Monday, September 03, 2018

Travelogue: Saint Malo and Mont Saint Michel

I knew from the minute we started planning our trip to France that I wanted to make sure we went to Mont Saint Michel. It wasn't until I started looking for books to read about France that I remembered how much I loved All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer and looked on the map to see where Saint Malo was. I was overjoyed to discover its proximity to MSM and immediately put it on the itinerary.

From Paris, we took the train to Rennes and then rented a car and drove to Saint Malo where we had lunch, walked on the ramparts and down on the beach, wandered through the rebuilt ancient walled town, watched a game of petang, and found #4 Rue Vauborel, where fictional Marie-Laure lived with Uncle Etienne in All the Light We Cannot See.
Looking up at Saint Malo from the beach at low tide.

Outside the city gate, where the men play petang.
Beautiful beach fringed with rocky islands.

The white door is #4 Rue Vauborel.

From Saint Malo, we drove to Mont Saint Michel, where we spent the night in a hotel right next to the boardwalk that takes you to the island by foot. You can also catch a shuttle--jam packed--but we preferred to walk and take pictures.

We went after dinner, and enjoyed the twilight on the abbey. It really is a storybook place. We didn't spend much time on the rock itself--too many people and it was getting dark, but I loved seeing this beautiful place so much.

We walked back the next morning, to get some pictures in the daylight and gather sand for our sand collection--yes, we have spice jars filled with sand from beaches we have visited over the past 35 years. It's a nice way to remember some of our vacations and is just one of the things we always try to remember to do when we visit a beach.


  1. Awesome photos! Thanks for sharing them. It sounds like you had an amazing trip. :) I'd really like to visit Mont St. Michel someday (she said with a wistful sigh).

  2. Great photos, especially the last one of you both on the beach, with backdrop of Mont Saint Michel and an azure sky. A great pilgrimage.

  3. Mont Saint Michel is such a spectacular looking place. I would love to visit. Your photos are great. I love the sand thing. It is such a great way to commentate the places that you have visited.

  4. Oh, lucky you, Jane!! I really want to visit both of these places, too. I was also fascinated by St. Malo in All the Light You Can Not See. And I DID visit Mt. St. Michel when I was 16, on a trip with my French Club...but I would love to take my sons and husband there and see it again myself as an adult.

    Sounds like an amazing trip!! Thanks for sharing -


    Book By Book

  5. I love the literary connection/detective work you did! Your pictures are fabulous too.

  6. Wonderful photos! Thanks for posting.

  7. Lovely photos! I visited Saint Malo and Mont St Michel many years ago. It's such a beautiful place - but even years ago it was packed with tourists. I like to imagine it with less people!

  8. CONGRATULATIONS, Jane!! You won the 2018 Big Book Summer Giveaway! I selected a random number of the 26 participants this year, and you won!

    Your prize is a $15 gift certificate to Amazon or Book Depository, so please e-mail me at jacksonde at so I can send it to you.

    Congratulations on winning the giveaway and for participating in the challenge again this summer! Hope you'll join the fun again next summer, too!


    1. Wow, thanks, Sue. I have a long wish list for books at Amazon so I will put the prize to good use!

  9. Hi Jane: we too visited Mont Saint Michel recently in June on our trip around northern France. Very interesting -- we took the tour with the guide and walked back to the hotel after a couple hours checking out the abbey. We did not go to Saint Malo which was too bad. but thanks for the photos!