Only The Penitent Man Shall Pass


There’s a scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Indy in search of the Holy Grail has to go through a tunnel passing three trials on his way. If you’ve seen the film can you remember the whirling blades that fly out of the walls to decapitate their victim? Several have already tried to get through and finally “the nasties” force Indy to go through. As Indy starts through the tunnel he works out from the clue in his fathers notebook that the phrase “Only the penitent man shall pass”means something. Just in time Indy kneels down in penitence and the blades whirl harmlessly over his head.

Basilica of Notre Dame
Sometimes in church photography being a “penitent man” gives a totally different aspect to a photograph. I often lie or kneel on the floor to get the photograph I want, but here’s the rub. It’s not always appreciated in churches, especially the more touristy ones. Tripods are often frowned upon but I was fortunate here. Despite these restriction I was able to capture this photograph at the Basilica of Notre Dame, Montligeon, Normandy, France

4 thoughts on “Only The Penitent Man Shall Pass

  1. Mike Hardisty October 8, 2014 / 19:28

    Joy, thank you for your comment and I’m glad you liked the photograph

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  2. petspeopleandlife October 9, 2014 / 00:39

    Mike this is really beautiful. Yep kneel, lie on your back or stand on your head (well not really- just some humor). Have you run out of churches etc. in Wales to photograph?

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  3. Mike Hardisty October 9, 2014 / 16:53

    No Yvonne. My sister-in-law lives in France now and we had some stuff that she needed for her house. So we drove down to see her in Normandy, France. Easy enough to do as you can either catch a ferry or use the tunnel under the English Channel or Le Manche as the French say. Ferry sailing is about 90 minutes, the tunnel takes about 30 minutes so we usually use that. You drive to the terminal, then drive your car onto a train, which goes through the tunnel, drive off at the other end, straight onto the highway and away you go. Of course there is passport control but that doesn’t take so long as it’s done at the embarkation point rather than the arrival one…and as we all live in Europe things are pretty simple.

    Some information about the tunnel…

    It’s a 50.5-kilometre (31.4 miles) rail tunnel linking Folkestone, Kent, in the United Kingdom, with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais, near Calais in northern France, beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover. At its lowest point, it is 75 m (250 ft) deep. At 37.9 kilometres (23.5 miles), the tunnel has the longest undersea portion of any tunnel in the world, although the Seikan Tunnel in Japan is both longer overall at 53.85 kilometres (33.46 miles) and deeper at 240 metres (790 ft) below sea level. The speed limit in the tunnel is 160 kilometres per hour (99 mph).

    The tunnel carries high-speed Eurostar passenger trains, the Eurotunnel Shuttle for automobiles and other road vehicles—the largest such transport in the world—and international rail freight trains.

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