Mont St Michel it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Even knowing what to expect you are awestruck. There’s no other word for it.
Practicalities: pack as lightly as possible: toiletries, change of unders and a clean top. You’ll go from the bus to a shuttle on and off the shuttle then up a cobblestone street — in a crowd. Then either up a set of stone staircases or up a spiral staircase. You’ll also take a steep staircase to bring your bags up to a holding area while the group goes on a walking tour of the cathedral. You can’t pack too lightly. Wear shoes with good treads. You will have a chance to go to the Laudes service at 6:50 am. Do it. It is incredible. 7 nuns and 4 monks singing a cappella in a cathedral with perfect acoustics as the sun rises.
Bayeux very sweet town. Eat at Le Pommier, as it gets closer to the June anniversary of D Day it will be harder to get spots for dinner. It’s worth making reservations. We heard Maison Blanche was also good. Bayeux tapestry was very interesting. I thought it would be boring and it wasn’t. My husband respectfully disagrees. If you have time to see the 12 minute moving afterwards it’s worth it.
D Day beaches. Watch The Longest Day and Band of Brothers. I didn’t understand why (in The Longest Day) the paratroopers landed in swamps your guide will explain why the Germans flooded the fields and why securing the causeways was important. Also the famous Red Buttons scene with the paratrooper hanging on the church really happened and is recreated in St Mere Eglise. Go into that church and look at the stained glass windows showing paratroopers and parachutes. And the archangel Michael in camo.
Wear sun screen. You will be right on Utah and Omaha beaches. I took some small ziplock bags and brought home some sand for a friend whose father is a D Day buff. Bring a handkerchief for the American Cemetery.
It’s impossible to take a bad picture in Monet’s Garden. We had the best meal of our trip at La Musardiere. When you come out of the Monet Gardens (you exit via the gift shop — they have lovely things) turn right (this is not the direction you came from when you entered the gardens) and walk about 2 blocks to the hotel of the same name which will be in your left. Walk up the steps and into the hotel. They have inside and outside seating. I had smoked mackerel salad, gnocchi with fresh vegetables and lemon tart. Every bite was perfect.
We arrived a few days early and did a great walking food tour with Eating Paris. We saw a part of the city we would not have visited otherwise (the 10th) had a chance to learn about French food and how to order in a restaurant. Would recommend it.
Eat the scary seafood. Don’t fuss about carbs. Walk down the street that looks interesting. Don’t feel like you “have” to do something. We didn’t go into the Louvre. I don’t regret it. We walked through the Tuileries and sat and watched kids running around.
Have a great time on this wonderful tour!!