An Illuminating Visit to Mont St-Michel

05/20/2016 02:53 pm ET Updated May 21, 2017

I love the image of monks, 800 years ago, hunched over sacred manuscripts while painstakingly transcribing them. In other words,ᅡᅠhand copying entire books using quills or whatever they had for pens. When we travel, such images are givenᅡᅠphysical context, as is the caseᅡᅠhere in the abbey atop Mont St-Michel. I'm with my guide, Jessica, in a room that was purpose-built for this job. Imagine, way back then, someone designed this room withᅡᅠbig-as-possible windows facing north so thatᅡᅠthe monks would have gentle, even light for their tedious task. Come step into the light with meᅡᅠat Mont St-Michel in Normandy.

This is Day 38 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I'm reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond. Find more at