My girlfriend and I rented a car and drove 4 hours West of Paris to a small rocky island that is about 1km from the north coast of France, Le Mont St Michel. It's at the mouth of the Couesnon River in Normandy.
I won't give too much of a history lesson as I would overwhelm this thread with thousands of years of history.
It was used as a reference for "Minas Tirith" in Peter Jackson's, Lord of the Rings movies.
"The mount is best known for the medieval Benedictine Abbey and steeped church that occupies most of the 1km-diameter clump of rocks jutting out of the waters of the English Channel."
We unfortunately arrived just after the Abby had closed so I apologize for not providing photos of the interior as I assume would have been just breath-taking.
Let's start in the countryside just before the coast.
There is a land bridge that connects the Island to the coast. Currently the landbridge is under construction as over the years it has caused the tides to move silt in from the ocean floor, filling in the gap between the island and mainland. If nothing is done over the next 50-60 years, the island would become apart of the coast. The land bridge is going to be removed and a floating bridge will take it's place, allowing the tides to move freely beneath it without causing the silt to settle.
As we arrive we are directed to park our vehicle on the ocean floor which during the day is completely dry.
Le Mont St Michel has the fastest tides on earth. During the day the island is land locked, and you can walk all the way around it, and across the bay to the mainland. As 8pm rolls around the tides come in "faster than horses". You can litterly see a wave fill the bay and surround the island in under an hour. It's amazing!
More on our vehicle later.
Outside the gates.
Just inside the gates is the village, full of shops, restaurants, and hotels.
Just inside the first gate, is the drawbridge.
Often historical locations like this that thrive on tourism are altered to cater to the guests. Although things have changed (before it was open to the public, as late as the 1970's, this was a prison) everything has it's own place and nothing major had been changed, it looks and feels as though you're in the dark ages.
Talk about living forced perspective.
Feels like Hogsmaid
Oh yeah, WE'RE IN A FREAKING CASTLE!
More to come!