En route from Jersey to Paris, there was simply no way we could have missed Mont Saint-Michel, the fortified island town – actually, island ‘commune’ – a kilometer out to sea off the Normandy coast. I’ll let the pics make the introductions:
Getting to the island isn’t all that straightforward, as it’s off the traditional beaten touristic path for France. But if ever you’re in the north of the country – a visit to this unique town is a must.
You can’t drive to the island in your own vehicle; you need to hop on this here bus – with a driver’s cabin at both ends! Ingenious idea! The bus doesn’t need lots of room to turn round in – as it doesn’t need to turn round! The driver just walks to the other end when he needs to go the other way :-).
Though the uniqueness of the vehicle makes you totally want to jump onto it to perhaps see the maneuvering of the bus driver at the destination, I recommend walking across the bridge that gets to the town. That way you can relish the sights and sounds and smells all around you as you stroll along, instead of racing along in the bus and missing most of it. A lot better for you too – especially the large dose of sea air :-).
Even better than walking across the bridge is to walk across the sand – if it’s low tide. And low tide here – much like on Jersey – means reeeaaal loooow tide: it goes out further than the eye can see for miles!
The sand is of course wet and squelchy (also kinda mucky) so it’s best (if not too cold) to walk it barefoot. Or, if you’re boots are sufficiently sensible and not filth-shy, then you can keep them on:
Here’s me on the sand, as snapped by my travel companion, A.S., up on mont:
Walking round the island might not be for everyone, mind: it gets very wet in places. Best is to go anticlockwise around the island; that way you need to traverse the most inhospitable stretches of sand first (so you can decide, maybe, to give up on the adventurous venture before it’s too late!).
Hmm. In the end my boots didn’t do too badly:
And anyway the sand quickly dries and drops off of its own accord after a while. Magic sand!…
The tidal surges here are perhaps coolest of all. Their speed is such that ‘mini-tsunamis’ are formed:
In minutes dozens of square kilometers of sand are covered in seawater. So you have to be careful: always have a watch on your wrist and a tide-timetable. They say folks sometimes get caught out and perish. Perish the thought. I think the lifeguards here must have their work cut out…
I managed a pic of this here whirlpool, which lasted 5-10 minutes, caused by the powerful tidal bulge:
These here seagulls were oh-so professional. They’d stand still and pose for the cameras. But as soon as any signs of food appeared, they swiftly ended the photo session!
A stroll about once inside the fortress is also highly recommended, especially along the walls. I hear the island has hotels too. Shame we couldn’t stay for the night. Next time…
As you can see, the place oozes history and heritage…
And that’s all for today folks. We need to continue on our journey toward the capital to get some work done…
Photographers with their serious kit. Clearly they know which times are best for the good shots:
One such good time, we were told, is at night when there’s no wind and thus still waters. Early evening ain’t bad either:
Au revoir mes amis! Till next time…