Mysterious Michel

Trip Start May 22, 2009
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Trip End Feb 16, 2010


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Flag of France  , Basse-Normandie,
Saturday, September 12, 2009

Our last official day of ’work’.  Jennie and Kevin have been kind enough to offer to take us to their secret camping spot near le Mont-Saint-Michel .  A beautiful vista overlooking the open tide towards this beautiful island while the sun sets behind it.  We were almost all alone with only 2 other camper vans at this spot and our tent out on the edge of the shore. 

A truly remarkable island which is an architectural wonder with the monastery on top.  Makes me think of a sandcastle out on the beach.  With the tide out you could walk to 7km out to it if you want.  The tide would be constantly out for a few days right now so it’s alright, but when it comes in it’s like a herd of racing horses and many people have been caught in it unexpectedly.

Mysterious in the foggy dusk and brilliant as it illuminates at the coming of darkness.  An optical illusion begins to take place.  As all the lights shining up at the top spire, a great  beam of light seems to shoot up to heaven from the top of the monastery. 

Approaching the island in the morning was quite exciting.  Closer and closer revealed details that I could not see before.  A tiny little island self-contained in the water all walled up and rising high in the center.  Unfortunately, upon arrival I see that there are 100’s of other tourists parked outside in cars and buses, and those too cheap to pay for parking are walking along the causeway.  All funneled into the terribly cute narrow cobbled street lined with tacky tourist shops.  The bloom has left the rose…

The streets wound up and up towards the top of the island:  the monastery.  Decided not to go into it.  Brian was quite dismayed with the great gold figure of Michael the arch angel mounted at the top of the spire.  Although, if you are going there - there’s not much else to see other than the monastery. 

Instead, we navigated our way through to back streets that weren’t plastered in postcards.  Past the homes of the 50-or-so full-time residents of the island.  As nice as that was, I must say that the images of the island from afar were much more enchanting than walking through the actual place.  Much more mysterious…

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Where I stayed
secret campground

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