Has anyone seen the movie The Woman in Black? If not you should, it's pretty good. But anyways, in the movie, Daniel Radcliffe is a lawyer and he gets stuck overnight on this creepy island you can only reach when the tide goes out. Pretty scary. But what's cool is that there's basically a real life version of this island, and it's open for business.
Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky island in
, off the coast of Normandy North-Western France. The has held a fortress since early medieval times and also served as a monastery. Today, 44 people live on the island. Mont
Mont Saint-Michel is a tidal island, which means it can only be reached at low tide. Originally, the road that led to the island was covered during high tide, and the island was completely isolated. Nowadays there is a raised causeway, so the
is always accessible, but it is still very dangerous to go out into the bay alone, because the tide changes very quickly. Mont
I actually wish there was no causeway, because call me crazy, but the idea of being stuck on the island between tides sounds totally thrilling to me. Kind of creepy, but really cool. What I love about the island is the haunting architecture, and the idea that people have been coming to this island and staying in this building for centuries, doing the same things that people are doing here today.
Mont Saint-Michel consists of a Gothic style abbey and the village that was built around it, both of which date back to 700 AD. The abbey is an artistic and architectural feat, and its rugged walls and delicate towers almost seem like a natural part of the island.
What to do? There are several hotels around the entrance to the causeway, as well as within the walls of the Mont. The village’s main street, the “Cour de l’Avancé,” has original historical buildings and shops which sell food, jewellery and other souvenirs in the tradition of medieval shopkeepers. You can visit the Abbey and the
, which was built in the 1400’s. Classical concerts are frequently hosted in the Abbey. There are four museums on the island, covering the history, culture, archaeology and ecology of the island. Rates are reduced for non-European young adults (score). Parish Church
What to eat? Salt meadows surround Saint-Michel, and are used for grazing sheep. Apparently, the salty diet of these sheep gives their meat a unique flavour. “Agneau de pré-salé” (salt meadow lamb) is a local dish that can be found in the island’s restaurants. I’ll have to pass, since I’m not a huge fan of lamb, but other specialties include omelettes and seafood from the bay, which can be enjoyed at numerous restaurants within the walls.
Saint-Michel was the inspiration for the city of Wikepedia, Mont in the Lord of the Rings. I thought that was pretty neat. (Apologies if you have no idea what I’m talking about.) Minis Tirith