MONT ST. MICHEL
Location, location, location. That’s the most awe-inspiring thing about this world-class tourist establishment. I get none of the spine-tingling vibes as at Chartres. But what a location.
And what a place to play with the camera:
I did wonder as we slogged up the road to the church, my thighs screaming, whether I’d be ale to get out of bed the next morning. And I wondered how in the world they got the stones up there. The answer was inside:
Four guys marched in this thing, pulling the stones up with that rope.
This was a popular site for Impressionists to paint.
The mystery here is entirely natural – how did those huge holes get in the cliff? Perhaps another of Merlin’s spells, or those druids, man…no, the cliffs are made of chalk, the same as across the channel in Dover. It’s a form of limestone, subject to caves, which collapse into holes.
But knowing that didn’t lessen my awe viewing a site I’d seen so many times on canvas. In an instant all those dabs of paint, those impressions of the Impressionists snapped into sharp, prosaic focus.
Monet must have felt the awe of this scene, for he painted it often.
This plaque reproduces his painting of the cliff with orange sardine boats in front. Behind the plaque you can see kids in orange kayaks – consciously? – re-enacting the scene of a hundred year old painting.
back to CHARTRES
I almost forgot. Here was our view from the restaurant where we had lunch:
A final mystery of France: Why does all the food taste so good?