. Haven’t been since college, but I would love to take my kids someday. What a fun field trip!

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33 Emily Z March 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Oh I’m so glad you went to see Mont St. Micael!!! It’s magical!! You’re right it looks like something right out of a movie! I loved visiting there! Beautiful!!

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34 Porsche March 28, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Will I brand myself a geek forever if i know that the city from Lord of the Rings you are trying to name is Minas Tirith? I will? Okay, then I won’t mention it. :)

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35 rkwpnw March 28, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Love the photos! By the way while you are in France you should check out Gorge du Verdon. It has similar little towns strewn about on either side of this BEAUTIFUL gorge. Not to mention its also home to the perfume capitol in Grasse.

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36 Al Harron March 28, 2011 at 9:00 pm

The name of the city in The Lord of the Rings you’re thinking of is Minas Tirith, which is indeed reminiscent of Mont St. Michel.

And now I go back to whatever it is I do.

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37 Design Mom March 29, 2011 at 4:01 am

Yes, that’s the one!

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38 Michelle March 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Yay! Seriously, I know I said this earlier, but this was probably my favorite part of my whole trip to France. Paris was fantastic, but there was something about Mont St. Michel that had me so enchanted…I saw a man carrying around old skeleton keys that they still use to lock things up. Then when he was done he sat down, took of his hat and set them inside his beret! I LOVED the whole thing. My husband and I did stay in one of the hotels and it was magically romantic. Sorry, I haven’t read Lord of the Rings…It reminded me of Diagon Alley from Harry Potter. :)

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39 Mix March 28, 2011 at 9:23 pm

wow, for me it just look really alike hogsmeade, the neighborhood around hogrwats in harry potter’s books… specially the one with Maude (I think it’s Maude) in front of a crowded street…

amazing trip!!!!
love ur posts!!!!!!!
bisous!!!!!

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40 Design Mom March 29, 2011 at 3:59 am

I hadn’t thought of Hogsmeade, but that totally fits!

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41 JWK March 28, 2011 at 9:45 pm

One of my all time favorite places on earth!! What an incredible experience you all are having :)

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42 allysha March 28, 2011 at 10:31 pm

I loved Mont St Michel. It’s so fun to follow your experiences. (Also: gosh, Olive is looking older! Which, I guess, shouldn’t be a surprise. Because Madeleine is looking older, too! Kids grow up so fast.)

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43 P.B. Lecron at A French Education March 28, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Wow, you did it! That’s no small feet–sorry I mean feat!

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44 Joana March 29, 2011 at 12:21 am

we took the kids last feb break there too! we even get to talk with the nuns who still live in the island. and also did the “D Day” theme trip! I was soo touched with all the memories and landmarks of the WWII!
enjoy your week

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45 peggy March 29, 2011 at 12:27 am

I love Mont St Michel, every year we go and visit my inlaws in Bretagne and arrange a little tour over to St Malo and Dinard and further St Mt Michel…
Kids love it with all the stiars, little streets…

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46 From Belgium March 29, 2011 at 1:19 am

I am seething with envy. That place has been on my wish list forever and I have yet to visit.
It looks great!

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47 Design Mom March 29, 2011 at 3:59 am

I love wishlists. I hope you get to go!

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48 Kholisa March 29, 2011 at 1:24 am

I LOVE the photo of the your kids running up the stairs! Thank you for sharing Mont St Michel its amazing. Definately going on to my “places to visit when in France” list.

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49 Katherine in Paris March 29, 2011 at 2:53 am

We also went there on a whim a few years back and only got to see Mont Saint Michel at night. We will definitely go back with the kids. It is so amazing to be able to teach your kids history by visiting places like this. I think I would have enjoyed history class so much more as a child if I could have lived it a little more. So great.

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50 Design Mom March 29, 2011 at 3:58 am

Fun, Katherine! I’ll bet it’s gorgeous at night.

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51 Frumptastic March 29, 2011 at 6:55 am

St. Michel does not look like it could possibly be a real place ! It is magical!

It is fantastic that you get to give this wonderful experience to your children. Living abroad is an amazing gift. My husband took a sabbatical to Taiwan last year. He spent five months there and my son and I met him there for the last five weeks. I hope in another seven years we can do it again but this time, the whole family experiences living abroad for the whole time!

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52 jana March 29, 2011 at 7:21 am

WOW! Kind of reminds me of Harry Potter’s scenery too. :)

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53 Jamie March 29, 2011 at 8:41 am

I’m glad you enjoyed Mont St Michel it really was one of my favorite places to visit in Europe, which is probably why there is photo documentation of 5 different trips. If I recall lodging prices for the island were comparable to mainland hotels but like all good European hotels you pay a premium for a view.

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54 Lisa March 29, 2011 at 9:06 am

Years ago, way before kids, my husband and I visited Paris and the Normandy region and visited Mont St. Michel. My husband called ahead and booked us a room out on the Mont itself and it was truly one of the most romantic evenings we’ve ever had. Arriving late afternoon and strolling the little village and shops and then making our way up to the Abbey. An amazing seafood dinner followed and we capped off the evening watching the tide come in and seeing Mont St. Michel totally surrounded by water and cut off from the mainland. Strolling through the streets after dark was fabulous! I’ll never forget it.

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55 Mai Weston March 29, 2011 at 9:12 am

I was just there 2 weeks ago with my husband, my mother and my 2 year old son Mateo!

We stayed at one of the hotels right before the road to the island. In the later afternoon when my brood was resting, I slipped on my iPod and took a walk out to the island. It was one of the most magical, solitary moments I’ve ever had. Once I got to the island, it was deserted. A far cry from the hordes we had seen earlier in the day.

I’m glad you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Cheers,
Mai Weston
San Diego, California

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56 Jennifer Branson March 29, 2011 at 10:06 am

Oh my! Your pics give me butterflies!! Love this and the ones of your home and the ones where the chef will make you dinner in her home. What amazing memories for you and your family. Thanks for sharing them with us.

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57 Becca March 29, 2011 at 10:10 am

We love Carcassonne in the South of France. It is magic! They also have fabulous places to stay in “La Cite,” but we will never stray from our favorite Hotel Chateau/Montmorency!

Have you thought about going south?

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58 Haydee March 29, 2011 at 10:30 am

The photos of the kids running up the stairs and the one where they’re walking into you on that crowded, narrow road are amazing. I want to be transported there. So glad you’re having a great time w/your mom. I’m sure she’s beyond happy being with you and the fam:)

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59 Nikki {Perpetually Engaged} March 29, 2011 at 10:57 am

We’re visiting Paris in September! I’m saving all your little posts and eating up the info. I wasn’t going to do a day trip to Mont St. Michel but your photos may have just changed my mind. That little street reminds me of Diagon Alley in Harry Potter!

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60 Juliane April 5, 2011 at 10:58 am

The best way to see Mont St. Michel is arriving late afternoon, as the bus loads of tourists are leaving, staying overnight (when you can enjoy the sunset, see the abbey all lit up at the top and sit down to a relaxing dinner) then enjoy a a leisurely and quiet breakfast outdoors before all the busloads of tourists come back. That’s how we did it and it was magical!!

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61 Sarah March 29, 2011 at 10:59 am

I remember coming here with my family when I was about nine or so… fun times!!!

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62 Laura March 29, 2011 at 11:42 am

What a fun adventure! Anybody know where I could find grey slouchy boots like the woman next to Olive? I love them!

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63 Cerise March 29, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Gondor, I think. What a beautiful place to explore!

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64 KB March 29, 2011 at 7:29 pm

I visited Mont St Michel when I was in high school and loved it. Glad you enjoyed it too! I love reading about your adventures in France!

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65 Bobbi March 29, 2011 at 8:04 pm

We visited Mont St. Michel with our children while stationed in Germany with the U.S. military in the spring of 1984. After touring the abbey, perusing the shops, and watching the old videos of the tide rushing in and people getting stuck in the quicksand, I retired to our Vanagon camper to nurse our baby girl. My adventurous husband took the other three kids for a stroll. They returned, wet and sandy, with excited tales of venturing far out onto the beach, getting semi-stuck in little pockets of quicksand, and hoping that the siren would sound urging them to run back to safety! Yikes! They have never forgotten that experience. My husband and I did return to stay overnight at the Mont about 5 years ago. We watched the fog roll in through our window, and listened to the sound of the ocean. We savored omelettes at La Mere Poulard, and wandered the deserted streets in the evening. It was, indeed, tres romantique!

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66 Jordan March 29, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I’ve always wanted to go there, Gabby! I have pictures of my four running up huge flights of stairs. Great shot.

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67 Natalia March 31, 2011 at 5:08 am

Glad you had a good time at Mont St. Michel – it really is a magical place! I can’t wait to go back, this time with a little (history and fortifications obsessed) person in tow.

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68 Julie March 31, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Adore these pics!!!! Keep them coming…so much fun to see your adventures, I would love to see this place first hand, xoxoj …ps, hope the layette thing works out…textile dreams!! You’re amazing Ms. Blair!

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69 The Shutter April 1, 2011 at 11:09 am

Fantastic shots! Just awesome.

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70 kate April 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm

what an amazing adventure! i love it. :)

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71 Michelle A. April 3, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Mont St Michel was one of my favorite stops in France. I loved that you could drive in, but that you had to hurry and get back before the tide. It was such an adventure. Mr. C and I were just as amazed that you could sleep their too! You have an amazing site – thanks for sharing :) Michelle

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72 maria May 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm

hello i was just at monte st michel and it was absolutely breath taking…..but i wonder if anyone can help me on this one!!!!!!!!!!! in the abbey they sell a perfume………..i fell in love with one of the smells…thinking i wld find it in paris….after leaving and looking for the perfume they sell at the inside of st michel in the abbey,,,,well cldnt find it…does anyone have the name or the brand???? there was like four or five diff smells….and they came in boxes…i wld greatly appreciate it if anyone had any info on it. :)

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73 Nora December 6, 2011 at 12:43 pm

We loved Mont. St. Michel. My son keeps a postcard of the castle in the sea on his bulletin board 7 yrs later. Nearby are beautiful towns of St. Malo and Concale. Somehow I keep returning to this magical part of France. Enjoy!

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74 Patricia February 24, 2012 at 9:20 am

how amazing, these are one of my favorite travel pictures of your family!

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