European Escapades

Le Mont Saint Michael




Le Mont Saint Michael Le Mont Saint Michael

He stood next to his horse looking northwards as the morning sun rose in the East. The dappled dew on the grass fighting for survival, as rays of heat bore down on them, creating a ghost like mist that shrouded the trees around him. On the horizon he could see the flat white sands and atop rising out of the flatness a granite outcrop, atop which perched an inspiring and majestic edifice. This was his destination and he knew that before long the high tide would depart, revealing the narrow causeway that linked the mainland to the fortified Island. Picking up his sword and strapping it to his back, he mounted his horse, eager to begin the last part of his journey to Le Mont Saint Michael.

View from the walls of Le Mont Saint Michael View from the walls of Le Mont Saint Michael

That was the initial thoughts I had when I revelled in pleasure and awe, gazing upon ‘Le Mont St Michel’ for the first time. It takes your breath away and looked to me, as if it came right out of a fantasy or historic novel. If this is the initial reaction it gave me, I instantly wondered what effect it would have had, when it was seen by a person living three hundred years ago in the 17th century when it became what it is today. It was just indescribable and we were eager to park the campervan enjoy the alternate views from the walls surrounding this little island town. Due to the building of a causeway to the Mont, we didn’t have to wait for low tide to visit this architectural history lesson, with the steep winding streets full of Romanesque and Gothic buildings, seemingly built one on top another. The first church here was founded in the 8th century and a subsequent abbey in the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. The view you see today was competed in the 17th century and as you look out onto the surrounding panorama, you cannot help but wonder at this harmonious blend of nature and manmade beauty. Is it a wonder, it is one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. It seems to attract over 3.5 million people a year and even though we visited in the off season, it was packed and at some points we thought we were in Japan, with not a French person in site as we walked the crowded streets full of Japanese tourists, to get to the top of the Mont and to the cathedral itself. We managed to find some parts of the battlements that were free of tourists and when we stood to admire the views, it transported us back to another time. One where you could in quiet contemplation, take in the tranquillity of your surroundings. If you ever come to Brittany then this is a must see stop on your travels.

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2010 at 5:27 pm and is filed under Travel Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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