Friday, 12 October 2018

Inspiration de France ...Mont St Michel

It wouldn't surprise many to hear that I went on another cruise not so long ago. It was only a six dayer from Southampton, stopping at Lisbon and Oporto in Portugal, Vigo, Spain, and Cherbourg in France. For those who are unfamiliar with cruising, when you get to ports, you have the choice of either going it alone and exploring where you want, or booking one of the many excursions they offer. We weren't going to book any excursions on this trip, but then I saw that Cherbourg were offering a coach trip down to Mont St Michel in Normandy, France.

As soon as I looked this place up, I knew I couldn't turn this trip down.

I cruised with my mum and aunt but due to the warning of LOTS of steps, they opted out of going so I braved it alone. And I'm so glad I did.

Mont St Michel is an old monastery, still in use, literally built on a rock about half a mile off the coast. They've built a walkway out to it now but before you could only reach it when the tide was out, and even then it was treacherous as it's surrounded by sticky mud. The rock has been inhabited since before the 8th century, however, the main structure of the abbey that we see today wasn't built until the 11th century, and throughout the years has been adapted and altered to the stunning structure we see today.

Tolkien even found inspiration here and based Minas Tirith in Lord of the Rings on Mont St Michel, and you can see why.

Obviously more about Mont St Michel can be read on Wiki but in the meantime, here are a few photos. I loved this place and took so many it was hard to decide which ones to share...



As you approached, it appears like the Disney Castle on the horizon, and yes, I was like a big kid when I saw it...

Ignore the tour guide's fantastic photo bomb...

The shops below are like something out of Harry Potter...

Looking up...

Steps...

Looking up again...

More steps...

Looking down this time...

Looking out across the flats...

The abbey itself perched on the very top...

View to the West where a second rock sits which was apparently a retirement island for aging monks of old. It's now a bird haven...

The abbey again...and my finger

If you look to the very front, you will see monks. There was a service in progress so we couldn't go much further...


Cloisters with medieval seagull..

Other side of the cloisters, still complete with medieval seagull...

Impressive chamber full of pillars. No one knows what it was used for, except as a weight-bearing structure to support the abbey above...

Yep, you guessed it. More steps...

Saying goodbye on the walkway...

The place is amazing, and if you happen to be in Normandy, France - and you're okay with steps - it has to be a must on your list of places to see...

No comments:

Post a Comment