#5: Who Wants to Attempt to Conquer Le Mont Saint-Michel With Me?

by | Jun 4, 2014 | France, Travel, Travel With Kids | 16 comments

Did you ever want to just get away from it all to your own private island retreat, accessible to the mainland at low tide by a scenic 600 meter stroll across the salt marsh? Well. Have *I* got an island commune for you. Complete with strategic fortifications AND monastery. Never been conquered.


Anyone up for attempting to conquer it with me? It’s like my own personal medieval stone Barbie Dreamhouse.

Functional yet stylish drawbridge entry.

All original stone. Hundred of useful steps. Our Lady.

Plenty of room for a big family.

If you’re thinking, “Hey, haven’t I seen this place embroidered on something really old?” The answer is, “Yes. Yes, you have.” The creators of the Bayeux Tapestry have really captured the charm and uniqueness of Le Mont Saint-Michel, complete with horses falling into quicksand and that soon to be scoundrel Prince Harold, heroically dragging not one but TWO men out of the quicksand to safety. THAT quicksand could be ours.

Along with this amazing swirly beard on Adam, and this fresco of the time that the Archangel Michael appeared in 708 to St. Aubert, the
bishop of Avranches, and instructed him to build a church on this rocky islet.
Aubert repeatedly ignored the angel’s instruction until Michael burned a hole
in the bishop’s skull with his finger. We could look at it EVERY DAY.

Lovely views. Easily defensible parapets. Private chapel complete with mysterious hanging ship.

High ceilings. Large fireplaces. Spacious dining room. Human hamster wheel for prisoners and/or children to hoist supplies up the side of the fortress. What could be more convenient?

Seriously. We’ll launch an attack. There are only 43 full time residents, most of them are old lady museum-types. It’s the last thing they’ll be expecting. We’ll have the place to ourselves in a couple of hours, tops.

We’ll see if the guy who runs the seafood restaurant will stay. He makes a delicious plate of mussels.

Who’s with me?

For more on our trip, see installment #1: Canada, and #2: Lourdes, and #3: Chartres and Lisieux, and #4: Normandy.


  1. jeannemp

    We're in! My kids are always playing at killing each other with swords, sticks, and stones, they can finally put their skills to good use. And the giant hamster wheel…how great would that be for restless homeschoolers when the weather is too yucky to run around outside? Oh, we're definitely in!

  2. Kirsten

    Beautiful photos!! I am loving reading about your trip! I admire you for traveling overseas with a big family. I think about hauling my big family to a foreign country and it makes my head spin. I would love for you to post about how you do this; you know, some practical tips, advice, etc.

  3. Anna

    And it inspired Rapunzel's castle! So it's in the movies!

  4. Micaela Darr

    I'm in! I'm quite sure my children can scare the living day lights out of the mightiest soldiers, so I think we've got a fighting chance.

    (BTW, this one cracked. Me. Up. The whole dang thing. Nicely done.)

  5. Joy

    Me, me, me!!

    Visiting has long been on my bucket list; a long retreat sounds amazing!!

  6. Irena

    I'm really enjoying reading about all your adventures!! It is somewhat bittersweet because I grew up in France and I have not been back in some time (having nine children on a teacher's salary makes it difficult… 😛 ). I have been to all those places! 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  7. Nanacamille

    It is beautiful and I would move in right away but there is a shortage of furnishings. The kids wouldn't mind a it gives them more room to run around but I could use a few comfy chairs, tables a bed and yes a bath room with running water. As long as all the restaurants stay a kitchen isn't necessary but something for coffee and tea would be nice. No need for exercise room as all of the steps would keep you in shape. Big family could definitely find a happy home as there is Glace on the way up.

  8. Tori

    Um, yes! Quicksand sounds like a great deterrent for sales people who keep interrupting my nap.

  9. Meghan

    I love Mont Sant-Michel! I was there in 2000 when I was backpacking with a girlfriend. It was the end of May and it was raining too! It was our last day in France and were just out of francs (before the Euro!) and we had a couple hours before the bus came to pick us up and bring us back to town (what is the local town called? I can't remember now). Anyway, we needed to get out of the rain, so we went to a café and nursed a cup of coffee and chatted and dreamed about our trip and our lives. From a 3 day backpacking trip, that day is one of my favorite memories. Thanks for reminding me.

  10. Melissa Hunter-Kilmer

    Did you go to Mass there? When we went, it was in the paying section, and we didn't pay. However, my husband (who had me to talk to other people so he wouldn't have to) told me they'd let us in if we said we wanted to go to Mass. So I went back to the doorkeeper and said, "Nous voulons assister à la messe," and BING BANG BOOM, there we were! And it was the most beautiful Mass I have ever ever EVER been to. You gotta go.

  11. M.E.

    Yea, I'm there w/ you!
    Mont-St.Michel is crazy cool, as is the Bayeux Tapestry! And you've had the good fortune to have seen them both before. Some of my happiest dreams are those involving going back to Europe & revisiting all my favorite places including the ones you went to in Normandy. (Sigh) Heavenly !

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