Somewhere, sometime, somehow, I swear I read that Mont St-Michel was used for exterior/long-distance shots of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies. I cannot find anything to corroborate this now, no matter how much I Google, but at some point I promise you I read something to that effect. Can any of my fellow HP aficionados verify (or falsify) this?
So anyway, we may or may not have gone to Hogwarts last weekend. Even without the Harry Potter reference, Mont St-Michel is incredible. It's a tiny town built on what becomes an island during high tide. At the very top of the island/rock is an ancient abbey that dates back to the 700s. We couldn't begin to fathom how in the world they brought the building materials all the way up to the top of this island and then turned them into a huge abbey and church. I mean, just look at this:
We had researched the tide schedules online prior to going, and we could not find anything for the date we went (May 30th). We decided to go, anyway. When we got there, we found out why there was no info: we clearly came at very low tide. There was no tide to speak of. Just sand for a looooong way.
It was a beautiful day. We grabbed sandwiches for lunch, then proceeded to climb all the way up to the abbey. B's dad calculated it later, and he estimated we climbed the equivalent of 32 flights of stairs in order to get up to the abbey at the top. Our legs are going to be in great shape.
I enjoyed learning about the abbey once we made it to the top. After resisting English assaults during the Hundred Years War, the mont became a symbol of French national identity. The religious community was dissolved during the French Revolution, and the abbey was used as a prison until 1863. It was classified as a historical monument in 1874 and has been restored and used for visitors since. Very cool.
Plus, whether from the top of the mont or the bottom, the abbey lends itself to great photography. It was a beautiful day and I had the most fun taking pictures. Click below on the "Read More" link to see all the pictures.
We had a great time taking a family road trip - it was the perfect last adventure before my in-laws left. I'm sad they're gone, and I'll miss their company! Luckily, my own parents will be here in a few weeks to help us undertake brand-new adventures.
xoxo from (maybe) Hogwarts,