MONT-SAINT-MICHEL

Set in the mesmerising bay where Normandy and Brittany meet, Mont-Saint-Michel is France's third-most-visited tourist attraction with good reason. Is it an island or not an island? Its uniqueness centers largely around the fact that it is both, depending on the time of day and whether the tide is high or low. The difference between high and low tide can be up to 60 feet.

 

Mont-Saint-Michel dons a deceptive peacefulness at low tide, surrounded by mudflats and calm-looking tidal pools. Don't let it fool you. There are pockets of quicksand within those mudflats (only go out there with a guide), and the tides can be treacherous with the sudden rushing of their return--over three feet per second or, as Victor Hugo described it, "at the speed of a galloping horse." Many unsuspecting tourists have found themselves in peril as a result. 

 

Though better known for the views of the mont and its 1,000-year-old abbey, it was the views from the mont and sights on it that were what captivated this visitor.

 

Courtesy of David Le Breton
Courtesy of David Le Breton
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Tidal pools at low tide
Tidal pools at low tide
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Walking through the mudflats
Walking through the mudflats
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Don't do this without a guide.
Don't do this without a guide.
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Mont-Saint-Michel at low tide
Mont-Saint-Michel at low tide
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Shops on Mont-Saint-Michel
Shops on Mont-Saint-Michel
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Drawbridge on Mont-Saint-Michel
Drawbridge on Mont-Saint-Michel
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Door on Mont-Saint-Michel
Door on Mont-Saint-Michel
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Charming Mont-Saint-Michel
Charming Mont-Saint-Michel
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Prisoners powered the wheel.
Prisoners powered the wheel.
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A caged bird
A caged bird
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Inside the abbey
Inside the abbey
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Joan of Arc, Church of St. Pierre
Joan of Arc, Church of St. Pierre
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Brick stamped with 1609
Brick stamped with 1609
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