Visiting Mont St Michel
Once called the Marvel this is designated as the most visited monument in the world.
I don’t know if it’s true, but to one thing you must be prepared: no matter the month, day or hour you will dispute the space with a crowd. If you accept it, then go.
In my opinion, the real marvel is the whole composition, and the way it deals with the sea, with tides back and forth for several kilometers. Inside the wall you have an old town, where each square inch is used to sell things to the tourists and, atop the steep path and stairs, the monastery.
The excellence of the architecture is the way they dealt with the narrow space and steep hills, adapting all the traditional areas and services of the monasteries to the place. And looking down, the wide muddy planes or the sea around you reinforces the sensation of floating over the world.
It’s an “impossible” geographic accident, that isolated mount, in the middle of those salty swamps.
It’s also an unbelievable work, what men did in it.
I read somewhere that it is the most visited monument in the world. Obviously…
Be prepared, to do not be disappointed: The “marvel” is not a visual superlative, as we could guess, but a fabulous architectural achievement.
There are lots of more marvelous abbeys, even in France, but the way they managed the areas, adapting the construction to the limits and characteristics of the space, without sacrificing its magnificence and safety is… go and see for yourself.
Squeezed and pushed, no matter the day nor the hour, the crowd slowly passes along the town, one hundred per cent aimed to touristic commerce.
Everything is, of course, well integrated in the whole, and prepares the visitor to meet the cherry on the top of the cake ( I mean – the mount).
Business is mainly made in the way back.
Hotel La Digue – Good Price/quality ratio
A few meters from the crossing to St Michel, this nice hotel has distant views to the mount, with a good service, and a better price.
Address: In the road to St Michel, near the coast
Price Comparison: less expensive than average
Phone: 02 33 60 14 02
An extra show in Mont St. Michel is the tide.
In that plane swamp, the longitudinal amplitude of the tide is, sometimes, more than 6 kilometers, but even coming from so far, sometimes the water covers part of the parking area, forcing the cars to retreat.
Instructions are posted in menaced areas, you only need to pay attention when parking, to stay calm on the walls, watching the advance of the water.
Much has changed since my visit, and now the park has been moved to the mainland, more than 2 km away, with access on foot or by bus.