Mont Saint Michel then up the Loire Valley to Paris. 2013

Mont Saint Michel, striking even from a distance
Mont Saint Michel, striking even from a distance

 

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We start this weeks journal with our visit to Mont Saint Michel. We arrive in the late afternoon and check into an aire 3 klm away. Up early we set off on the long walk out to the Mont. We wander the tourist bits and take an extended tour of the abbey. It is well worth the hype and we marvel at its elegant simplicity.

 

Wandering the narrow lanes surrounding the Abbey
Wandering the narrow lanes surrounding the Abbey
Everyone loves a sword shop
Everyone loves a sword shop

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The Abbey Cloisters are a tranquil retreat with stark stonework of the rest of the building
The Abbey Cloisters are a tranquil retreat with stark stonework of the rest of the building
The man wheel used to winch goods up from below
The man wheel used to winch goods up from below

 

The relatively new aire (camper stop).  Everything was automated based on a code purchased on entry
The relatively new aire (camper stop). Everything was automated based on a code purchased on entry

We head southwest from Normandy into Brittany. Two and a half hours through little villages and farmlands of Western France we arrive at Carnac on the Atlantic Coast. Famous for its ancient mounds and stone monoliths, but due to the rain we drive about rather than ride push bikes as we originally intended.

 

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Our little campsite in Carnac, almost empty but a nice outlook
Our little campsite in Carnac, almost empty but a nice outlook

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It was a miserable day, but the ancient stones of Carnac beg the question 'what's it all mean ?'
It was a miserable day, but the ancient stones of Carnac beg the question ‘what’s it all mean ?’

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Time is marching on as we head east for Nantes on the mouth of the Loire River. We camp in a very upmarket aire, next to the University a short tram ride from the city center. It’s still raining when we step of the tram and wander the shops and square. The rain eases by lunch and we pack up and head up river into the Loire. We pass wine groves and chateaus as we head north stopping overnight in the village of Fondette.

 

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Our campsite in Nantes, good facilities and 10 minutes by tram to the city centre
Our campsite in Nantes, good facilities and 10 minutes by tram to the city centre
Singing in the rain, Nantes
Singing in the rain, Nantes

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Our next stop was Blois, a beautiful town on the Loire only a short distance from Chambord our next stop. Chambord too big to be a Chateau, but perhaps not quite a Palace. It is a complex architectural masterpiece. Google it.

 

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Beautiful Blois straddles the Loire in the heart of the valley
Beautiful Blois straddles the Loire in the heart of the valley
Blois Cathedral across the Loire
Blois Cathedral across the Loire
Chamborg
Chateau de Chambord, not built to be lived in, just to look at.

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Inside one of the two double spiral staircases, Chambord
Inside one of the two double spiral staircases, Chambord
We love Carrefour, not just a good supermarket but an easy place to park
We love Carrefour, not just a good supermarket but an easy place to park
Another good thing about Carrefour, many have a laundromat.
Another good thing about Carrefour, many have a laundromat.

From Chambord it only a couple of hours to Paris, our campers are returned and we transfer to our apartment in the Beaumacharis.

 

Our little apartment on the Boulevard Beaumarchais in the Marais
Our little apartment on the Boulevard Beaumarchais in the Marais

 

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It’s our 2nd stay here and it’s like being back home. Saturday morning we take in the Eiffel Tower then head on the Monet Museum in Marmottan.

Our second trip to Paris, it just has a feel about it.
Our second trip to Paris, it just has a feel about it.
Notre Dame of Paris
Notre Dame of Paris

 

Giving the feet a rest after visiting the Monet Musee
Giving the feet a rest after visiting the Monet Musee

Sunday morning and we walk though a slight drizzle along the Seine to mass at the Notre Dame. It’s a gregorian mass, a mass sung by the choir. The singing is beautiful, making our visit all the more memorable. The weather has cleared and we wander back for lunch. We hire bicycles (Velib) and spend the afternoon riding along the river.

 

Things you see.
Things you see.
We put a lock here two years ago, somewhere
We put a lock here two years ago, somewhere. Pont de Arts, Paris

 

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