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In my younger days I was mesmerized by photos in text books of Mont Saint Michel, a Gothic-style Benedictine Abbey, built between the 11th and 16th centuries, dedicated to the archangel St Michael, a Wonder of the Western World that was built on a rocky tidal island in Normandy, France.

A short time ago following my retirement I planned a trip to France and of course on the top of my list after visiting the Normandy beaches, was a pilgrimage to Mont Saint Michel as others have done since 708 A.D.

By rental car with impatient fervor I made the trek from the D-Day Beaches. Finally from over ten miles away I could see the famous silhouette of the abbey rising to heaven before me.

I nervously approached the parking area which stood across the road from the Abbey. I jumped out of my car, camera in hand to take my first excited photos. But before the first snap, suddenly from what seemed like from out of no where appeared one of the worst thunder storms of my life. I jumped back into the car and sat camera in hand for what seemed like ages as the wind and rain rocked the car back and forth.

Finally it stopped and I ran like a little kid down the long causeway leading to the island and Mt Saint Michel. I was approximately 30 yards from the entrance gate when another storm broke out. I made a mad dash to the gate but with just a few more yards to go a torrential cold rain suddenly pelted down like bullets in a scene from Saving Private Ryan.

So to make a long story short my visit that I thought about in my dreams for many years and hoped to take wondrous photos of turned out to be a stormy day in Normandy.

Still one of the neatest places I have ever visited. I would love to go back some day and see it with blue skies, birds singing and a bright sun shinny day.

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