I’m taking a break from writing on France travel to bring you up to date on my weekend visit to Chicago. This past weekend I had the good fortune to attend the first (and hopefully annual) Travel Blog Exchange conference, which was the brain child of Kim Mance of GalavantingTV and Debbie Dubrow of Delicious Baby. TBEX was designed to tag on to the end of the larger BlogHer conference, but TBEX was just for travel writers and travel bloggers.
Travel writers from all over the country, and as far away as Chile and Laos traveled to Chicago to meet, share and learn from panels of experts, and from each other. The mood in the room was effervescent, and the networking opportunities were the most valuable experience of all for a newbie blogger like me. It’s hard to describe my excitement being surrounded by 100 other enthusiastic and experienced travelers who love to chat and write about their experiences….such a creative flow of consciousness. Click here for cool video & Chicago Family Fun
It rises like a mirage on the horizon. Thirteen hundred years of history…..of faith…of contemplation and prayer. An act of faith and obedience.
Mont St. Michel began as a modest church in the year 708, after St. Michael appeared to the bishop of Avranches in a dream, and instructed him to build a church on top of the rock. In 966, the Duke of Normandy gifted the island to the Benedictines, who expanded the Abbey over the centuries . Today, the entire island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you’ll see St. Michael in gold, atop the tallest spire, slaying a dragon…to symbolize the constant struggle between good and evil.
Mont St. Michel is the most visited attraction in France outside of Paris, attracting over 3 million visitors per year. Most are day trippers who make their way across the causeway, up the narrow steep street, past the gauntlet of tacky souvenir shops and astronomically priced omelets. We would have loved to stop at Mere Poulards for the incredibly fluffy omelet, but no way we could justify 100 euros for scrambled eggs. Keep going past, and a thousand steps up…up…further up.
Once inside the Abbey, marvel at the beautiful stonework, the columns and arches, a mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.