As many of you know, I am passionate about capturing ‘moments’ with my camera. Weddings, portraits, and headshots to name a few. I also feel this way about Landscape and Travel Photography. Today, I am sharing this short travelog of my visit to Normandy, France. In particular, a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Le Mont Saint-Michel (Saint Micheal’s Mount) in Normandy, France. It is an incredible historical living monument. This was one of my ‘bucket list’ places to see. It is an island located 0.6 miles off the NW coast of Normandy and still is the seat of the monastery that it is named after. This small Island has held strategic fortifications since the 8th century AD and still has a town that hosts 5-6 families plus the Monks who inhabit the monastery. It had been only accessible at low tide until the recent addition of a causeway which makes visits more convenient so that no one will be stranded when the famous tides come in – which happen VERY FAST. That is another story!
The short story behind this first photo is that my family and I rented an AirB&B in a small town called Vains which is directly across the bay and the closest to Mont Saint-Michel across the the water. To my surprise, when we arrived at our rooms in the evening, we put our bags upstairs and I saw a window up high which was in the direction of the Bay. I had to climb on a window seat to look out and go on tip toe and really stretch!
There are no words for the sight I saw. Le Mont was lit up and glowing in the middle of the Bay. It was other worldly, magical and maybe even mystical. I quickly grabbed my camera and took this shot on tippy toes while my husband spotted and steadied me. It was hard and I had to use a slower shutter speed than I wanted without a tripod, held my breathe as I raised the camera over my head and took a bunch of photos looking only at the digital viewer of my Lumix mirrorless camera. (Still kicking myself for not wanting to carry my heavy Nikon gear to europe, but could be another post to explain why I made that decision!)
I never got a clearer of view of Le Mont from this vantage point during our stay because of mist and fog the rest of our days there in the evenings, so I am so happy I took the time and energy to at least grab this shot! Our visit to the island the next day made us understand why the attraction to this site has become a place of pilgrimage and historical significance.
I made this photograph at about 10:30 pm at night. The sun sets there at 10 pm in May so that is why the glow of sunset is still in the photo. Our AirB&B hosts told us it was best to visit the site in the evening but before sunset because parking is free after 7, there are less people and the light is spectacular. They were absolutely right! This photo will not win any awards, but this experience and the photos of my experience at this place is why I believe photos are so valuable to us. An image of a place, a person and/or of a particular time in our lives that we want to remember is often the only physical representation we have to jog those memories. Memory is funny, isn’t it? It can change through time, but a photo can bring back feelings, scents and sometimes echoes of the sounds that we had actually experienced. This is why I am passionate about photography and enjoy sharing it and helping others to remember their lives and their people.
Thanks for stopping by the blog! Next time I will be writing about family portraits… fall is a great time for that!