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Blue sea and skies

Written on: Monday February 5th, 2007

A journal entry from: Mont Saint Michel, France

Le Mont Saint Michel is the third most popular tourist attraction in France, and once we arrived yesterday morning we all understood why. The island looks fake from a distance, like a castle that should be in the clouds, not down here on earth. Its history is said to date back to 708, when Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, had a sanctuary built on Mont-Tombe in honour of the Archangel. The mountain became a place of pilgrimage and soon a village formed around the abbey, eventually extending all the way to the foot of the rock. It withstood years of war and English assault, and thus became a symbol of national identity. During the revolution and until 1863 the abbey was used as a prison, but in 1874 it was declared a historic monument and uderwent major restoration work. Today, over 3 million people visit Mont Saint Michel a year, to go marvel at its beauty and learn about its past. I'm not sure how many people actually live on the island but today all the stone houses and shops below the abbey walls are souvenir shops, snack bars, restaurants and hotels. I can't even imagine what it would cost to stay there though... one day was enough for us! It was interesting though that all tourists have to leave before tide comes in - because at high tide the parking lots are underwater. We all met back in the parking lot at 5:00pm, left a half hour later and made it home by 8:30pm, right on schedule. We were extremely lucky that the weather was so nice... very rare for Normandy as I've mentioned before! I'd love to go back someday but it's not easy to get to. You basically have to rent a car, which would be an adventure in itself I'm sure!!

 

From David Weiskopf on Feb 10th, 2007

Hey great pictures, it looks amazing!! Hope everything is going well.