Barely a French tourist promotion passes without a picture of the
quite amazing island monastery that is
Travelling south from Granville,
we roll over a crest of a hill and there in the distant bay
is the unmistakeable silhouette of Mont St-Michel.
Situated in the borderlands of Normandy and Brittany
it's a wonder from the Middle Ages.
The island's first building began in 708 AD.
It lies in the outlet where three small rivers all empty into the English Channel.
It is slowly giving away to erosion and the deposits of silt from extreme tides and the rivers.
Apart from being an eyesore to this magnificent spot, the causeway is a part of the problem due to the changes of water flow it has caused around the island.
There are plans to construct an elevated footbridge as the only access, in the near future.
I must admit I thought it was going to be just another monastery and church.
I was delighted to find that it is a fully functioning village, with shops, cafes, hotels, gardens,
vege plots, smaller church and a cemetery with quite recent additions.
A maze of narrow stairways and tiny footpaths, lead through, over and under, and open windows reveal the lives of the locals, who seem happy to share their town.
High tide covers all but the central part of this road,
and motorists are warned to move their cars before the posted high tide times.
The spring tide in this bay is 15 metres (the highest in France)
and the sea can recede 17 kms out into the bay.
It returns at an average speed of 62 metres/minute.