35mm Memories: Paris and Normandy

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Along with a stop in London and Bordeaux, I actually spent most of my time in Paris, France.  I was even able to get on a bus and visit Normandy and Mont San Michel.  During my time living in Japan, whenever France was mentioned on Television, they always opened up the segment with some shots of Mont San Michel.  Probably the reason I ever found out about the place.  After speaking with some friends in France, they all told me that they have never been there themselves.  It is up on the North West coast of France in Normandy.  Quite a nice place.

While on the bus on our way there, it had been brought to our attention by the bus driver that local farmers were staging a strike and blocking the roads to the famous tourist attraction.  We sat for a couple hours before the bus driver got out of the bus and opened up a gate to a gravel road.  We take a tight turn off of the main highway and start driving down an old country road and we are on our way.  We get within sight of our destination and the bus driver tells us he can go no further since tractors have all the main roads blocked up.  I look out the window and I see people arguing, the farmers dumping meat, cheese and vegetables out on to the streets as the locals come in and swoop up all that they can.

We get out of the bus and decide our only option now is to walk.  We start walking along the river and creep closely in on our target.  After 45 minutes under the intense French summer sun, there we are, at the gates of the castle with just 30 minutes before they close for the evening.  We walk around, enjoy some ice cream, and then back on our way to the bus for more sitting in waiting in traffic till we make it to Paris’ city center.

In total, it took about 8 hours to get to Mont San Michel, when it should have taken about 3.  That being said, I wouldn’t have wanted to have ended any other way.  Something about all that chaos and still making it made it such a memorable day and one I will surely never forget.  Props to my bus driver for being the man and being so determined to get us there.  Anyways, enjoy some of these pictures from Normandy and Paris!


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