A Long Time in the Making


56 years.  That’s how long it took me to get to Mont St. Michel.  I first learned of it in Miss Longenecker’s 5th grade as one of her weekly bulletin board posts for extra credit.  I probably saw the first photo of it in the World Book encyclopedias my parents bought ( with the deluxe green and white bindings!).  I’ve been enchanted ever since.  Today we visited.

And it rained!

But no longer do visitors need to worry about tides that may prevent them from traversing.  There’s a walkway built above the water and on it a shuttle bus to and from the parking lot.

The abbey itself is amazing, and I was really surprised to see the pristine condition of the chambers. (First known building began around 700 ad.) We climbed up, up, up and finally when we were completely breathless found the ticket office for the abbey.

Photos above are the refectory, the cloister (Benedictine), and the main chapel.  Many areas are in use and on this coming Wednesday evening there’s a concert.  I’d love to be here on a warm summer evening; the photos we saw of the Mont at sunset or under a starry sky are spectacular.

One chamber sported an expo of music and projected images, reminding us of Les Baux in Provence but on a much smaller scale.

The crypt of St. Martin, a very popular Saint in France in the 11th century, has been untouched since 1040.  Amazing.

We found a warm spot for lunch and each had a “galette,” a typical Bretagne dish.  Start with a large, thin buckwheat pancake and add toppings/stuffing to make a meal.  We’ve had them with ham, melted cheese, with an egg on top, another with smoked salmon, potatoes, and salad.  Mine today was melted Camembert, smoked ham, and potatoes.  With a glass of the house red it was just right.

As we were leaving we  saw the same group of school kids on a field trip that we’d been following much of the day, all looking like this:

Then we heard squeals and shouts and turned around to see this:

I wonder if mud-squishing was a course requirement to get an “A”!!!

For me, it was an A+ day, long awaited and worth the wait.  Would I return?  Hmmm—- how many other places did Miss Longenecker introduce us to in 1960?! Thanks, Laverne!

3 responses »

  1. Linda, I taught across the hall from Laverne Longenecker 1974-1976, and she still had the pictures of Mont St. Michel. Thanks for the memories! Curt

    • Curt, I recently found her address on white Pages and wrote to her. She wrote back and sounded quite lively. I’m hoping to visit her with a fellow classmate, Mike. Wanna come too?!

  2. Looks amazing! I hope I get to see it someday–rain or shine.
    Has Ms. Longenecker actually been there or did she just like the photo?

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