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Mont St Michel seems more of a demonstration of oracle than its original purpose as a stronghold of Romano-British culture. Its location and surrounding, as well as the fact that the Mont become an island during high tide, impose strong visual power on visitors. The lone spires and ramparts rise dramatically from the sea, or tower over sands laid bare by the receding tide. The major attractions on Mont St Michel include the abbey and narrow alleys that immediately transport visitors back to the Middle Ages.

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We came in early February and did not capture the famous scenes in which the Mont is surrounded by sea or mist -- just as in Tangled. In fact, the Mont is only completely surrounded by the sea every month or two, so it really requires some luck. Regardless of the time of year, the waters sweep in at an astonishing clip, said to be as fast as a galloping horse. And the difference between low and high tides – only about 6 hours apart – can reach an astonishing 15m.

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Winter is too moody a time to visit Normandy. The overcast sky, wild cold wind and withered trees gave the trip to the abbey a sacred tone.

However, if you are a minimalist, such lighting and surrounding are photo-ready. The swamp looks like sand dunes from top down; closer up the subtle ripple shows the stroke of sublime power. 

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Medieval houses

Medieval houses

Coat from COS; Sunnies from Mykita

Coat from COS; Sunnies from Mykita

Cashmere poncho and ankle boots from Zara; Jeans from True Religion

Cashmere poncho and ankle boots from Zara; Jeans from True Religion

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