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  • Day18

    Pontorson to Mont st Michel rtn. 21 km

    September 22, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    ...if you haven't yet been to Le Mont Saint Michel. C'est magnifique!

    Quite mind-boggling how they managed to build a whole little town on a piece of granite in the middle of the bay. Monks on top in the abbey, then the knights, then workers and pilgrims on the bottom. And they did a good job because the mont was never conquered during the 100 years war, despite a 30 year siege!

    We wondered how they got all the equipment and materials up here until we came to 'le roue grand' Six prisoners would walk inside this big wheel and supplies got hoisted up by a pulley. I wouldn't have minded a ride up that way...the old stairs got pretty steep near the top 😄.

    We arrived at the abbey just as mass was beginning and were treated to the nuns' angelic singing - wonderful. Intricate architecture and amazing engineering at every turn. Although they're set up to handle 3 million tourists a year with a dyke walkway and bridge, some still make the traditional pilgrim's trek across the flats at low tide.

    Over the years the bay began to silt up from human interference, so they quite recently installed a dam at the mouth of the river. They release the dammed water regularly to help flush the sediments out to sea, thus keeping Le Mont an island!

    Capped the evening with the local Normandie brandy (made from apples) - called Calvados. En Sante!
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