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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

France 2010 - Day 9, Part 2 - Normandy: Mont-St-Michel, Lunch

"Boyhood, like measles, is one of those complaints which a man should catch young and have done with, for when it comes in middle life it is apt to be serious." - P. G. Wodehouse

***

France 2010
Day 9 - 11th October - Normandy: Mont-St-Michel, Lunch
(Part 2)

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More close-together stonework

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Huge wheel. At first I thought it was meant to wheel stuff up but it was attached to a chain which seemed to move the drawbridge


Huge wheel and drawbridge

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The chain going all the way down

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There was a group of what sounded like Hongkies who interestingly were speakingin English, not Cantonese. Maybe they were from Canada.

There were 3 heated places in Mont-St-Michel: the Kitchen, the Scriptorium (where books were copied) and the Infirmière (for the infirm)

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The meeting of 3 Dead and 3 Living

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Chapelle St Etienne

The guide asked people to name the Seven Wonders of the World, but no one could name more than one. Victor Hugo said something about the Wonders and Mont-St-Michel ("Mont-Saint-Michel, said Victor Hugo, is to France what the Pyramids are to Egypt" - I think this is it)

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Stair

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Magnets: the middle is on global warming

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Historical vocabulary for sign language

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St Michael throws down the demon

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Wall on side of Mont-St-Michel

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Side of MSM complex

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Side of MSM complex

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Trying to get you to spend more money in the area: advertising museums showcasing the natural sights in the area

On the way down I saw one girl eating a Croque Monsieur with a knife, fork and plate (all disposable). This was quite sad.

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"I ♥ Paris" condoms
I can tell

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"Visite historique" - one of the houses in the village below the abbey with exhibits to con people

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2 nice dogs

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"Ker Saint Michel - Véritable Kouign Amann. Fabriqué en Bretagne"
Ironically, given this authentic Breton delicacy, Mont-St-Michel is not in Britanny!

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A violation of laïcité (French separation of Church & State)

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"English Bombards abandonned by the army of Thomas Scalles, 17 June 1434"

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Kids blocking the fountain

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"Washing of feet forbidden" - so much for the tradition of providing hospitality to weary pilgrims

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Outdated No Parking sign

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The bay of Mont-St-Michel, and photographer

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The bay of Mont-St-Michel


The bay of Mont-St-Michel

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The reality of tourism

For lunch, we went to Croix d'Or (Golden Cross) in Avranches, which the Rough Guide had crowned one of the Highlights of Lower Normandy.

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25€ lunch menu!


Lunch ambience at Croix d'Or

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Amuse bouche

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Registering to use the wireless internet because of the anti-terrorism law

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Butter is great served in these receptacles, but I can imagine it's very wasteful

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Something with chèvre (goat's cheese) "pour dégustation" (for tasting)

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Millefeuille de chorizo et lieu jaune mariné, huile de courge aux herbes fraîches
Important: this was not à Chorizo. The difference being à Chorizo means with Chorizo, but de Chorizo means made of Chorizo - so it was very salty

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Soupe de poissons (Fish soup) with cheese and croutons. I didn't like this.

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Pavé de cabillaud, bisque de langoustines, étuvée d'épinards et mousseline de carottes (Cod)

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Filet mignon de porc rôti, sauce airelles, terrine de pommes de terre et fricassée de navets (Pork)

I finally got to taste real parsley. MFTTW insists in Singapore parsley has no taste and is just for garnishing. Real parsley tastes like grass.

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A most impressive cheese platter

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Neither of us was really into cheese, so I asked for only a little. This is what we got (we ate maybe half?)

In the first plate, of local cheeses, you start with the bottom right and finish at the top
In the second you start at the bottom and end at the top, and the other 2 can be eaten at any time

The cheese was served with raisin and nut bread which was crusty also.

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Dessert menu. Notice all the sorbets have alcohol.

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Poire et William (Pear and William) Sorbet
It tasted like a pear smoothie

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Duo de crème vanille et mousse caramel beurre salé, noisettes caramélisées (Duo of vanilla cream and caramel mousse with salted butter, caramelised hazelnuts - the vanilla cream is inside)
I don't think I've had real hazelnuts before

The meal kept getting better (the appetisers didn't impress me) and the desserts were the best of all. It was the best or one of the best meals I'd had (and I told them so!)

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Interior of Croix d'Or
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