Mont Saint-Michel – the Bay

The Bay of Mont Saint-Michel is a UNESCO world heritage site.

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It is famous for the perilous conditions caused by high tides that move in “as swiftly as a galloping horse” – at the top speed of 6.1 km/h and roughly 14 meters between high and low water marks.

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When the tide is low, the vast area turns into mudflats, filled with quicksands. Although one can experience the thrill by walking on the mud, it is advisable not to venture out alone.

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The ramparts is a good place to observe tides and mudflats.

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Across the bay, a 2000-hectare salt marsh meadow is where local sheep graze on grasses high in salinity and iodine and develop a distinct flavor in their meat – Pré-salé lamb is considered a delicacy among local restaurant.

On clear days, from the abbey‘s west terrace, you can see the the cliffs of Normandy to the east, and the rock of Cancale (in Brittany) to the west. You can also make out two granite massifs – the isle of Tombelanines to the north and Mont-Dot to the south-west.

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Other times, you find interesting objects in close proximity, such as this fort below:

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a curious seagull

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Or this inquisitive little fella

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Could he possibly be a warbler?

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Nope, he is actually an European robin. – Thanks to Anne Leueen from HorseAddict.net for identifying him!

For centuries, devoted pilgrims reached the holy site through a natural causeway available only during low tides. In July 2014, a bridge was built to connect Mont Saint-Michel to the mainland.

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On March 21st, 2015 a supertide submerged part of the walkway causing Mont Saint-Michel momentarily unreachable. Hundreds of spectators witnessed the event – a phenomenon said to repeat itself every 18 years.

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So this is Mont Saint-Michel – a heavenly Jerusalem on earth to people of the Middle Ages, an impregnable stronghold that never fell into enemy’s hands, and the symbol of national identify of France.

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