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NORMANDY & WESTERN FRONT SERIES, DAY 1&2

BELFAST – PARIS – LE MANS – MONT SAINT MICHEL

Is this the best island in the world? After a delayed flight we arrived into Paris got our hybrid Ford Kuga (great car btw) and set off for Le Mans

OVER 80 SPECTATORS DIED IN A SINGLE RACE

As a race, the La Mans has never really interested me. It’s 24hours that I would need 8 hours of sleep within which would kinda feel like sleeping through part of a movie. But when I found out the Paris – Mont Saint Michel drive was over 5 hours Le Mans was seen as the perfect place for a stop over and to explore the museum.

WHERE IS MONT SAINT MICHEL?

Mont Saint Michel

CARS CARS CARS

And what a museum it was, needless to say it was full of cars from as far back as the first few years of the race in 1923. Getting up close to these cars I couldn’t help but wonder how…

DAY 1 DAILY INFO….

  • HOTEL – Concordia Hotel 7/10, €100 including breakfast
  • RESTAURANT – Cōtēsushi 7/10
  • ATTRACTIONS – Le Mans 24hr Museum 7.5/10

DAY 2 DAILY INFO….

  • HOTEL – Auberge Saint Pierre, 7/10, €100 including breakfast
  • RESTAURANT – Restaurant Du Guesclin 7/10
  • ATTRACTIONS – Le Mans 24hr Museum, Mont Saint Michel

2023

The race is set to have its centenary next year and over 100,000 locals will again look forward to attending this institution of racing.

FATALITIES

How did these men not crash more often? How were there not more fatalities? Even with the safest cars in the world the fact the race was 24hrs would be reason enough. I’ve got the concentration of a drunk at 11pm and unless I get some sleep it continues to get worse!

Actually only 22 drivers have died in this race, 1 is too many but most of which have been as a result of poor safety standards and medieval engineering. That’s compared to the devastating 83 spectators that were killed in the one race in the 50s as a result of an AWOL car. Again down to the non-existent safety standards back in the day.

LE MANS 24HR FACTS – BOX….

  • The longest gap between the winner and the runner-up was in 1927 when the winners finished almost 350km ahead.
  • The famous Hunaudières straight was 5.8 km in length before 2 chicanes were added in 1990.
  • Roger Dorchy, was recorded driving at speeds of over 400km/h.
  • The fastest ever lap of Le Mans was achieved by Kamui Kobayashi in 2017 with a time of 3:14.791!
  • Dan Gurney started the champagne shower tradition in 1697 when he purposely copied the previous years winner went the cork accidentally shot out and sprayed the crowd.

Is this the best island in the world?

DAILY TRAVEL STATS….

  • Steps – 6,027 & 21,000
  • Number of flights – 1
  • Flight itinerary – EZY6723, BELFAST 15:20 – PARIS 16:40
  • Miles covered – 1,000.8 miles

Is this the best island in the world?

MONT SAINT MICHEL

I have been longing to find an excuse to visit this tiny island for years but it’s painful location – a 5 hour drive from Paris has made it difficult. However booking Normandy I knew it was the best chance I was going to get and it didn’t disappoint. So after our 3 hour commute and a stop off at Fougeres we arrived at what only seemed like something out of Harry Potter.

Is this the best island in the world?

FACTORS

Firstly the weather, tide and time of day we arrived help immensely. It might not have been hot but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky allowing us to appreciate it in all its glory. Also as the island is situated on the shallow waters of the Normandy coast it was possible to walk around and enjoy it from every angle. And finally arriving late afternoon we were greeted with less tourists as the majority are day trippers from neighbouring towns and cities had already made their way back to their hotel.

Mont Saint Michel actually packs a punch, it might only be 7hectares and a population of less than 50 but it has a maze of busy streets, restaurants and hotels. However don’t be expecting any 5* spa experiences!

AUBERGE SAINT PIERRE

We checked into Auberge Saint Pierre, basic like any other hotel on the island but a good choice to stay here rather than commuting!

SUMMED UP….

  • HIGHLIGHT – Getting a blinder of a day Mont Saint Michel
  • LOWLIGHT – Taking a wrong turn to walk up with our cases

FINAL THOUGHTS

As usual a great start to this trip although entirely unrelated to the theme of World War 1 & 2.

NEXT UP

Looking forward to seeing more of this island and then checking out Utah and Omaha Beach!! Click to read.

SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
152/229

This is episode one of The Normandy and Western Front Series, for the entire series click here.
To watch the video of my trip, head to my highlights on my Instagram.

Question Time

  • Do you watch motorsport racing?
  • Would the Le Mans interest you?
  • Have you been to Mont Saint Michel, what did you think?

Let me know in the comments below . . .

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24HRS ITINERARY FOR BELFAST, DRINKS AND PETROL BOMBS
THE BEST STEAK & OMELETTE IN THE WORLD IN THE SAME DAY

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