“Little girl looking out over the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel.” We were standing in the cloister, built at the center of the Abbaye Mont Saint Michel. Its function is purely spiritual: to bring the monks to meditate. The three arches of the cloister are opened to the sea, separating visitors by a simple pane of glass.
I observed as the girl put her little hand on the window, making no sound; she watched the seagulls lazily soar by on updrafts.
Monks and nuns still live at the Abbaye. There are about 44 inhabitants on the island. I read that 20 live on the polders – the marshes and the bay that surround the island. And about 24 live within the Mount – one family with two children, a shopkeeper, the administrator of the monument, two firemen, a security guard, five monks, seven nuns, and three priests.
I find the thought of that a bit hauntingly beautiful, but it must be challenging as well. In today’s post, I also share a map of the village. Cars are impossible on Mont-Saint-Michel. It’s relatively tiny, with only one main “street” in the shape of a “U.” A few other side alleys, the ramparts, and the church make up the rest of the island. Yet, over 3 million visitors take over this little space each year. I can’t imagine fighting the deluge of people during the peak season and then the cold of the winter months, making the long trek just to bring groceries home in the middle of the rains and storms of northern Normandy.
I am in the process of creating unique travel pages for the places I visit. They will be made accessible first to those who join my newsletter (link in bio) and later on to those who purchase my regional guides. 👏
My goal is to help give you a more immersive, informed, and easier visit to the places I go and share the details you need to have the best experience possible. 🥰
Bisous and big hugs 🤗 from France,