Mont Saint-Michel is a small island just off the coast of Normandy. It has been a monastic establishment since the 8th century. The great abbey and church at the peak were constructed in the 11th and 12th centuries. The tides around the island can vary as much as 45 feet (14 meters) with the result that it is an island at high tide and is surrounded by salt flats at low tide. It is reached by a natural land bridge which was fortified into a true causeway in 1889.
When I visited in June of 2000 there was a festival of being held with many families wearing the traditional clothing of their region. There was much celebration, even a fine brass band at the top, playing in the courtyard. We picked a good day to attend.
Our tour guide advised us that there were many restaurants through the village that wound up the road to the abbey. She said that the two specialties here were omelets and lamb. The well-flavored meat that results from the diet of the sheep in the area makes salt meadow lamb a local specialty. I walked up to the abbey and stopped at a small restaurant that served me the best omelette au fromage (cheese omelet) of my life. Later several of the younger girls in the group boasted that they had found a place that served Hamburgers! What a waste.
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Boats - An assortment of sailboats at the Ponsonby Cruising Club, Westhaven.
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