We departed Bayeux in time to stop in nearby Villers-Bocage for the weekly market. Unlike an American farmers’ market that is largely produce and some artisinal food products, the weekly markets in small French towns feature everything from ladies fashions to produce to live chickens and rabbits for sale. The children are out of school on this day and the whole town seems to be there shopping. We shared a sausage on a baguette with ketchup and a crepe with butter and sugar (my newest French addiction) and just walked around taking it all in. Before leaving town we stopped at the brasserie for a drink and I finally had a chance to try the hard cider which tastes like bitter medicine – not a drink I’ll add to my list! The air was the perfect temperature, the sky was sunny and blue, and this tiny town was a perfect 2 hour stop.
Leaving Villers-Bocage we continued through the Norman countryside to the very tiny town of Villedieu les Poeles that just happens to be THE spot for buying French copper cookware, and I just had to get a piece. I settled on a mid-size crepe pan since I didn’t already have one, and tried to figure out how much it was going to add to the weight of Greg’s suitcase. After a drink in the outdoor cafe and a small salad, we were off again and on our way to Mont Saint Michel.
As we approached we were awed by the view of the cows grazing and the sight of the abbey in the distance and I finally managed to get my husband to pull over long enough for me to take a picture. We settled into Le Relais Mont Saint Michel hotel which sits across the causeway from the abbey and has a terrific view – and frankly is removed from the Disney tourist environment on the actual island.
There are very few options for dinner near Mont Saint Michel so we stayed at the hotel, enjoyed the view of the sunset over the water, and enjoyed a delightful dinner of traditional Norman dishes:
Mussels in cream – really decadent and tender
Rack of lamb with potato gratin
Apple sorbet with Calvados – I had to dump the Calvados because it was so strong, but the green apple sorbet was heavenly