Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mont Saint Michel

Monday we made the 45 minute drive to Mont Saint Michel, an old abbey on the top of a rock. Pretty cool place, but we have seen so many churches, fortresses, palaces, abbeys and cathedrals that they are all starting to look the same. The interesting thing about this place was that it was built on top of a huge rock in the ocean, so before the road was built you could only get there when the tide was out. At certain times of the day it is still surrounded by water. Check out the warning sign for the parking lot. There are over two hundred steps, and a long uphill climb to make it up to the abbey, and then many winding staircases and extra steps while touring it, so we definitely got our workout for the day. This place was so crowded and supposedly, we are at the end of tourist season. They say around here it is from July 1-August15. I can't imagine this place in the middle of a hot July. Our weather was perfect.
They had a cistern at the top of the abbey, I guess for fires and their basic drinking water. So to get the water up there they used a huge wheel that the monks walked on to make it move to lift the water up to the cistern. Pretty ingenious.
Afterwards, we headed back to the cottage, where I still needed a nap to recover from the jet lag. The afternoon, after it gets warm, just makes me so sleepy! We headed down to the port and ate dinner. The tide stays out all day here and the oyster beds are exposed to the sun, and the boats sit in the mud. Then in the evening the tide covers the oyster beds and the boats float once again. It really is an amazing sight to watch.


Geri said...

Pretty amazing achievement (building the abbey)