We continued on to Mont-Saint Michel where the Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel (Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey) is located. Several miles out we began to see the breathtaking Abbey situated at the top of an almost 300 foot mountain peak. The spire of the Abbey reaches nearly 500 feet in the air. Several pilgrims wound their way up the spiral walkway and then climbed nearly 400 steps to reach the entrance to the Abbey. As they entered the Abbey, Mass was being celebrated, so they received a blessing and then moved on to see the rest of the Abbey, still home to several cloistered monks of the Benedictine order.
Our last stop of the day was at the Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial. We were privileged to get to honor US Army Pvt Irvin Barteau, who was killed in service to his country on August 11, 1944. Pvt Barteau's niece, Minnie Swift, is one of our pilgrims and it was touching to be able to join Minnie and Bob honor the uncle she never knew, place an American flag at his gravesite, and hear Taps being played for him. Again, the young French guide who showed Minnie to the gravesite spoke of hearing all about the Americans who came to defend France from the German occupation so many years ago and we appreciate the care and respect that continues to be given to those that never returned home to American soil.
After another long and emotional day, we boarded the bus and headed for Nantes, our overnight resting place.