Thursday, March 12th, 1992 Normandy Coast
Up early. Stored three pieces of luggage with Holiday Inn and left for the airport. Got there two hours early so we did some people watching. Finally loaded us on a bus to take us out to a turbo prop plane for one-hour flight to Rennes.
There we made arrangements to fly back to Paris on Saturday at 8:30 am and also reservations to fly to Strasbourg that afternoon. We’ll go by Orly bus into Paris for the day. Then we rented a Hertz car for two days (490f/day) and were off to Le Mont St. Michel. We wound our way northeast taking different roads as we found them. At Columbine we found a beautiful old chateau. All the way there Jim was trying to teach me to pronounce French…roll the R’s from the throat. On to Pontorson where we stopped at a converted home…a 2 star B&B/hotel to rent a room with a toilet for the night at 215f.
Then seven kilometers up the road to the Abby and cathedral. Tour was somewhat confusing (cost 31f each) with a group of school children; but was well worth the trip. We stopped just before we left for a quiche, ham sandwich, coke and snickers bar! The weather was light rain off and on and a very cold, strong wind from the North. Bundled up and enjoyed it. At times the gusts nearly knocked you over!
We left about 2:30 and drove East to Avranches. Mostly to kill the afternoon; but what an adventure it turned out to be.
Avranches was a medium size town and very old. Three churches and a walled city. Very Norman in architecture and narrow streets. We really enjoyed it. As we were trying to leave (hard to find the right street out) we noticed a Century 21 office. Had to go around the block to find a parking place. We took in an invitation to our Century 21 party for the convention in San Francisco that was scheduled the week after we return home. The Broker was at a regional meeting in Cane about 40 miles North. The secretary was very excited and wanted to send us to the meeting. We explained that we had to return to Paris. It was Century 21 Le Mont St. Michel.
Back in the car for a return to Pontorson by the beach route. We could see St. Michel all the way from Avranche. Also, Avranche had a large memorial to General Patton. As we turned off to the Pontaubault road the police blew and whistled and we pulled over not knowing what we had done wrong! The Gendarme (French policeman) pulled at Jim’s belt…asked for registration and insurance and his driver’s license. Seems they have a seat belt law. Jim spent ten minutes standing in the rain and paid a fine of 150f. Another experience we decided. Then we went to a supermache…grocery store …bought bread, bananas, orange juice and water. Went back to Le Mont St. Michel to watch the night lights come on as we ate our bread and juice.
Took about another hour and half but well worth it. Jim walked back through the streets, which by now were silent. The Best Western hotel on the isle had people coming in and out but most were quiet. I was marking maps with my new pink marker when I suddenly heard bells ring. I got out the video and caught the sound…I couldn’t believe the beautiful shadows cast by the lights as darkness fell. Jim returned and as we started out a young French boy (about 20) asked for a lift for 3 km so we put him in the back seat. I wasn’t so sure about it; but it worked fine. He never said a word the whole ride but gave us a thank you when we let him out. Back to the hotel, sorted out the bags, called the office and listened to Jim read about Renne and Strasbourg. Also, we have our first bidet in the bathroom.