As my family lives in the Vendée region, I decided to bring E. to visit a few places he had not seen yet. One of them was the island of Noirmoutier. It is still called an island but you can reach it via two ways. One is a bridge that was built in the 1970s. But the most popular way is the very famous Passage du Gois. Or as we call it over there, just le Gois.
This submersible road was built many centuries ago so people could travel to the island. It is said it dates from the late 16th century but the first time it was mentioned on a map was 1701.
It is very popular. However, it is covered by high tides twice a day so you need to check the low tides times in order to drive this 4.5kms road. Every year, many people get caught or do not pay attention. They park their cars on the side of the road mid-way, put on their boots, grab their buckets and collect clams and cockles as the tide is very low. But sometimes, they do not check that the water is coming back (very fast!) and end up stuck on a distress beacon waiting for help while looking at their cars being swallowed by the sea.
We arrived at the Passage du Gois quite early one morning and the tide was quite high so we ended up driving via the bridge but later in the afternoon, the submersible road was uncovered and it was a real pleasure to drive on it to go back to the continent.
Have you ever been to Noirmoutier? And if so, did you wait for the low tide and drive on le Gois?
Photo taken with a Canon SLR 40D - ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/500, 17-85mm lens - Noirmoutier, France, August 2013.
Copyright of the image is © Yolène Dabreteau Photography