DAY 4: Chateau de Combourg and Mont Saint Michel
A dull and rainy start to the day probably did not help our mood when we arrived at the Chateau de Combourg. As many of the group had walking difficulties, the prospect of climbing a high staircase to the front door was already daunting. Inside was even more of a challenge with steep stone stairs and no rail. Our guide ushered us along into one almost bare room to another. In each she switched on a recording in English, which seemed to have little bearing on what we were seeing but a lot to do with a black cat, whose mummified remains we were to see in a turret room. Combourg Chateau dates back to the 11th century, although what we see today is mainly 14th and 15th century. Its main claim to fame was that Count de Chateaubriand owned it in the 18th century.
Our next stop was the famous landmark of Mont Saint Michel, a Unesco world heritage site. It has become such a tourist attraction that, in order to preserve it and to stop sand encroachment, a major project is under way. It is now no longer possible to drive up to the Mont. Parking is nearly two miles away, where a new information centre has been built. A shuttle bus takes the visitors to the foot of the Mont, although Lin and I decided to walk the whole distance. After a quick lunch, we really did not have a lot of time for exploration of the Mont and so we did not reach the church at the top.