Today we woke up at the country club and enjoyed a breakfast featuring, among other things, black currant, which is supposedly made from gooseberries. We then left the country club without playing a single round of golf, a wasted opportunity made less harrowing by the near-constant rain. Any dismay was lifted, however, upon reaching our destination: the beautiful Mont St. Michel. Mont St. Michel is a medieval abbey town built on a tidal island, and when walking up the steep streets you get the impression that you are entering a fortress from a different age. The medieval walls, gothic styles and Romanesque abbey all contribute to the architectural marvel, while also housing lots of restaurants and stores. While some people exited the abbey quickly in favor of the many shops that lined the streets, we amused ourselves by taking medieval themed posed photographs and exploring the abbey's labyrinthine corridors. Although we weren't allowed to purchase any of the swords prominently displayed in shop windows, we acquired several good souvenirs and had lots of fun. We were also able to experience a bit of the Norman/Breton culture by trying two of the local specialties: lamb and m mussels. When it came time to leave, we were bitterly disappointed that we were unable to stay longer. On the way to our next hotel in the Loire valley, we visited the "biscuiterie", or cookie shop, where we had the best taste in cookies. After eating another three course meal, a number of us descended into the town to watch the fireworks that were being put on for Jour de la Bastille (July 14), the French independence day. We find it suspicious that the French have a red white and blue flag, an independence day eerily close to ours, and firework celebrations. Though the show itself was spectacular, rain poured off and on. Some kind natives offered to loan us umbrellas while less kind ones shoved past us in crowds. One Local French person rolled down their car window while passing us to throw a lit firecracker at Aedan and me. In the end, we had an interesting and fun "quatorze Juliet" in France!
- Alex and Drew