Dave's India Trip

Page 6- Mont St. Michel

28th Saturday: Fly to Paris

Air France #147 1:20am Delhi to Paris 5:40am

Straight from the plane to my home for the next two days- a Citroen C3 rental car
The logistics to see Mont St. Michel arriving in Paris same day, and then Normandy beaches the next day, I couldn't figure out how to make work by train and tour, so I went the rental car route to gain the flexibility, although it would inherently be more challenging. Pretty darned expensive too- $193 for the car rental, about $100 for two tanks of gas and $30 for tolls.

Quite a juxtaposition to go from simply following the herd to being responsible for everything yourself. I took the risk of not buying a good road map and not getting precise directions, and paid the price by circling the highways by CDG for about an hour before finding my way to the A13.

Although this is my third time in France, I actually had not been to a French KFC yet. So I spotted this one off the highway between Paris and Giverny. I had to wait until 11am for them to open, so I sat at the McDonalds next door using their free WiFi- amazingly the only thing they served before 11am were pre-made muffins (crazy- you would think they're leaving a ton of potential revenue on the table). Once the KFC opened I was surpirsed that it got crowded very quickly- but I am saddened to report it was a very disappoitning experience.
The French apparently have not discovered mashed potatos and gravy yet. They were inflexible to my request on the two pieces of chicken of one original recipe, one spicy crispy (looks like "extra crispy" has gone the way of the dodo around the world?), saying I must get two of the same type. She ignored or f*cked up my request for both pieces to be legs. Screwed up my order of it being a combo that included hot wings, even after I reiterted several times.
Not trebon!

While not one of my original goals, again a travel show I watched pointed out Monet's home and gardens in Giverny, which was only about 7km off my highway route, so it looked like a great place to check out. As timing would have it, the place is closed and opens April 1st, only three days from now. What you see below are3 pics of the parking lot- the gardens must be drop dead gorgeous, and it is now on my must do list to come back here (when it is open to be clear).

First time I have been outside of Paris. The countryside is beautiful and I look forward to coming back again. I'm surprised the driving didn't exhaust me, but the roads are pretty windee.

Finally! Almost there.

Norman cows
A travel show my TiVo caught before coming here showed a local chef cooking with Normandy butter, saying how all of the world's chef used it- the local butter was from the local cows, who were only fed on the local grass, creating a dinstinct flavor and color.
Being quite the chef myself, I have now become a butter snob and only stock my fridge with Norman butter- it's easy to find butter that says European style- don't be fooled! Look for the "AOC" designation (Appellation d'Origine Controlee). About $7 for 250 grams at Whole Foods (otherwise known as "Whole Paycheck").

Mont St. Michel

Supposedly the #1 or #2 attraction in France?

Part of the charm and uniqueness of this place- the risk of death and property destruction from the tides or the mud.

Postcard of the little gold thing at the top of the spires- St. Michel

A quick review of Normandy history

French girls

The large group that was crossing the mud flats released this luft balloon when they got to the chapel.

It was close enough to sunset that I sat in the car for about an hour just waiting to get this shot. No dramatic changes of the tide while I was there though.

About a two hour drive in the dark to get retrack to Bayeux to overnight. Checked in just before 10pm.

Hotel Reine Mathilde, 55 euro

The local church

There were some cute restaurants on the same street as my hotel, but were in the process of closing. So I got takeaway from a kebab place also on my street. It was really good, plus also got very good frites and a can of iced tea for about 6 euro.
Fell asleep shortly after.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones