Vacances Normandes - Day 4

Phare de Gatteville on the Cotentin peninsula and Mont Saint Michel
At a height of 247 feet (75 m) it is the third tallest "traditional lighthouse" in the world. (wikipedia)  It's still active.  365 steps
afraid of heights.  

white on white on white ghostship far out

All of Basse Normandy (lower normandy)

after a few hours you're driving along and suddenly behind a winding wheatfield road... BAM!  you see this

It's Mont Saint Michel, it's an island commune, last census in had 44 people living here in 2009.  It's 100 hecacres (247 acres).  On top is the monestary and abbey.  It's a UNESCO site and now filled with tourists galore, tourist shops, tourist restaurants, tourist logings (yes you can actually sleep on the island inside the castle walls) etc...  Despite these sad facts its still super cool.  If you go in the afternoon after the tour buses are gone there will be less people.  We went around 5pm and it was fine.  You have to cross a long long bridge to get to the island.  From the far away parking lot to the island they estimate it takes 45 min by foot and 10 min by free shuttle bus.

another cool thing is that when the tide comes up it compeletely covers the salt marshes so it really looks like the castle is emerging from the water.  The sad thing is that the construction project to allow the water to flow completely around the island isn't done til next year so we missed it.  A thing that makes me feel a little better is that it hasn't truly been an island since 1879 so a bunch of people have missed out too.

Inside the walls

a final parting shot.  After this it was getting late and finding a place to eat the famed Agneau pré salé (salt marsh grazed lamb) was going to be hard since things close even earlier than they do in Normandy.  We made the hard and disheartening decision to eat it at one of the restaurants near the parking lot/tourist center.  Inside it was 75% asian, Koreans and Japanese.  It was disappointing but the food was decent... but outside we could see bus load after busload of Japanese tourists headed for the island to see the castle lit up.  FYI it looks like the disney castle lit  up so if you're a 6 yr old girl it might be your thing.  No judgements here.  Go to Mont St. Michel in the afternoon keeping in mind it takes a while to make it to the island and the amount of tourists will be ok.  Lots of inspiration to be had here.  The sight of it brings on a feeling of awesomeness when you see it appear before your eyes.