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There have been many people, places and events that have left an indelible impression on my life. One my favorite places can be found in the Normandy region of France. Mont St. Michel appears almost as if it is an apparition in the distance as you approach via car. It looks as if it is a castle rising out of the Atlantic. Undoubtedly, there is something so absolutely and hauntingly beautiful about Mont St. Michel and something exciting about exploring its narrow winding paths and stairways. The architecture of Mont St. Michel is breathtaking in its beauty and each of its evolutions and layers. You can see the progression of culture vis-à-vis the evolution in architecture seen in the abbey’s construction, which is absolutely fascinating.
While Mont St. Michel is fairly commercialized now, we did still find it possible to get lost and explore a bit. As the tide rises and falls at Mont St. Michel, it intoxicates you. It both rushes in and rushes out, much different from how our tides behave here in Florida. The difference in between low and high tides at Mont St. Michel is nothing short of astounding. In low tide, you can walk to the abbey (if you choose, but beware of quicksand.) If you try walking to the abbey during high tide, you’ll need either water wings or to stay on the paved road that now leads to island.
Aside from the natural and manmade beauty that bounds at Mont St. Michel, it is a feat of human ingenuity and engineering. It is amazing to me that they were able to build such an amazing structure on this island without a paved road and without modern machinery. It almost seems impossible. I think that the beauty in travelling is discovering places like Mont St. Michel that speak to you and leave a lasting impression on your soul.
As our kids grow older, we’re trying to instill in them that experiences/trips are more fruitful and significantly more meaningful than material goods. Often these experiences and trips are shared with people who have made deep and beautiful impressions on our souls. When I’m confident that they won’t break something in the Abbey I cannot afford to replace, I will certainly bring them. I know, I know, after last night’s blog you’re probably thinking I’ll be waiting a long time and you’re probably right. Can you imagine figs catapulting in the bay from Mont St Michel? With my boys in the Abbey, I certainly could.