Saturday, May 28, 2011

Brittany - Day 1

The trip was planned for June 2009 and it was decided that we all meet in Paris and take a rental car from there to Brittany. We were 4 people in total, my childhood friend A and her girlfriend D plus A’s friend K whom I was also meeting for the first time. We all had decided to meet at the main station, Gare du Nord (which is in the heart of the city) and take the rental car from there. A and D were already in Paris, two days before we were supposed to meet. They were attending the marriage ceremony of one of their friends. K had taken a flight to Paris and had to take the train then from Charles du Gaulle airport to reach Gare du Nord. Since the airport is quite far and I have a special liking for the Thalys train service, so I took the train from Cologne which took me direct to the main station.

I left home early to take the first Thalys scheduled to depart at around 7 am. Few minutes after arriving at the station, I could see Thalys arriving from a distance. I boarded the train with the same excitement like a small kid. I took my seat next to the window and was glad to travel yet again to my favourite place in Europe on my preferred mode of transport.

On the train, a book kept me entertained. When I reached Paris around noon and stepped out of the train, it was like standing next to a hot tandoor. It was particularly hot and humid that day as per Paris standards. But I was still happy to be once again in Paris. So, I reached the main section of the station and saw K waiting at the previously planned place. After a few minutes of casual chit chat, I saw A walking towards us. I was happy to see him since I was meeting him after long. He quickly took us to the parking where D was already waiting for us in the car. They had already picked up the car to save time. It was a 5 seater golden metallic Peugeot Combi. What else can one expect in France other than Peugeot or Renault. We shoved our luggage in the back, greeted D and buckled our belts for the roadtrip. Now, the challenging task was to get out of the congested traffic of Paris to reach the highway. The navigation system of the car was a little buggy which made us take few wrong turns. After a while, we decided to follow the paper map we had with us and guided ourselves to the highway. Our destination of the day was St Mont Michel! The weather outside was pretty hot than we expected but the air conditioning of the car was comforting. We stopped at a petrol station on the way to eat lunch but being a vegetarian, it was tough to find something other than baguettes, croissants or salads. And I knew it would be tougher in the coming days since we were travelling close to the coast. After this food break we drove non stop till we reached our destination of the day.

From a long distance, I could start seeing the peaks of St Mont Michel’s spire and was getting pretty excited. As we kept driving closer to it the magnificent and humongous structure it was slowly revealing its beauty. The structure sits at a place which is like a small island with about a kilometre of road connecting it to the mainland. It was already around 5 in the evening so we decided to see the place before we check into the hotel. The parking was right at the foot of the mountain.

We got out and stretched ourselves, flexed our muscles and then I for one kept staring at the beauty of the place. I was completely in awe of the place and wanted to store every tiny pixel of that view in my memory forever. One has to see it to believe it. We slowly started walking uphill from there to check out the castle on the top. The walk to the castle at the top takes us through narrow cobbled streets with souvenir shops, eateries, small hotels on both sides.

The view from the top was simply amazing. This road joins the place to the mainland.

On one side was the unending ocean and on the other side you can see a road connecting it to the land which is covered with water once the tides come up. After taking enough pictures we walked back to the foot of the mountain. Since it was summers we had to wait till 10 pm to see the beauty of the place in the night. We decided to check into our hotel and have dinner in the meantime and then take a walk in the night to see it again. This caught our attention at the restaurant where we had dinner :) Lost in translation I suppose :P

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